You can talk the talk, or you can walk the walk.
UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida" took place last Sat. night (July 5, 2014) from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and observers witnessed another great main event as Chris Weidman defended his middleweight championship against Lyoto Machida.
The American started off strong, but had to fight off the "Dragon" who had apparently just shown up for the championship rounds (highlights here).
In the co-main event, Ronda Rousey annihilated Alexis Davis, needing only 16 seconds to knock the Canadian into next Tuesday.
Also victorious on the main card was Uriah Hall (who continued fighting despite a gross toe injury) and Russell Doane. Urijah Faber also tapped Alex Caceres in the "Prelims" main event on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).
Before all the mixed martial arts (MMA) action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were promotional appearances to generate awareness for -- and interest in -- a trip to Las Vegas. Fighters said this and that, answering questions galore when all they really wanted to do is be left alone and not be bothered.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But as we've done before, let us look back at the words that left the fighters' mouths before they stepped into the cage last Saturday night.
"I'm expecting a war and a guy that I'm really going to have to figure out ... I remember watching Lyoto when I was just getting started and he was known as a guy who couldn't be beaten. But it's not the first time going through this. My style is to move forward and beat people up, to physically and mentally break them. I have a lot of respect for everything that he does, but I'm better everywhere ... Yeah, he's real slippery. But I'm not going to be too worried about what he's going to be doing. My offense is going to be my best defense."
-- It isn't bragging as long as you back it up.
Weidman couldn't have been more accurate about his statements, after his five-round battle against Machida. He got a war, moved forward, and for the majority of the fight, he was able to beat up the "Dragon." Still, he had to be wary of it all, since Machida came on strong towards the end, just like the champion expected.
And they don't believe you when you say fighting is a mental thing...
"I can't think of Chris Weidman as the one who defeated Anderson Silva. I think of him as my work, the man I have to defeat ... Many people say this fight was very well-matched for me. I defend very well against his style of fighting."
-- Machida was somewhat mum in pre-fight interviews this week, yet it's not like he's going to be the one to talk your ear off. It remains a mystery as to why Machida didn't pressure Weidman in the early stages, much like he did in the later rounds. He's still a force at middleweight, and he's surely going to get another title fight if he strings together a couple of emphatic victories.
Will these two meet again?
"Every single fight, regardless of who it is against, is still the most important fight of my life. You think if I was still bartending and was a former judoka that any of these people would have knocked on my door and asked me to do these movies? No. Every single time I defend this belt is buying more time that I still have in both of these careers. I want to feel like everything in whole life that I've always worked for, everything is at stake. Not all the time but once every couple months I need to have that big battle, just to keep me motivated. Alexis Davis is just the next one ... Nobody is easy until after you beat them. All those other chicks were easy. Alexis... she is the biggest problem I've ever had."
-- Umm, no.
At least Rousey is good at marketing, or obliges when UFC's production tells her to see certain things. The Canadian was Rousey's least qualified opponent after what we witnessed last weekend, and after seeing how "Rowdy" completely destroyed her, it's going to be incredibly difficult for the promotion to find someone not named Holly Holm or Cristiane Justino to challenger her.
And those athletes aren't even signed to a ZUFFA contract.
"Obviously, I'm the underdog. You come across the general public and nobody expects me to win. And I don't care, I'll take it, I love being the underdog. I understand I haven't got as much attention, you know. (That's) also my fault, too. I'd love to be the next Chael Sonnen but it's just not in my personality. But I'm not worried because I always know that I'm going to win the fight. Then they'll be talking about me; then they won't be able to shut up about me. You can feel like the gold around your waist with your hand raised. That belt is mine."
-- Let's not knock on Davis since she's already down, since every challenger entering a title fight thinks it's his or her time to rewrite history. We didn't see too much offense from "Ally-Gator" last weekend, and despite only being in the cage for 16 seconds, she's right about the general public not being able to shut up about her. However, it's all for the wrong reasons.
"People have to pay for pay-per-view, but the prelims on FOX Sports 1 are free and go out to more fans. All the people in bars can watch for free. I asked my management to get that spot. It's weird being on an undercard. I've never been on one before, but it's a small price to pay to let all my fans see me for free."
-- Faber probably didn't ask his people to get him on the "Prelims," and even if he did, the FS1 broadcast doesn't usually do greater numbers than the pay-per-view (PPV). Nevertheless, the "California Kid" got what he wanted by fighting in front of the onlookers for free, even though it's definitely the last time he's ever going to be on an undercard again.
That just about does it.
For extensive coverage of UFC 175: "Weidman vs. Machida," including video highlights, post-fight recaps, and more, click here.