On Saturday, July 6, the UFC hosted UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In the main event, long-reigning middleweight champion Anderson Silva took on undefeated challenger Chris Weidman. The Brazilian Silva entered unbeaten in the Octagon after stretching his streak to 16 straight bouts with a first-round destruction of Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 last fall. Silva looked to extend his UFC record for title defenses to 11 with a win over Weidman. The American Weidman brought with him a 9-0 record into the title challenge. He most recently dispatched of Mark Munoz with a second-round knockout in July of last year.

Also on the card, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar clashed with Brazilian Charles Oliveira at featherweight, Strikeforce imports Roger Gracie and Tim Kennedy made their UFC debuts in a middleweight affair, Tim Boetsch locked horns with the aforementioned Munoz, also at 185 pounds and featherweights Dennis Siver and Cub Swanson looked to state their case for a title shot when they kicked off the pay-per-view card.

The 11-fight event kicked off at 7 p.m. ET with two bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on FX at 8 p.m. ET, with the five-fight pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Weidman knocks out Silva to claim middleweight title

Chris Weidman kept his undefeated record intact, becoming the first to defeat Brazilian Anderson Silva inside the Octagon with a second-round knockout. The win earned the American the middleweight title.

Weidman shot in for a double-leg takedown immediately. He landed in Silva’s half guard and delivered short shots. As he attempted to pass to side control, Silva recovered guard. Weidman looked for a leg lock, but Silva escaped and the fight returned to the feet. From there, Silva toyed with Weidman for the remainder of the round. Silva scored with leg kicks and taunted the challenger until the bell.

Silva continued to mock Weidman early in round two. Silva easily stuffed a takedown attempt and appeared to be breaking Weidman’s spirit. Weidman missed with a left hand and Silva mocked him, but Weidman delivered a follow-up left hand that dropped the champion. The ensuing ground and pound put Silva out for good, making Weidman the new UFC champion.

“I felt I was destined for this, it’s surreal,” said Weidman of his victory.

Edgar edges Oliveira

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar picked up his first win at 145 pounds in an exciting, back-and-forth affair with Brazilian Charles Oliveira.

The first round was high-paced from the very start. Edgar landed a right hand early that appeared to hurt Oliveira who looked for a takedown. Edgar reversed the position, but was forced to defend submission attempts from the Brazilian. Edgar took the fight back to standing, but Oliveira tied up the fight and pulled guard. Again Edgar was forced to defend submission attempts from the top position. A late scramble saw Edgar take Oliveira to the canvas as the round closed.

In round two the fighters traded wild shots from close quarters. Oliveira scored with a solid body kick, but Edgar countered with a right hand. Oliveira slipped and landed on his back, trying to bait Edgar into his guard. Another scramble saw Edgar gain the top position near the cage, but Oliveira got the fight back to standing. The pair traded heavy shots from inside, but the pace did not slow one bit. Edgar secured a takedown in the waning seconds, but Oliveira countered with a guillotine choke as the horn sounded.

Edgar opened round three with a flurry that wobbled Oliveira. The Brazilian recovered and fired back with an inside elbow to knee combination. Edgar dove for a takedown, but Oliveira kept the fight standing and delivered a big right hand. Edgar answered with a huge right hand that stumbled Oliveira. Edgar followed with more heavy shots, but he could not put his younger opponent away.

When it was all said and done, Edgar claimed a unanimous decision win.

Kennedy outworks Gracie

In a battle of Strikeforce veterans, U.S. Army veteran Tim Kennedy earned a unanimous decision win over grappling ace Roger Gracie.

Gracie quickly closed the distance and took Kennedy to the mat. Kennedy gave up his back, but managed to escape back to his feet. After trading some jabs, Gracie again scored with a double-leg takedown along the fence. He again took Kennedy’s back, this time securing a body triangle. Kennedy remained calm and avoided the submission, spinning into Gracie’s guard as the round closed.

Kennedy opened the second frame by tying up Gracie and scoring with a trip takedown. Once on top, Kennedy rained heavy shots, forcing Gracie to cover up. Gracie scrambled back to his feet and pair jostled for position against the cage until Kennedy scored with another trip. Gracie tied up Kennedy from the bottom until referee Kim Winslow stood them up late in the round.

Round three started tentatively as both fighters looked for an opening. Kennedy locked onto a body lock around Gracie’s back, but he gave it up. Gracie desperately worked for a takedown, but Kennedy scrambled out of it and tied up Gracie along the fence. The pace slowed significantly late, but Kennedy continued to dictate the fight.

The scorecards rewarded Kennedy for his efforts.

Munoz batters Boetsch

Mark Munoz picked up his first win in over a year, battering fellow middleweight Tim Boetsch over the course of three rounds with vicious ground and pound.

Boetsch opened the fight aggressively, scoring with a quick double-leg takedown. He was unable to hold Munoz on the mat, as the pair engaged in positional scrambles. Munoz secured a takedown of his own along the cage, but Boetsch countered with a guillotine choke to get back to his feet. Munoz opened up with his hands, briefly wobbling Boetsch, who quickly fired back. A late flurry from Munoz closed out the frame.

In the second frame, it was Boetsch marching forward yet again. He pressed the fight against the fence, but was taken down by Munoz. Munoz briefly passed to the mount and he delivered heavy body shots. Boetsch scrambled back to his feet, but Munoz again planted him on his back. The heavy shots continued from Munoz, as he connected with big knees to Boetsch’s body along the cage as the horn sounded.

Munoz opened round three firing punches and quickly dove for a takedown. Boetsch countered with a guillotine attempt and then transitioned for a Japanese necktie, but Munoz escaped. Boetsch looked to attacked Munoz’s left arm, but gave up position in the process. Munoz rained more ground and pound before looking for a kimura. Boetsch escaped, but Munoz continued delivering punishment. Boetsch looked for a kneebar in the closing seconds of the fight, but it was too little, too late.

All three judges gave Munoz the fight on the scorecards.

Swanson finishes Siver

Cub Swanson picked up his fifth straight victory, scoring a third-round TKO over German-Russian fighter Dennis Siver.

The two featherweights traded shots early on the feet, feeling one another out. Swanson went for a wheel kick, missed, and found himself planted on his back. Siver took advantage and passed to side control, raining short shots from the top position. Late in the round, Siver nearly gained the mount, but Swanson used a guillotine choke attempt to get back to his feet as the round closed.

Both fighters continued to fire on the feet in the second stanza. After trading a variety of strikes, Siver shot for a takedown and Swanson shrugged it off. Swanson missed with a cartwheel kick as he opened up with his techniques. Swanson scored with an uppercut and then scored with a big hip toss. Swanson quickly moved the mount and delivered shots from the top until Siver reversed in the waning seconds of the frame.

Swanson’s cardio and speed were the difference in the final round. He had Siver guessing and was able to unload with a series of right hands that put Siver on rubber legs. Swanson swarmed with heavy shots on the ground, pleading with referee Herb Dean to put an end to the violence halfway through the round.

Preliminary Card Summary

Middleweight Andrew Craig got back in the win column with a decision win over longtime UFC veteran Chris Leben. Leben pushed the action in the first round, pinning Craig against the fence. However, Leben was unable to maintain that pace over the final two rounds as Craig poured it on with his striking and takedowns. Craig rocked Leben in the final round, but was unable to find the finish. In the end, it didn’t matter as Craig took the win on the scorecards.

TUF Smashes winner Norman Parke picked up his second straight win in the Octagon with a unanimous decision win over Japanese lightweight Kazuki Tokudome. Parke found a home for his overhand left early and often, but Tokudome was able to absorb the heavy shots. Parke was able control the positioning through two rounds and survived a late flurry from Tokudome in round three to claim the decision victory.

Brazilian heavyweight Gabriel Gonzaga needed just seconds to dispatch of Dave Herman by technical knockout. Herman threw an inside leg kick that Gonzaga countered with a right hand flush to Herman’s jaw. Herman crashed to the mat and Gonzaga followed up with more heavy shots, forcing referee Kim Winslow to intervene.

In a battle of Brazilian lightweights, Edson Barboza put on a kickboxing clinic and scored a second-round TKO win over countryman Rafaello Oliveira. Barboza peppered Oliveira’s lead leg and ribs with kick after kick. By the end of the first round, Oliveira was limping badly and in the second frame, the damage was simply too much. Referee Herb Dean waived off the contest when Oliveira could no longer stand.

Brian Melancon showed no Octagon jitters whatsoever, battering TUF alum Seth Baczynski and scoring a late, first-round knockout in his UFC debut. Melancon was aggressive from the opening bell and rocked Baczynski early with a big left hand. When the 10-second clap to end the opening stanza came, Melancon dropped a huge left hand to a downed Baczynski, putting him out for good.

Welterweight Mike Pierce picked up his fourth straight win with a second-round TKO over David Mitchell. The first round was sluggish as both men jockeyed for position along the fence, but in round two, Pierce connected with a vicious left hook and finished Mitchell with ground and pound.

FULL RESULTS
Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva by knockout (punches). Round 2, 1:18 – new middleweight champion
Frankie Edgar def. Charles Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Tim Kennedy def. Roger Gracie by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Mark Munoz def. Tim Boetsch by unanimous decision (30-26. 30-27, 29-28)
Cub Swanson def. Dennis Siver by TKO (punches). Round 3, 2:24
Andrew Craig def. Chris Leben by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Norman Parke def. Kazuki Tokudome by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Dave Herman by TKO (punches). Round 1, 0:17
Edson Barboza def. Rafaello Oliveira by TKO (leg kicks). Round 2, 1:44
Brian Melancon def. Seth Baczynski by knockout (punches). Round 1, 4:59
Mike Pierce def. David Mitchell by TKO (punches). Round 2, 2:55

Photo: Chris Weidman (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)