Weidman wins by TKO after Silva breaks leg

Published on Sunday, 12/29/13, at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Chris Weidman remained the middleweight champion by defeating former 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva in Saturday’s main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. For that, Weidman deserves credit because he was in control from start to finish.

However, the story of UFC 168 is all about Silva, who suffered a gruesome fracture of both his tibia and fibula when Weidman checked a legkick from ‘The Spider.’ Silva instantly fell to the ground writhing in pain.

He was taken out of the Octagon on a stretcher and immediately rushed to the hospital for surgery. Silva had a rod inserted into his left tibia.

Whether or not Silva can recover from this injury to resume his mixed martial arts career is a major question mark, especially at the age of 38.

Weidman hooked up his betting supporters as a +140 underdog, while gamblers backing ‘under’ 2.5 rounds cashed a winner. The unbeaten Weidman will make his next ┬átitle defense against Vitor ‘The Phenom’ Belfort.

In the co-main event, ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey withstood the toughest test of her career to beat Miesha Tate by third-round armbar as an expensive favorite in the -800 range. Gamblers backing ‘over’ 1.5 rounds cashed nice +150 tickets (risk $100 to win $150).

Tate fought with a ton of heart and had her moments. She won a few of the striking exchanges and connected with a couple of upkicks from her back. But her wrestling against Rousey’s judo was a mismatch.

Rousey was booed before, during and after the fight, but she completely embraced it and offered no apologies. After the bout was called, Tate extended her hand to congratulate Rousey, who refused to shake her hand.

With Silva, GSP, Cain Velasquez and Anthony Pettis out with injuries to start 2014, Dana White wasted no time in making plans to utilize one of the promotion’s biggest new stars. After the long layoff from Rousey’s debut win over Liz Carmouche to the fight with Tate, Rousey will go right back into training camp and face Sarah Kaufman in the UFC 170 main event.

Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans has been moved to the co-main event at UFC 170.

In the heavyweight division, Travis Browne destroyed Josh Barnett with a slew of vicious elbows for a first-round KO that looked just like his victory over Gabriel Gonzaga. Browne was a winner as a +140 underdog, while ‘under’ (1.5 rounds) backers cashed an easy winner. I had both selections.

With Velasquez recovering from an injury, Browne is expected to face Fabricio Werdum with the winner getting a crack at Velasquez’s strap.

Jim Miller and Dustin Poirier collected victories by first-round finishes as expensive favorites in the first two bouts on the pay-per-view card.

In the welterweight loop, Uriah Hall defeated Chris Leben as a -300 ‘chalk.’ Hall floored Leben late in the first round and had ‘The Crippler’ badly hurt. The bell saved Leben, who asked his corner of he’d been knocked out. Then he said, “I’m done.”

Leben, who enjoyed a stellar UFC career after being a part of the original cast for The Ultimate Fighter, will most likely retire after four consecutive losses.

Michael Johnson has won back-to-back fights after capturing a second-round KO victory over Gleison Tibau as a +120 underdog. Also, John ‘Doomsday’ Howard won a unanimous decision over Siyar Bahadurzada as a +130 ‘dog.

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