Decade in Review: 2013

UFC News

There would be a lot more Octagon magic produced by Rousey and her peers, but the men didn’t want to be left out, so what better fight would there be to headline UFC 158 in Montreal on March 16 than the welterweight grudge match between Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz? Seemingly years in the making, the two finally met at Bell Centre, and once again, GSP made it look easy, dominating from start to finish as he earned a five-round unanimous decision victory. That’s not to say there was no one to challenge the Canadian star, as the man who defeated Carlos Condit in the co-main event that night, Johny Hendricks, was closing in fast.

In April, Kelvin Gastelum completed an upset-filled run through the field on The Ultimate Fighter 17 by defeating highly-touted Uriah Hall to win the season title, and Benson Henderson won a Superfight over former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez to retain his UFC lightweight title before Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen – coaches of TUF 17 – finally met in Newark, with Jones stopping the “Gangster from West Linn” late in the first round.

The UFC 160 event on May 25 featured heavyweight rivals Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos in separate bouts, and the two secured their rubber match, as Velasquez stopped “Bigfoot” Silva a second time to retain his title, and Dos Santos knocked out Mark Hunt in the last round of a bout that earned Fight of the Night honors.

TUF Brazil’s second season produced a veteran winner in June, as Leonardo Santos replaced the injured Santiago Ponzinibbio and submitted William Macario in the second round. Rashad Evans also picked up a June win over Dan Henderson in the UFC 161 main event in Winnipeg.

At UFC 162 on July 6, many expected it to be business as usual when Anderson Silva defended his middleweight title against unbeaten Chris Weidman. Yet it was anything but that, as a showboating Silva got caught with a flush punch by Weidman in the second round and dropped to the canvas. A follow-up barrage brought in referee Herb Dean to stop the fight, and just like that, Weidman was the new 185-pound champ and an era in UFC history had ended.

Despite the shock of Silva’s first-ever UFC loss, the show must go on, and Demetrious Johnson remained Mr. Steady, as he put another title defense in the bank on July 27, this one via fifth-round submission over John Moraga. Also remaining untouchable was featherweight king Jose Aldo, as he defeated “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, via fourth-round TKO in the UFC 163 main event on August 3.

Another UFC first took place in Boston on August 17, as the launch of the new FOX Sports 1 channel featured a Fight Night card packed with stars. In the main event, Sonnen stunned “Shogun” Rua, submitting him in the first round. Also victorious were Travis Browne, Urijah Faber, Matt Brown and a young man who had been making a lot of noise in the UFC ever since his debut win in Sweden in April, Dublin, Ireland’s Conor McGregor.

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