9:56 p.m. Welcome to SI.com's live play-by-play blog for UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. We're glad you could join us. Our main card tonight:
• UFC Middleweight Championship: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman. Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira. Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy. Mark Muñoz vs. Tim Boetsch. Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson. First up: Siver vs. Swanson at featherweight.
German import Siver's (21-8) most recent Octagon wins were against Diego Nunes and Nam Phan (Dec.) Swanson is on another level than these two. Siver is a powerful plodder, though not particularly lithe.
Swanson (19-5) is on a four-fight win streak, including a last-minute, switch-up assignment against Dustin Poirier in Feb. Poirier replaced an injured Siver. Swanson's speed, agility and power should prevail here.
10:11 -- Siver is the first to enter. German tank with spinning back kicks. I watched my first Swanson fight in 2005 in SoCal, pre UFC. He seemed on his way to greatness until Jose Aldo's knee collided with his forehead a few years back. This could definitely be Swanson's time, finally.
Round 1: Swanson-Siver: Trade of kicks and Siver's looking a lot lighter on his feet than in the past. Siver switches to hooks that Swanson ducks in and out of. At 3:30, Swanson throws a spinning back kick that Siver catches. He turns the catch into a takedown. Siver moves from half to side control. Siver's looking for crucifix, and Swanson is squirming to prevent it. Siver loses grip, but manages to mount for a second as Swanson bucks. Swanson recovers half guard quickly. Swanson escapes to his feet with some effort and comes in with two outside low kicks that nail Siver right at bell. Not enough to steal round, but told Siver he's not giving this up easy. Siver 10-9. Siver's corner says he's doing it perfect. I can't argue with that.
Round 2: Swanson in with an overhand right that connects and moves back out. Siver with his first spinning back kick, which doesn't connect. Siver is trying to set up combos, but Swanson is moving out of the way for most part. Swanson attempts a cartwheel kick. No good, but valiant effort that wows crowd. Siver's lightfootedness is starting to fleet. They continue to exchange single kicks, punches. Swanson with solid body kick. He's the nimbler fighter, bobbing in and out. Siver shoots, and Swanson reverses him with a throw and lands right into mount. Siver tries to flip and Swanson stops him, reclaiming mount. Swanson to an omo plata and round ends with Swanson on his knees, Siver moving to top. Outstanding round for Swanson. Jackson in Swanson's corner: You are so much faster. He is so slow. Swanson 10-9. We're even, folks.
Round 3: The men come out strong like the first two rounds. Swanson is starting to find his range. Lands an overhand left. Back in with a right. Lands a left kick. Siver is starting to struggle a little. Siver with a spinning back kick that Swanson easily blocks. Swanson with a right, starts to unload on his feet. Siver abandons to the canvas. Swanson with follow-up punches to the finish. Stoppage. The final exchange was aggressive. Siver lost his balance, fell forward and Swanson was in with hammer shots until referee Herb Dean jumped in. The Swanson-Aldo rematch will be a promising one. Official: Cub Swanson def. Dennis Siver - TKO (Strikes) 2:24 R3.
Swanson says it's up to the fans to decide his fate. Iron Mike Tyson hits the big screen, followed up by Usher.
10:14 -- Anderson Silva makes his way through the bowels of the MGM in a suit. Crowd cheers wildly. Camera shot of Weidman shortly after. A few cheers, and some boos.
Mark Muñoz vs. Tim Boetsch, middleweight
10:38 -- On deck is Mark Muñoz vs. Tim Boetsch.
Muñoz (12-3) had a very challenging 2012. He dropped out of a January bout against Chael Sonnen to undergo shoulder surgery, which didn't heal as hoped by the time he met Chris Weidman that July. I visited Muñoz about six weeks from that bout and noticed that he had limited upper-body movement. I knew it wouldn't bode well for him -- he broke his foot in the defeat. Muñoz admitted to depression during his absence; he revealed last week that he's lost 62 pounds over five months. He's a two-time All-America wrestler and an OSU vet, so he knows how to put the work in and get it together. I expect a strong rebound tonight against Boetsch.
Boetsch (16-5) is a durable striker who likes to kick. Not the most technical, but impacts hard and gets the job done. He's coming off a loss to Costa Philippou (TKO R3) last Dec., which snapped Boetsch's four-fight win streak that included a surprising split decision win over Bellator defector Hector Lombard (July 2012). Stylistically, I don't think this is Boetsch's dream matchup; it will be hard to stop Muñoz's takedowns.
10:39 -- Boetsch makes his entrance, Matt Hume is in his corner. Munoz comes bopping in to some peppy music. He looks ready.
Munoz looks fantastic. Better than I remember. Munoz is one of those solid guys in this business. Mentor to other fighters. Family man. Munoz takes the Octagon lap and hi fives Boetsch. Pretty cool. Wrestler vs. striker matchup for the most part -- at least on paper. Let's see how this goes. Buffer with the intros. Our ref is Steve Mazzagatti. Mazzagatti gets booed.
Round 1: Boetsch takes center canvas. Boetsch front kicks and sets up a takedown, which he completes, but Munoz reverses him quick and is back to his feet. Still on the fence, Boetsch lands another takedown, this time a slam. Munoz bounces to his feet again and they eventually separate back to center. Boetsch pushes Munoz to the fence, single underhook in. Munoz drops levels and secures takedown. He's got Boetsch nailed to fence, holding both his legs. Boetsch is up, Munoz sets up another takedown, but Boetsch rolls and Munoz goes with him. Up again, Munoz gets another takedown, but he's got Munoz's head. Munoz moves to side to alleviate pressure and Boetsch locks in guillotine, but Munoz escapes. Back to its feet. A little firefight ensures, Munoz gets in biggest punch - a right - before they clinch on fence, Munoz on outside. He starts punching Boetsch's thigh, lands a couple knees, and then a combo which hits its spot. Bell.
Great first round for both. Real back-and-forth for control. Munoz takes it 10-9 with the later takedowns and the landed punches. In Boetsch's corner, coach Hume tells him he's controlling the punches. Not sure I agree with that.
Round 2: Boetsch lands back kick, Munoz answers with kick and superman punch. Boetsch moves this back to fence; Munoz reverses to outside. Munoz trying to soften up Boetsch with knees, goes for a drag, but Boetsch stops it. Back to center, Boetsch in with a right, then a combo that backs Munoz to fence. Munoz gets a body hold and throws Boetsch down. Boetsch to his knees, turtled, Munoz in side control. They're stalled here. Munoz lands some body shots and Boetsch forces his way to standing. Munoz with another takedown. His wrestling has really kicked in. Boetsch turtled again; Munoz in North-South. Lands body shots from here. Looks like Boetsch is starting to break. He's on his knees; Munoz is still landing punches from N-S. Munoz is controlling Boetsch's head with his hips, keeping him down. Boetsch to his knees, leaning on fence, and Munoz finishes strong with head and body shots. Munoz is pulling away. Munoz 10-9.
Round 3: Munoz looks pretty fresh. Boetsch still pushing forward, but Munoz uses it to his advantage and shoots. Another rollover and Boetsch tries to go to a guillotine, but Munoz defends again. Boetsch manuevers to a belly-down armbar position with 3:32 to go. He doesn't have the arm. He loses position and Munoz takes top over a turtled Boetsch, body punches raining down. Boetsch is stalled again in this bad position. Munoz takes half on a prone Boetsch. Every time Boetsch moves to escape Munoz outpositions him and keeps him downed. Boetsch to his back and Munoz takes side control, goes for a straight armlock. Can't finish it. Boetsch back to turtled; Munoz takes back and almost secures rear-naked. Boetsch is out and Munoz is back on top of him, punching away. He's not giving Boetsch any space. Boetsch rolls to a kneebar, but it's not close. Munoz back to top pummeling and a Sakuraba leap into guard to finish this. Munoz 10-9. I bet a judge will go 10-8.
Munoz looked aggressive, poised, great stamina. HE IS BACK. Munoz has some of the best ground positioning in the division. He takes the wrestling expertise to another level here and his ground-and-pound is reminiscent of Fedor.
Mark Munoz def. Tim Boetsch -- Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27 29-28). There's the one 10-8. Munoz thanks his fans. "I really went through a depression I never thought I would, but I'm living proof of determination."
Munoz thanks God. He's wearing a "Save Olympic Wrestling" shirt - Munoz has been very active in this cause.
Roy Jones Jr. gives the camera a lil' fist. Dana White has teased talks about the Anderson Silva dream matchup, but I'll believe this one when I see it.
Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie, middleweights
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy at middleweight is next. Both are Strikeforce adoptees from Zuffa's acquisition of the rival promotion in March 2011.
Gracie (6-1) is the least experienced of the pair, a jiu-jitsu black belt (of course) and a developing striker. He looked OK against Anthony Smith in January and has a three-inch height advantage over Kennedy, which should give him and his long arms decent-enough reach to fight from the outside, at least at the start.
Kennedy (15-4) is a decent striker, but likes to mix it up, close the space, score takedowns, ground and pound or submit opponents. I wouldn't recommend that he attempts the last step in that equation. If he can stay out of the way of strikes, kill time on the fence and keep nailing takedowns that he steps out from, I think he can get this decision. He might take his chances or get caught in Gracie's guard, though, in which case, Gracie becomes the automatic favorite.
Round 1: Kennedy and Gracie are in the cage. Our ref is Kim Winslow. Kennedy throws first salvo -- an overhand right that Gracie moves out of range for. Kennedy with outside kick. More measuring, Gracie shoots and gets takedown. Uh oh, Kennedy. Kennedy to his knees, but Gracie has a body lock from behind. Kennedy trying to walk up, fights and makes it. On fence, Kennedy takes outside. Seperation and back to center. Gracie's reach advantage is pretty apparent. Gracie moves in with an ungraceful half flying knee, but gets clinch, then gets another takedown and takes Kennedy's back. Kennedy fending off rear-naked choke. Gracie has a body triangle, too. With :50 left. Kennedy seriously defending off Gracie's advances. Kennedy reverses to top and has half at bell. Gracie with a solid 10-9. Renzo Gracie throwing off instructions to his relative in the corner. "Keep doing what you're doing. The jab will work."
Round 2: Kennedy spent all of R1 fending off an attack. He needs to change his plan, though he's having issues everywhere. Kennedy moves in to clinch, pushes Gracie to fence, and gets TD. Kennedy gets in some ground-and-pound to Gracie's head. Gracie to his back, then back to turtling. Kennedy on top again in with body shots. Gracie rolls and transition ends with both back on their feet, on fence. Kennedy looks tiny against Gracie, but he's trying to bully him on fence. Gracie reverses to outside. They're exchanging knees. Gracie bleeding a little from his left eye. Kennedy drags Gracie to ground. He's in half, cross-body. With 1:15 to go. They've stalled here. Gracie's just holding on, trying to lock up an arm. Ref Winslow stands them and Gracie is a little slow to his feet. Kennedy back to clinch and has Gracie back to fence,. This plan is working. It ends here on fence. Kennedy 10-9. He's found the game plan. Clinch, takedown, get back to your feet. Rinse and repeat.
Round 3: We're even going into this last one. Center cage, they start tenatively. Looks like one is waiting for other to start. Gracie has taken some damage in R2. Much slower now. More tentative. Gracies don't like to get punched. (As the two fight, the wave has broken out in the MGM Arena Go figure.) Kennedy gets his clinch center cage, has a body lock, but let's it go when he can't get anywhere. Kennedy with slow back kick. Gracie moves Kennedy to fence, gets him down quick, but Kennedy gets back to his feet and has Gracie on the fence again. With 2:00 to go, we're in the clinch, eating time on fence, Kennedy is. Crowd booing. Ref Winslow breaks them up. 1:23 to go. Kennedy tries another overhand but he can't reach Gracie. Gracie is very tired and his sporadic punches don't have anything behind them. Kennedy gets clinch again on fence and it ends here. Kennedy takes this 10-9, 29-28 in my book.
Tim Kennedy def. Roger Gracie - Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). Wow, Gracie took that first round easy, but in the end, the call is correct. Gracie evaluation: Wrestling is decent; good takedowns tonight. Canvas game is like butter. Standup and stamina needs much more work. Kennedy: Great adjustment into R2. Found his one opening -- takedowns into some ground-and-pound -- and kept working it. Wore Gracie down.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira, featherweights
11:39 p.m. -- Co-main event time. Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira is on deck.
Oliveira (16-3) is a well-rounded, middle-of-the-pack 145er who stumbles against the elite of the division. Edgar is among that group.
Edgar (15-4-1) is coming off two losses to lightweight champ Ben Henderson (both in 2012) and a humbling title-bout defeat against Jose Aldo (Feb.) in his featherweight debut. Edgar's pace should give Oliveira issues past the first round.
Oliveira enters the arena bellowing some Portuguese music we're told is gospel music. Former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is next, with a nice reception from crowd. Buffers with intros. Edgar is the crowd fave. Our ref is Yves Lavigne.
11:43 p.m. -- Some quick undercard results: After a fairiy close first round, Mike Pierce stopped David Mitchell with a big left on the fence and follow-up strikes in R2 (2:25).
Brian Melancon had a solid Octagon debut, taking out TUF vet Seth Baczynski with a KO punch on the ground at 4:59 of R1. Melancon had the round prior to KO.
Edson Barboza used Rafaello Oliveira as a kicking bag, chopping him down in R2, forcing ref Herb Dean to move in with the stoppage.
Gabriel Gonzaga landed an overhand right and downed Dave Herman for a 17-second KO.
In a back-and-forth battle, Norman Parke utilized takedowns and some fence-clinching to edge out Kazuki Tokudome for a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Andrew Craig scored a split decision over Chris Leben -- who was classic Leben, charging into punches without abandon.
Now back to the co-main.
Round 1: We start fast and Edgar breaks through with a quick right hook that stuns Oliveira. Edgar gets TD, but it's quickly back to its feet. Oliveira is keeping up with speed-demon Edgar so far, which says a lot. Edgar's right sneaks through again, and he lands another follow-up takedown into O's guard. All Edgar so far. Oliveira trying to lock up an arm, but Edgar slips out and takes it back to its feet. Edgar in with a body punch, and out. Oliveira with front kick, Edgar answers with a left hook. Very fast exchanges, both guys in and out. Picking shots. Oliveira locks up clinch, but pays with an Edgar uppercut and a TD. Edgar lets him stand. :45 to go. Oliveira clinches again, this time getting in a punch before Edgar wiggles out. Edgar's nose is bleeding. Edgar lands another TD for good measure. Bell sounds with E in O's guard. Edgar 10-9. Edgar is faster, but Oliveira was starting to clinch him at end of round and landing from there. Edgar with nearly 50 strikes landed, so says Goldie.
Round 2: Fast exchanges start. Edgar catches kick, but Oliveira fights off a TD attempt. Oliveira working kicks, jab. Edgar with another TD. Let's O stand. Oliveira is blocking Edgar's right hook now, and scores with a counter, but Edgar takes him down again. Oliveira has nothig for these TDs and this will be his demise unless he gets KO or sub. Edgar goes to work on ground, forcing Oliveira to abandon any sub attempts and flee back to his feet. Oliveira is keeping up with Edgar for the most part, landing a kick here, punch there. Edgar is outworking him, though. Oliveira getting a little more desperate. Flying knee attempt and moves in for toe-to-toe exchange, that Edgar gets better of. Edgar with another TD; Oliveira has a guillotine, but bells saves him.
Edgar 10-9, but R2 was A LOT closer. Oliveira made some good adjustments and is hanging in there, just under Edgar's ouput.
Round 3: Edgar tags Oliveira and tries to capiitalize with followup, but the Brazilian is OK. Edgar with TD, but it's back to its feet fast. Oliveira with a right, and he moves in with a flurry that Edgar ducks away from. These guys are keeping a crazy pace. 2:30. Edgar with a sharp combo and Oliveira fires back with a landing combo. Edgar trips moving back, but rolls to his feet. Edgar body-shots and overhand right that stuns O. Edgar stalking. Another overhand right. O looks fazed. Edgar with flying knee. 1:28 to go. Edgar with TD. Hammerfist. Elbow. Oliveira trying to make something happen from bottom, but it ain't happening. Bell. Edgar 10-9/30-27 on my scoresheet, but great effort by the 23-year-old Oliveira, who has plenty of time to make something of his career. Takedowns were the big factor in this. Edgar took them at will.
Frankie Edgar def. Charles Oliveira (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Edgar: "It's been like I was in hell these last three fights. I'm fighting my way back."
12:07 a.m. -- Sensei Seagal is cageside to support his student, Anderson Silva. We're getting a Wolverine trailer now.
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, middleweights
This has been an interesting build-up. The UFC has capitalized on Weidman's confidence. With little resume, this 29-year-old newcomer is suddenly the one who will be able to accomplish what 14 other fighters haven't been able to do -- beat Silva in the Octagon.
Long Island wrestler Weidman (9-0) catapulted into title contention when he took out Mark Muñoz last summer. Of course, Muñoz wasn't a healthy Muñoz, but a lot of people have been willing to overlook this. I am not one of them. I'm just hoping for a competitive fight.
Hype-wise, Silva (33-4) lives up to his billing. He extended his UFC win streak to 16 bouts last October, when he blasted Stephan Bonnar in a non-title bout. This is one of many UFC records The Spider holds. Silva's reaction time is what sets him apart. He sees what's coming well ahead of what his opponents can throw at him. It can be astounding to watch. At this point, there's little argument that he, GSP and Jon Jones are the Holy Trinity of MMA.
12:12 -- Weidman enters to Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Lights dim for Silva's entrance. He's wearing a black t-shirt with the words Anderson Knows. "Ain't No Sunshine" rap begins its play. Silva walks the MGM backstage area, stopping to stretch here and there. Looks relaxed. Enters arena with his standard swagger. Has to be the longest entrance of the night... bordering on three minutes as Weidman tries to stay loose inside the octagon. This is Silva's 11th straight straight defense - a UFC record. Record 12 post-fight bonuses.
12:20 -- Middleweight title hasn't exchanged hands since October 2006. Our previous champ was Rich Franklin. Bruce Buffering with our intros. Our referee is Herb Dean.
Round 1: Weidman takes center. No action until 4:30, when Weidman shoots. He gets the TD. Weidman has top and half guard.
Weidman with body, head punch. Silva is keeping him tied up fairly well. Weidman tries to pass and Silva recovers guard. Weidman backs out, trying to tie up Silva's upkicks. Weidman spins around and goes for heelhook. Silva spinning and out. Silva to his feet. With 2:00 to go. Weidman has Silva on fence, moves in to shoot and Silva circles out. Then he invites Weidman back to fence to try again! Silva has his hands on his hips. Weidman lands a punch, but he's missing the rest. Silva lands high kick. Very cocky game by Silva, but crowd is loving it. Silva's hands are totally down. He motions for Weidman to try to kick his leg. Weidman is like a student. Standing there, taking direction. Bizarre first round. Standing ovation for Silva. Coach Longo to Weidman: "I want you to punch a hole in his f--ing chest."
Round 2: Weidman shoots at 4:30 and is stuffed. Silva pawing off his punches. Weidman misses with high crescent kick. Silva with follow-up outside kick. Weidman moves in with punches and Silva does the ducking until the last one clips him and he goes down! Deafening noise in arena. Unbelievable. Silva has lost. That's it, folks. The reign is over. In replay, Silva pretends to be hurt from a left hook, then ducks a couple more, but gets nailed with another left and goes down. Out cold with follow-up shots. Out cold.
Bizarrest fight I might have ever seen. I don't know what Silva was doing.
Silva is awake. Doesn't know what hit him.
Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva - KO 1:18 R2.
Weidman: "I feel like I was destined for it, but it still felt a little far-fetched."
Some in the crowd booing Silva as he is interviewed in the ring. Silva doesn't demand a rematch. Says he's not retiring but doesn't give any clear indication of his future plans other than that he won't fight for the belt again. Silva: "I worked hard for this fight. I respect my fans; I respect U.S. Chris Weidman was the best tonight. He is the best." Silva seems on the verge of tears. He thanks all again. "This changed my life, my family's life."
Meanwhile, Born in the USA plays on the loud speakers as Weidman is escorted out of the arena.