UFC 175: Fighters Whose Stock Rose Most on Saturday Night

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2014

Uriah Hall kicks Thiago Santos during their middleweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 175 on Saturday, July 5, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC 175 has come and gone, and it was a great pay-per-view. With such an important show, it was important that each and every fighter made a good showing for themselves, even if it came in defeat.

Most fans are focusing on the co-main events, in which Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey defended their titles against Lyoto Machida and Alexis Davis, respectively. For Rousey, it was merely another in a line of imperious victories, while Weidman fought back much more resistance from his challenger, arguably looking more impressive as a result.

The middleweight king was one of the bigger winners on the night. Joining him in that regard were the three other stars below.


Chris Weidman

Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chris Weidman gets ready for the start of a middleweight title fight against Lyoto Machida at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Anybody with eyes could see that Weidman was a good fighter even before last night. What he needed to do was completely silence the doubters who questioned the legitimacy of his two wins against Anderson Silva.

Bleacher Report's Chad Dundas felt he more than accomplished that task:

That line of inquiry is no longer valid. Weidman rendered it moot with a convincing all-around performance against the former light heavyweight champion, earning the nod from all three judges, 49-45, 48-47, 49-46.

He shut down Machida’s elusive, counterstrike-oriented offense with a game plan that looked similar to the ones he used against Silva. Weidman quashed the 36-year-old karate master’s unorthodox style with straight-ahead pressure, beating Machida to the punch more often than not and mixing in the occasional takedowns against the fence.

The middleweight champion wasn't dominant in victory. Machida made a late run that nearly turned the fight on its head.

What Weidman did so well was neutralize Machida early in the fight, withstand the onslaught in the fourth round and then recover to take the fifth and ensure that the bout remained his.

Lesser champions would've crumbled where Weidman thrived.


Lyoto Machida

Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Lyoto Machida gets ready for a middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The main event of UFC 175 was like a classic Ric Flair NWA title match. The champion retains, but the challenger still ends up looking stronger in the process.

Machida was ultimately undone by his sluggish start. Some fighters might have figuratively thrown in the towel at that point—Weidman either ends the fight early or dominates the later rounds and cruises to victory.

That didn't happen with Machida, who saved his strongest stuff for the fourth and fifth rounds. Most fight fans can appreciate a loser who goes down swinging until the end:

Machida may have lost a shot at the title, but his reputation was enhanced by Saturday night's defeat.


Uriah Hall

John Locher/Associated Press

There's toughness, which Machida demonstrated, and then there's toughness bordering on madness, which is what Uriah Hall demonstrated.

I'm no doctor, but that toe looks broken, per Bleacher Report MMA (Warning: Images are graphic and NSFW):

Hall tweeted out a picture of himself in surgery early Sunday morning getting the toe repaired:

The word incredible often gets overused, but the fact that he continued fighting—kicking Thiago Santos with the injured toe—and then went on to win the fight was incredible. That's the kind of stuff that gets a fighter remembered forever.

As Sherdog noted, Hall was often been dogged by criticism early in his career about his mental make-up:

Nobody can ever question Hall's toughness ever again.


Rob Font

Jul 5, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Chris Tognoni breaks up the fight between George Roop (red gloves) and Rob Font (blue gloves) durign a bantamweight fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

You can't have a much more impactful debut than Rob Font's during UFC 175. He needed just two minutes and 19 seconds to knock out George Roop with a devastating overhand right:

Every fighter in UFC needs to start somewhere. Saturday night was a chance for Font to make a great first impression on Dana White and the higher-ups of the company, and that's exactly what he did.

Font is already eyeing up a fight with Sergio Pettis, per UFC on Fox:

That probably wouldn't get the 27-year-old on to the main card of a big show, but it would be another stepping stone in his UFC career.