UFC 163 is in the books from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has retained his belt. The first round was all Aldo, who landed some crisp punches against an uncharacteristically shy Zombie. Jung came out more aggressive to start the second, but Aldo’s sharp boxing, coupled with a late takedown, quickly stifled his offense. Aldo turned a flying knee attempt into a double leg, but the round saw two restarts from herb Dean. Jung finally came alive towards the end of the round, landing some good shots. Unfortunately, The Korean Zombie appeared to separate his shoulder early in the fourth round, allowing Aldo to open up for the TKO finish.
Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis locked horns in a pivotal light heavyweight tilt. The bout started off, not surprisingly, with a feeling-out process. Machida landed a good high kick and settled into a nice flurry of punches, dropping Davis. “Mr. Wonderful” recovered well, taking down Machida and ending the close first round on top. The second round began tentatively, with both fighters barely missing with strikes. Davis landed an overhand right and Machida, a good straight left. The round ended with Davis scoring another takedown against the fence and following with some good knees. Machida shucked off takedown after takedown in the third round, landing a hard knee in the process. A close bout, but ultimately Phil Davis took home the unanimous decision in a controversial decision.
Cezar Ferreira met late replacement Thiago Santos at middleweight, and it was not to last long. The TUF: Brazil winner Ferreira rocked Santos immediately with a hard left hand, immediately following with a rolling guillotine choke to earn the tap. A highly impressive performance from the Vitor Belfort-mentored Ferreira.
Tom “Kong” Watson faced off with former title challenger Thales Leites at middleweight. The BJJ whiz Leites went to the ground early, taking Watson’s back with ease to land some good punches. Watson eventually got back up to his feet, but Leites got him back down in the second. Mounting Watson, he transitioned to an awkward armbar that never materialized. Watson fought back towards the end of the second. Leites opened Watson up with a punch at the outset of the last round, then scored a nice takedown, dominating Watson on the ground to earn the clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
John Lineker failed to make weight in his bout vs. Jose Maria Tome, and almost lost the fight in the first round when he got rocked by a big right hand from Maria. Maria followed up with a guillotine attempt, but couldn’t complete the submission. Lineker began to come back at the end of the first. The second round saw a different scenario unfold, as Lineker came back to land a huge left hand to the body and finish the fight via TKO son thereafter.
UFC 163 Main Card Results:
UFC featherweight championship: Jose Aldo def. Chan Sung Jung via R4 TKO (ref stoppage)
Phil Davis def. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision
Cezar Ferreira def. Thiago Santos via R1 submission (guillotine choke)
Thales Leites def. Tom Watson via unanimous decision
John Lineker def. Jose Maria Tome via R2 TKO (strikes)
Lowkick Fight Night Awards:
Performance of the Night: Jose Aldo earns the nod here for his neutralizing performance against a tough challenger in Chan Sung Jung.
Finish of the Night: Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira earns the nod here with his shockingly quick submission of Thiago Santos.
Upset of the Night: The award here can’t really go to anyone other than Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis for his controversial but huge win over former 205 lb. champ Lyoto Machida.
Outer Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today Sports Images