UFC 168 is absolutely stacked from top to bottom. In the main event of the evening, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva will battle once again for the UFC Middleweight championship. In the co-main event, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will settle their score as they fight for the Women’s Bantamweight championship. Before the pay per view card begins, however, a stacked undercard will set the tone for the show.
The first two fights on the FOX Sports 1 prelims are Manny Gamburyan vs Dennis Siver, and Siyar Bahadurzada vs John Howard.
Gamburyan (13-7, 4-5 UFC) is currently on a two fight winning streak, and is looking to break into the top 15 with a win over Dennis Siver tonight. Siver (21-9, 10-6 UFC) is looking to rebound from a TKO loss to the streaking Cub Swanson back at UFC 162.
John Howard (21-8, 5-3 UFC) returned to the Octagon in August with a decision victory over Uriah Hall. Siyar Bahadurzada (21-5-1, 1-1 UFC) made his UFC debut in April, 2012, but has only fought once since then, losing to Dong Hyun Kim by unanimous decision.
Manny Gamburyan vs. Dennis Siver
Early takedown from Siver, but Manny attacked with an armbar. Siver defended, but Manny got to his feet. Siver really opened up with his striking, but Manny was holding his own. Manny got a takedown and attacked with a leg lock. Siver defended with heavy ground and pound, and got Manny’s back standing as the round ended. The second round was opened up by Siver’s leg kicks. Manny got a takedown and bloodied up Siver with ground and pound. Siver got back to his feet, and they both exchanged. Manny actually threw a spinning back kick of his own, but it did not land. Manny got another takedown and finished the round with hard elbows. The third round started with good exchanges from both men, but a Siver kick went low. The fight was stopped momentarily. On the restart, Siver hit a takedown and worked some ground and pound. Ultimately, Siver got Manny’s back with a body triangle locked in. Siver rode the back until the final bell.
Official Decision: Dennis Siver defeats Manny Gamburyan by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. John Howard
The first round was mostly contested on the feet in a very close battle. Siyar pushed Howard up to the fence, but was reversed. Neither man really landed anything of worth on the feet. Howard hit a nice takedown with a minute to go in the round. Howard got Siyar’s back standing, but Howard didn’t have underhooks and Siyar got out. The second round Howard came out with some heavy strikes, and nailed Siyar with a huge left hook. Siyar ate the punches and returned with some of his own. Siyar got a takedown at 3:30, but Howard threatened with a triangle choke, and Siyar got up. The pace slowed down a lot after the quick start to round 2. Howard picked up Siyar and held him on his shoulders before slamming him. That was pretty incredible. Third round started with a strong left hook from Howard. Siyar is completely exhausted, and Howard is nailing him with combinations. Powerful takedown from Howard, and he is working heavy ground and pound. Howard got into full mount with 90 seconds to go. Howard got the back, but was content with riding until the bell.
Official Decision: John Howard defeats Siyar Bahadurzada by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Early prelim results:
William Macario vs. Bobby Voelker
Macario started very hot on the feet. He was landing at will, tagging Voelker over and over. Macario was completely picking Voelker apart at range with a strong right jab. A strong overhand right hurt Voelker badly, but Macario stayed patient. Macario got a takedown, but Voelker got right back to his feet. In the second round Voelker was much more aggressive, but could not really hit Macario. Macario got the takedown, but Voelker got right back to his feet. Macario opened up on Voelker with an incredibly efficient combination. Elbows, knees, and punches are landing at will for Macario. The referee stopped the fight momentarily to check on Voelker’s cuts. Voelker’s face is a mess at this point. The fight continued, and Voelker came out aggressively before the round ended. The third round was more of the same from Macario. Macario’s striking was incredible tonight as he utilized a bevy of strikes. Voelker really showed a lot of heart making it to the final bell. This was a dominating performance from Macario, and he is someone to look out for in the future.
Official Decision: William Macario defeats Bobby Voelker by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27. 30-27)
Estevan Payan vs. Robert Peralta
Peralta opened up with some striking, before getting the early takedown. Payan was able to get up a few moments later, but was taken down again. A nice sweep by Payan landed him in side control on top of Peralta. After some ground and pound, Peralta got to his feet as the round ended. The first half of the second round was fought on the feet with Peralta winging wide punches. Payan got a takedown with about 2 minutes to go. After some ground and pound, Peralta got to his feet, and worked Payan in the clinch on the fence. In between rounds, Peralta’s corner told him that he has to get the KO to win. Peralta comes out swinging and gets the KO his coaches just asked for. Fun fight to start the night.
Official Decision: Robbie Peralta defeats Estevan Payan by KO Round 3 (0:12)