LAS VEGAS -- Anderson Silva taunted Chris Weidman during their UFC middleweight title fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The champion danced, darted, applauded, laughed and mocked his challenger. He acted like he had absolutely nothing to fear from his opponent at UFC 162.
And then Weidman knocked him silly.
In one of the most astounding finishes in the history of mixed martial arts, Silva, the longest-reigning champion in UFC history, was done in by his own hubris.
Silva (33-5) mocked Weidman, taunted him, even kissed him at the end of the first round. And then, when he dropped his hands, stuck his chin forward and dared Weidman to punch him, Weidman obliged. The undefeated Long Islander wobbled Silva with a punch, dropped him with another and then landed several more punches and knocked him cold.
With that, a reign of six years and nine months was over. So was the longest win streak in UFC history at 16. Weidman (10-0) became the new UFC middleweight champion at 1:18 of the second round.
"I felt I was destined for this," said Weidman, a former NCAA All-America wrestler at Hofstra. "But it felt a little farfetched. I felt like it was going to happen in my head. He's the unbeatable Bruce Lee of mixed martial arts."
Weidman admitted to being ticked off by Silva's antics but also knew to keep his cool.
"It (ticks) me off when someone like that does it to me, and I knew I was going to creep on him little by little and then when he was sleeping, get him," he said.
Silva was as gracious in defeat as he was disrespectful during the fight.
"Chris is the best now," said the 38-year old native of Curitiba, Brazil. "I worked for a long time. I'm tired. I no longer fight for the belt."
The co-feature bout was one of the most entertaining MMA fights of 2013. Fan favorite Frankie Edgar and upstart Brazilian Charles Oliveira went back-and-forth in 15 minutes of frenetic action. In the end, Edgar, a former UFC lightweight champion, won a unanimous decision.
The judges' scores were 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27 in favor of Edgar. But they didn't do justice to how well the 23-year old Oliveira (16-4, 1 no-contest) fought.
He kept Edgar on his toes with submission attempts and matched Edgar blow for blow. But he couldn't quite match Edgar's pace, and Edgar scored enough often enough with his boxing to seal the victory.
It was a pivotal win for Edgar (16-4-1), who had lost each of his past three fights, all title fights, by razor-thin decisions.
"It was just as hard as a five-round fight," said Edgar, a native of Toms River, N.J. "I was impressed with his toughness. I thought I had him hurt and I thought I'd finish him in the third, but he just kept going."
In a bout so lackluster the crowd at the MGM Grand spent most of the final round doing the wave, Tim Kennedy of San Luis Obispo, Calif. plodded his way to a decision over Roger Gracie of London.
Gracie (6-2), who was making his UFC debut, was looking to become the first member of the famed Gracie clan to win a UFC fight since his Royce Gracie in 1994. But Kennedy neutralized his taller foe in the clinch and outwrestled Gracie to take the decision. The judges' scores were 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Kennedy (16-4), who won for the fourth time in his past five fights.
In a middleweight fight, Mark Munoz of Lake Forest, Calif., made his first fight in a year count with an impressive performance against Tim Boetsch of Sunbury, Penn. The judges' scores were 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Munoz.
Boetsch (16-6) got off to a strong start and appeared to have the first round well in hand, but Munoz rallied and used sharp striking to take the round from two of three judges. In the second, Munoz, a 2001 NCAA wrestling champion at Oklahoma State, turned up the heat with his grappling as he took down Boetsch often and punished him with ground and pound while there. A similar effort in the third round was so strong that one judge scored it 10-8 in Munoz's favor.
"It feels amazing right now," Munoz said. "I'm living proof of what you can do with determination and desire."
Munoz won for the fifth time in his past six fights; Boetsch has dropped two in a row.
The main-card opener was a thrilling featherweight slugfest as Cub Swanson of Palm Springs, Calif. rallied to defeat Germany's Dennis Siver via third-round TKO.
Siver (21-9) got the best of the first round, using an array of kicks to keep Swanson (20-5) at bay. Swanson adjusted in the second round, though, and the fight swung in his favor with a picture-perfect judo throw. In the third, a brutal left-right combo dropped Siver, then Swanson followed with several punches on the ground before referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 2:24.
After the bout, Swanson made his case for a shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr. to the fans.
"I have to make my name for the fans," Swanson said. "I have to prove myself worthy of a shot. Do you think I earned it?"
The crowd roared its approval.