Rose Namajunas Steals the Show at UFC 217

UFC 217 was the craziest night of the year for fighting. Not because of just the results, but how the results happened. The atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was electric and made the UFC 217 fight card unforgettable.

Hendricks and Paulo Costa kicked off the main card and it was clear the size advantage leaned towards Costa. Costa looked noticeably bigger standing next to Hendricks as even the commentators went on to say how Costa looked like a light heavyweight and Hendricks should be at welterweight. Hendricks was able to land some shots in the first round, but Costa never looked to be in danger as he got the TKO victory over Hendricks in Round 2.

In the next fight, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was able to keep Jorge Masvidal from getting inside to land heavy shots on Thompson. Thompson used incredible footwork and unorthodox attacks to keep Masvidal off balance and earn the unanimous decision. After watching a very talented striker in Masvidal struggle to be comfortable against Thompson credit should go to UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for being able to defend his belt twice against this awkward style. After this was where things started to become absolutely unthinkable.

Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyck

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In the words of the light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was on the call for UFC 217, “THUG ROSE! THUG ROSE! THUG ROSE!” This fight left everyone at a loss for words. No one expected this performance from Rose over Joanna and especially in this fashion. Most people didn’t give Namajunas any chance of taking out the “strawweight queen”. For those that did think Rose had a realistic chance they figured it would be through a grappling exchange where Rose has a knack for being able to take her opponents back. I don’t think anyone except Rose and her coaches Trevor Whitman and boyfriend Pat Barry thought that they could put Joanna away from the feet in Round 1! When Joanna fell to the devastating left hook the crowd sat speechlessly and when referee Big John McCarthy broke up the onslaught MSG absolutely erupted. Credit to Rose on a remarkable performance. This could have been the card and people would have went home happy, but there was still two more title fights on the card.

TJ Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt

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This was the fight I feel most fight fans were looking forward to the most on the card. Everyone was invested in the bad blood between the two, their teams, and the unique skill set both posses. In the first round, both were landing shots, but Garbrandt tended to land the harder shots. At the end of round one Cody dropped TJ and TJ was able to protect himself to get out of round one. Going into the second round TJ was able to land a head kick on Cody to rock him. Cody was able to recover until later in the round Dillashaw was able to land a right hand that dropped Garbrandt and after some ground pound was stopped by the referee. After the fight, both fighters embraced and showed true class as TJ Dillashaw was now the new bantamweight champion of the world.

Georges St. Pierre vs Michael Bisping

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Now for the return of Georges St. Pierre as no one really knew what to expect going into this fight. Was Georges going to look like the Georges of before or was ring rust going to be real? Answer: He looked better than he ever did before. St. Pierre was able to win round one with a good mixture of his top-level wrestling and staying behind his jab. In round two we started to see some momentum swing towards Bisping, and Georges looked to be slowing down. In round three St. Pierre was able to land a short left hook and after some ground and pound St. Pierre was able to take Bisping’s back and choke him unconscious. All of Madison Square Garden was on their feet as now everyone knew GEORGES ST. PIERRE IS BACK!

 

Biggest Upcoming Fights to Close out 2017

With the end of the year wrapping up, the UFC has put together a great list of Pay Per Views as well as free fight nights to finish the last quarter of the year. Below is a list of all the best fights to finish off the end of the year.

UFC Fight Night Gdansk, Poland Oct 21th

Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till

UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo, Brazil Oct 28th

Derek Brunson vs. Lyoto Machida
Demain Maia vs. Colby Covington

UFC 217 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Nov 4th

UFC-217-Cody-Garbrandt-vs-TJ-Dillashaw-1

Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre
Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas
Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal

UFC Fight Night Norfolk, Virginia Nov 11th

Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis

UFC Fight Night Sydney, Australia Nov 18th

Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura

UFC Fight Night Shanghai, China Nov 25th

Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum

UFC 218 Detroit, MI Dec 2th

frankie max

Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis

UFC Fight Night Fresno, CA Dec 9th

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

UFC Fight Night Winnipeg, Canada Dec 16th

dos anjos vs lawler

Robbie Lawler vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas

UFC 219 Las Vegas, NV Dec 30th

Main Event TBD
Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera

The “Money Fights” Everyone Wants

These days of the UFC are much different than any other time in the company’s short history. A lot of people can take credit for the change in time including the new ownership in WME. Ultimately, the new age of MMA has become the “money fights” or “super fights”. A couple factors such as Conor McGregor making massive money, for MMA standards, with this method has led to fighters following his footsteps as well as, WME just purchasing the UFC for 4.2 billion dollars and they need to find a way to make sure they get a return on their investment. These are some super fights we could possibly see in the future.

Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz

Conor Nate fight 2

Before everyone starts flipping out, I know and I agree. Tony Ferguson should be and I believe will be the next fight for Conor McGregor. It is time for Conor to fight the true #1 contender and I believe Conor knows that. There has not been another MMA fighter who has always known the proper step to take next in their career like Conor. With that being said, the Conor vs Nate fight will never go away. That trilogy fight will always be there and always will be a huge sell. Now if Conor is to face Tony Ferguson next, win or lose he can fight Nate after for a huge “money fight”. If Conor skips the Ferguson fight to fight Nate and happens to lose the Tony Ferguson fight will not be there anymore and neither will the belt. Quite frankly, Nate Diaz vs Tony Ferguson would be an awesome fight, but just is not going to do the same Pay per view buys that a Conor McGregor vs Tony Ferguson fight would do. In conclusion, I think it is smartest for all parties involved (Conor and UFC) to do the Tony Ferguson fight first to restore order in the lightweight division, which could still probably do 1.5 million pay per view buys and then do the Nate Diaz trilogy “money fight” that could eclipse the two million mark.

Demetrious Johnson vs Bantamweight Champ

DJ wit Dana

After Demetrious Johnson’s record-breaking title defense, I think everyone wants to see how he would match up with the best Bantamweights in the world. What is an interesting caveat to this is that both of these guys have openly said they would drop down to 125 pounds to fight Demetrious. Whether this future fight with one of these two guys happens at 125, 135 or even a catchweight fight of 135 pounds it is a fight everyone would be intrigued about. Will it happen, I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. After the fight, Demetrious had mentioned how he thought the winner between Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis would be the rightful next contender. There were rumors that came out via the San Francisco Chronicle that Cejudo had suffered a broken ankle escaping the California wildfires, but MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani reported that Cejudo just suffered burns and should be able to compete come UFC 218 in Detroit. Depending on how things play out, I believe that Demetrious will fight the winner of this fight, while the winner of Cody Garbrandt/ TJ Dillashaw may do another title defense against the Dominick Cruz/Jimmie Rivera winner, but after each division gets sorted out I feel the UFC will push for the super fight between Demetrious Johnson and whoever is the Bantamweight champion.

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier

DC VS STIPE

Right now with the possible long-term drug suspension looming for Jon Jones who was going to make the move to heavyweight, I would love to see Cormier move up to heavyweight and make this fight! At light heavyweight Cormier has nothing else left to prove. Sure, he could face a rising Volkan Oezdemir, but what does that do for his legacy. For Cormier to cement himself as one of the best clean fighters this sport has ever seen a win over Stipe would be exactly what the doctor ordered. Cormier is no stranger to the heavyweight division and tends to walk around at about 230 pounds if not heavier. Come fight nice Stipe Miocic usually weighs about 240-245 pounds. In Cormier’s career, he has won multiple fights in heavyweight division over top level competition such as Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Josh Barnett.

Stipe KO

For Miocic, this may be the name he needs on his resume as heavyweight champ to launch him into the general public’s eyes. Miocic has now already beaten Fabricio Werdum, Allistair Overeem, and Junior Dos Santos, which are all the top contenders in the heavyweight division. The only people that he already has not beaten would be Francis Ngannou if he is able to get by Overeem, and Cain Velasquez if Cain is able to get healthy. With Cain being teammates with Cormier I think that is the only possible roadblock in making this fight. If Cain continues to stay sidelined though there a real possibility of Stipe and Cormier squaring off. In my opinion, this fight makes a lot of sense from both camps.

Whether as a fan you like it or not, “money fights” or super fights are the new way of matchmaking in the UFC. I think all three of these fights are legit fights that not only the general public will be interested in, but also the die-hard fans of the UFC. Will they happen, who knows, but they do all make some sense and I could realistically see them all being made in the future.