UFC 200 Recap

Sage Northcutt started the night off with a thrilling victory. He truly has the heart of a warrior. Northcutt escaped a DEEP armbar and stuck it out to win the fight. I predicted he would win, and he made me look smart. In the first round, Northcutt landed a powerful left leg kick. Near the end of the first, Northcutt landed a nice uppercut. In the second round, Enrique Marin managed to get Northcutt to the ground and locked in a pretty deep armbar, but somehow, someway, Northcutt managed to escape and refused to tap out. Unbelievable grit from Northcutt. In the third and final round, Marin managed to take Northcutt down again but fails. Northcutt lands some sharp elbows until Marin lifts Northcutt and slams him to the mat. Northcutt remains strong, though, and lands a few punches as the fight comes to an end.

T.J. Dillashaw went all three rounds against Raphael Assuncao. He exacted revenge just like I predicted he would and won the fight. In the process, he bloodied Assuncao’s nose and was much more aggressive than Raphael. In the first round, Dillashaw was losing up until the last:30 or so, connecting with a couple of sharp punches to damage Assuncao’s nose. The second round came and went, with Dillashaw connecting with two sharp right hands. Assuncao knocked Dillashaw down in the second round, but he got back up almost instantly.  Dillashaw ended the second round with a cracking straight right. In the third round, Assuncao attempted to take the fight to Dillashaw but just couldn’t execute. In the final minute, Assuncao landed a couple of punches, but it didn’t matter all that much, as Dillashaw had nearly secured the victory. Dillashaw put an exclamation mark on the fight by taking down Assuncao one last time at the very end of the round. Dillashaw with the win via UD.

Johnny Hendricks also went all three rounds, against Kelvin Gastelum. A tough weight cut seemed to take a toll on Hendricks, as he looked noticeably slower than Gastelum. Gastelum was very fluid with his movement and did an excellent job at taking the fight directly to Hendricks. In the first round, Gastelum connected with two hard lefts and a sharp uppercut. In the second round, it was Gastelum again pressing forward and being the aggressor. In the third round, Gastelum connected with another sharp left. Hendricks just seemed to eat that left hand all night. Gastelum went on to win via UD.

An action packed first round took place when Velasquez stepped into the ring with Travis Browne. From the very beginning, it looked like Browne was taking the fight to Velasquez, but as the round progressed Cain just BULLIED Travis Browne, and was on him like a bloodhound. Cain won the fight via TKO. For the first time, we saw wheel kicks from Velasquez, who used those kicks to rock Browne. After that, he just kept applying the pressure and was on top of Browne trying to land punches in between his guard. With time winding down on the clock, Browne was just trying to make it to round two, but the referee saw no choice but to stop the fight and award Caine the victory by TKO.

Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar started out on a great note. The first round lacked no excitement. Aldo landed some HARD shots at the end of the first round and his takedown defense in the second round was impeccable. He was having his way with Edgar but not so much as to say Edgar was being dominated. In the third round, again it was Aldo’s incredible takedown defense that stole the show. Edgar tried pinning him against the cage to seem like he somewhat had things in his control. The keyword for Aldo here was ELUSIVE. He was slipping and dodging punches from Edgar right and left. This is the Jose Aldo people came to see. This is the Jose Aldo, who went all that time without losing a fight. He looked spectacular. In the fifth and final round, it was only a matter of time. Aldo kept on fighting brilliantly; Edgar was bleeding profusely, and McGregor sat in the stands watching. I would’ve loved to be inside McGregor’s mind during this fight. Anyway, Aldo dominated this fight en route to winning via UD. At the end of the fight, as expected, Aldo motions at McGregor, sitting in the first row. McGregor said something to Aldo, probably along the lines of “good job, you still gotta beat me, though. You still gotta beat me, though”. In the post fight interview, Aldo said he still has to “come back and beat this guy. Next time I will beat this guy (motioning at McGregor),” Aldo said through a translator.

Anderson Silva is, in my opinion, the greatest fighter in UFC history. Daniel Cormier is lucky to be fighting at all after Jones was removed from the card. This fight came together in a span of 48 hours. It’s ridiculous. And even though NOBODY from the UFC is reading this, I still want to personally applaud Dana White for making this happen. I want to commend everyone involved in the UFC for making sure Silva had all of his medicals completed, which usually take several days. They did it in one. Daniel deserved to fight, and he got what he deserved in Anderson Silva. Now, granted, Cormier came in as the favorite. The only question was, could he finish off the Spider? Cormier came out on top in the first round, taking Silva to the ground early on and following up with a ground and pound attack. The second round was more of the same. All Cormier. At the end of the second round we saw some life from Silva, but not a ton. In the third round, what did you expect? Yes, more ground and pound from Cormier. Cormier just smothered Silva the whole fight. This is really where there would’ve been a difference if Jones hadn’t been removed. Jones is a Greco-Roman wrestler himself, so we probably would’ve seen more stand-up action had he not been removed from the card. At the end of the final round, Silva really hurt Cormier, but Cormier tied him up in a clinch to prevent any further harm. For a fight taken on 2-days notice, it was better than expected. Major props to both fighters. Congrats to Cormier, as he clearly won the fight via UD.

Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt. What else needs to be said? Lesnar returns after five years. Hunt looks to shut down the hype train. Who’s the favorite? Is it Lesnar, based on popularity? Or is it Hunt, based on experience and probability? It’s been a long time since we saw Lesnar in the Octagon. The buzz was unreal. The hype was out of this world. The fight. Oh yeah, the fight. Right, so the fight was good. That’s an understatement. The fight was EPIC. The first round Brock took Hunt to the ground and almost knocked him out. The second round both circled each other, playing an imaginary chess game. Very tactical. Both fighters were waiting to pick their spots. In the third, it was more of Brock smothering Hunt. Brock performed like the beast that he is and won the fight via UD. Brock gave a shoutout to the police force around the world in his post-fight interview. Class act.

Now, finally, the main event. We’ve been at this all day, and now the culmination of the greatest three-day fight weekend in recent history.

Miesha Tate used to live in an RV. Now she’s champion of the world and had to defend her belt against Amanda Nunes. Here is how it all went down. In the first round of the fight, Miesha worked for a quick takedown, but Nunes didn’t allow her to take her to the ground. She then tried for another, succeeded, but Nunes was up instantly. Nunes then proceeded to hit Nunes with a barrage of punches that left Miesha in big trouble. Nunes then took Tate to the ground and hit her with the rear naked choke to win the fight. Stunning victory for Amanda Tate. I am in total and utter shock, once again. This seems to be a pattern, expecting fighters to win with such confidence and then to be shocked. This is the fight game, where anything can and DOES happen. Amanda Nunes is your new Women’s Bantamweight Champion. This, ladies and gentleman, was very surprising. Miesha is shocked, and so are fight fans. Until next time, this has been a pleasure. Holm vs. Shevchenko on July 23.

 

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