MMA Review: #553: UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes

-After the massive success that was 2009’s UFC 100 – which still holds the buyrate record according to some sources – UFC 200 was always going to be an absolute monster of a show, but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted how fraught the build to it would be. The main event was initially set to involve Ronda Rousey – this was back in 2015 of course before she lost to Holly Holm. When it was clear that she wouldn’t be involved, Zuffa turned to their other big draw in Conor McGregor – who then lost to Nate Diaz. No problem, they just booked the Diaz/McGregor rematch which was bound to draw tons of buys, right? That is until Conor was pulled from the event for the heinous crime of refusing to do some press conferences. Finally we ended up with Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier to unify the LHW belt, with a backup of Miesha Tate defending the WBW title against Amanda Nunes and Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fighting for the Interim FW title. A great trio of fights for sure but nothing to truly get the casuals excited.

Cue Brock Lesnar, who’d been retired since 2011 but suddenly decided for some unknown reason – Brock’s always been his own man for better or worse – to get back into the cage at just the right time for the UFC. When his fight against Mark Hunt was announced the hype levels went into overdrive again, and with an insane card to back him up (those three title fights plus Cain Velasquez on the main card, and then a prelim card featuring the likes of Johny Hendricks, Cat Zingano, TJ Dillashaw, Sage Northcutt, etc) it looked like the buyrate record would definitely go. More mayhem was yet to come though and on the eve of the show it was announced that Jon Jones was off the card due to a positive test for PEDs. Absolute fucking chaos would be an understatement. But hey, they still had Lesnar, right? And then they found a replacement for Jones and you know what, just in case you’re reading this in like 2020 or something and don’t have a clue what happened, I’ll get to that later! Let’s get it on.

UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes

07/09/16
Las Vegas, Nevada

-Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. And the canvas is BRIGHT YELLOW like we’re back at a 2005 Cage Rage show or something, crazy stuff. I can’t say I like it but it makes for a unique look at least.

Heavyweight Fight: Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne

Pretty wild to see Cain in an opener but yeah, UFC 200 and all! This was his first fight back following a year on the shelf (sigh) after losing his Heavyweight title in an upset to Fabricio Werdum, and the feeling was that if he was anywhere close to his best he’d smash Browne to pieces, but if all the injuries had finally caught up with him then it was a winnable fight for Travis.

Fight begins and Cain presses forward and glances on a left hand, but Browne clocks him with a right hand that he takes well. Low kicks from Cain and he lands a left hook to try to clinch, but Travis circles out. Another kick lands for Cain and he triples up with a jab. Knee to the body answers for Travis. Single leg attempt from Cain but Browne stuffs it, only to eat some punches from the clinch. Cain works him with some knees to the legs before they separate. Another partial takedown attempt is avoided, but Cain lands with another leg kick. Good left hand from Velasquez. He continues to work the leg kicks and then lands a combo to set up another clinch. Browne breaks with a glancing left, but he takes a wheel kick from Cain and a follow-up combo that has him badly hurt! Travis manages to circle out, but a CLUBBING RIGHT HAND from Cain drops him and he’s in deep shit. Big shots land for Cain from the top but Browne works a good butterfly guard. Cain moves into half-guard and drops some more hard shots, then starts to look for a choke. Browne avoids that and manages to explode to his knees, but Cain remains all over him and drags him back down. More punches from Velasquez before Browne stands up and manages to free himself. Jab lands for Browne and he clips Cain with a left too, but Cain glances on another wheel kick and then opens up with another big combo! Big knee into a leg kick from Cain and Browne’s breathing heavily. Easy takedown follows and from there Cain flattens him out onto his stomach and finishes him off with punches.

Great performance from Cain Velasquez who looked back to his best and took out a dangerous and ranked opponent with total ease. Probably time to give him another title shot then as nobody else has really earned a crack at the Miocic/Overeem winner and shit, I’ve been dying to see Cain vs. Overeem since 2010 and if Stipe wins then that sounds like a great fight too. As for Browne he just hasn’t developed at all as I think everyone was expecting since he hooked up with Edmond Tarverdyan, and given his relationship with Ronda Rousey it’s doubtful he goes back to Greg Jackson so unfortunately he may have peaked in 2013. Fun opener though as you’d expect from a Cain Velasquez fight.

UFC Interim Featherweight Title: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar

With Conor McGregor’s whole move up in weight – how long that’ll last, nobody knows right now – the decision was made to put together an Interim title bout between the former champion Aldo and the #1 contender Edgar with the plan being that the winner would fight McGregor for the title proper, and strangely enough there didn’t seem to be much hype around it despite a myriad of questions – how would that knockout loss to McGregor affect Aldo coming back? Had Edgar improved enough to beat a guy who pretty thoroughly beat him three years ago, or were his wins since then simply him beating overmatched opposition? Personally I was leaning towards Edgar as I thought Aldo might not be the same post-McGregor, especially when you consider how long he’s been fighting and how many wars he’d been in prior to this.

First round begins and it must be said Aldo looks healthier and bigger here than he did against Conor. They circle tentatively to begin with Edgar landing the first leg kick surprisingly enough. Right hands come up short for both men. Left hand lands for Aldo. Not much action in the early going here to be fair. Couple of kicks miss for Frankie, leg kick does land though. Combo backs Aldo up but doesn’t land cleanly. Good combo lands for Frankie and Aldo looks like he’s in full counter mode. Quick trade sees both men glance as Goldberg comically shills Reebok. To be fair Aldo’s yellow shorts are pretty fucking cool. Combo misses for Aldo and Edgar tries a single leg, but the Brazilian stuffs it brilliantly. Pair of leg kicks land for Frankie. Good combo gets through for him too. One minute to go and Edgar continues to press forward. Spin kicks miss for both men and then Aldo tags Edgar with a right hand. Right hands miss for both before Edgar glances on another combo. Nice counter knee to the body connects for Aldo as Edgar leans in. Seconds to go and Aldo glances on a flying knee, then Edgar goes down off a left hand that counters a missed kick but avoids some punches. Big kick to the body ends the round for Aldo. Probably 10-9 Edgar as Aldo didn’t do much until the final minute, but it wasn’t a convincing round.

Second round and Frankie presses forward again, landing a nice leg kick, but Aldo backs out of the way of some more strikes well. Head kick misses for Frankie. Combo glances for Edgar. Counter knee lands again for Aldo and he shrugs off a takedown with some scary ease. Right to the body from Edgar. More forward pressure from Frankie but he’s not actually landing much and he gets clipped coming in again by a left hand. Right hand answers for Frankie though and lands cleanly. Takedown is easily avoided by the Brazilian. Another try sees Aldo somehow stuff it again. His takedown defence is phenomenal. Crowd are almost silent here like a Japanese one or something. Combo glances for Frankie but Aldo makes him pay with a hard right hand. Combo backs Aldo up though in reply. Another right lands for Aldo and again he stuffs the takedown easily. Head kick is blocked by Aldo. Good jabs land for Aldo and he connects on a jumping knee and then shoves Frankie away when he tries the takedown. Round ends there. Aldo’s round for me to even things up.

Third round and Edgar glances on a combo and eats a left hand en route. Leg kick from Frankie but Aldo doesn’t seem affected by them at all. Combination lands for Aldo. Clean right hand follows as Frankie rushes in. Takedown attempt from Edgar and he’s deep on it but somehow Aldo defends it again. Another attempt ends with Frankie muscling him into the fence, and the action slows down massively from there before they separate. Left hand from Aldo catches Edgar coming in. Right hand from Frankie seems to stagger him for a second but he recovers quickly and lands a body kick. One-two from Edgar. Good counter right from Aldo as Frankie comes forward again. His counterstriking has been on point in this fight. Big right hand lands for Aldo. Sweet counter knee lands as Edgar comes in for a takedown attempt, and again the Brazilian defends it masterfully and remains on his feet. One minute to go now and Frankie connects on a right hand. Couple more counters land for Aldo and he connects on the counter knee again too as Frankie looks to shoot. Leg kick ends the round for Aldo. Close round but I’d call it Aldo’s again as he just seemed to be more effective with his offense.

Fourth round and Edgar glances with a pair of lefts. He’s just not doing enough to actually hurt Aldo despite all the activity, though. Good jab from Aldo connects. Frankie looks busted up actually. Couple of body kicks land for Edgar but again they don’t appear to have Jose hurt at all. Stiff left hand lands for Aldo flush. Nice exchange sees both men land. Decent right hand from Frankie. Left hook follows and lands too. Head kick is blocked by Aldo though. Hard right hand answers for Aldo and he lands another right away. Quick combo connects for Aldo, really nice stuff. Takedown is shrugged off with ease by Aldo. Edgar looks cut over his right eye. Beautiful counter right from Aldo and he follows with a snapping jab. Less than a minute to go and again Aldo dodges a combo and lands with a right hand counter. Jumping kick glances for Frankie but Aldo drops him on the counter with a left hand. He’s back up right away though but he can’t answer with anything significant before the round ends. 10-9 Aldo again, but it must be said this isn’t a great fight by any means.

Fifth round and Aldo opens with a chopping leg kick and he lands a right hand counter as Edgar comes in looking to reply. Couple more counters glance for Aldo as he continues to slip Edgar’s shots brilliantly. Heavy left hook lands for Aldo and stops Frankie in his tracks for a second. Head kick glances for Aldo. Another counter left lands for the Brazilian as Frankie continues to push forward with little to show for it. Big counter right buckles Edgar’s knees for a second. He does fire back but still can’t hurt Jose. Takedown is stuffed easily by Aldo. Insane how easily he’s made that look considering it’s Frankie Edgar shooting on him! More counter shots follow as Edgar is now a bloody mess. He swings wild but still can’t get him. Right hand from Frankie sets up a clinch but Aldo shrugs him off. Nice right hand again from Aldo. Glancing combo replies for Edgar. Seconds to go now and the crowd finally make a little bit of noise. Spin kick misses by miles for Edgar. Round ends with Aldo on the retreat. 10-9 Aldo, 49-46 overall for me.

Official scores are 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 all for Jose Aldo. Pretty clear-cut in the end then, with Edgar actually not acting like he’s been robbed as he usually does when he loses a decision, ha. Erm, in all honesty I didn’t enjoy this fight at all. Was it a masterful performance by Jose Aldo? For sure. He showed incredible movement and timing to avoid the majority of Edgar’s strikes, never really got hurt and displayed possibly the best takedown defense I’ve ever seen in MMA outside of GSP, but it just felt like the fight never really got going as Frankie just couldn’t get any significant offense in. Again, props to Aldo as Edgar is a phenomenal fighter and to not take any damage from him is insane, but it didn’t make for a fun fight at all as it felt like he was happy to stay one step ahead throughout, which is fine, but I didn’t see anything here to suggest he could beat Conor McGregor in a rematch. He still doesn’t hit as hard as Conor, still doesn’t have as good a chin and obviously Conor is more of a counter fighter than Edgar. I could be wrong but I’d still go with a McGregor KO if they rematch, and that is of course a big if.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Daniel Cormier vs Anderson Silva

So yeah, when Jon Jones popped for estrogen blockers, it looked like Cormier would be off the card here and the videos of him were genuinely heartbreaking as not only was he missing out on his chance to prove himself as the top fighter in the world at 205lbs rather than the paper champion he’s basically been seen as so far, but he was also losing out on what was likely the biggest payday of his career. Dana White said he’d try to find a new opponent, but on a day’s notice that was unlikely. That is until ANDERSON FUCKING SILVA of all people stepped forward – apparently he’d been in town with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame – and decided he’d be willing to fight, despite being out of shape and a weight class below. So inexplicably we ended up with this fight – non-title of course – and the obvious pick was Cormier as Silva hadn’t been training and in all honesty hadn’t looked like his real self since the Weidman losses of 2013, but damn was it a hell of a rabbit for Zuffa to pull out. Ironic though that Jones would be removed due to a PED test and then be replaced by a convicted PED abuser in Anderson!

Crowd seem firmly behind Silva and they’re treating Cormier as a heel which has to sting given he was the clear babyface in his feud with Jones, but I guess it’s hard to cheer against a legend like Silva at this point, especially in the twilight of his career. On a side note, thank God Reebok changed their colour scheme so we could get Anderson in his trademark black and yellow again.

Round One gets underway and Cormier actually doesn’t look much bigger than Anderson due to the Brazilian’s height. He circles around on the outside as Cormier pushes forward, with both men missing on early strikes. Good leg kick from Silva but Cormier works to get inside and then he shoots and gets Silva down. Full guard for Anderson but Cormier opens up with punches to the body and the head right away. Couple of armbar attempts don’t really work for Anderson and it seems like Cormier’s content to work from inside the guard. Well, most likely because Anderson’s doing a great job of keeping him in there and not letting him pass. Cormier stacks up and then moves into half-guard, where he lands some solid elbows. Crowd begin to boo halfway through the round despite Cormier staying busy, I guess because it’s Anderson on the bottom getting punched. Really good punches get through for Cormier but Silva seems fine. More of the same follows as Cormier remains on top until the round ends. Dull round but 10-9 Cormier, easily.

Round Two and Silva opens with a jumping kick, but it doesn’t land cleanly and DC pushes forward and lands a right hand. Flying knee misses for Silva and Cormier presses in, then catches a kick and dumps him to the ground. Crowd are horrified. Side mount this time for Cormier and he tries to step to mount, but it’s a mistake as Silva catches him in half-guard. Ground-and-pound follows but Silva’s use of the half-guard is preventing Cormier from doing any real damage. Looks like Silva might be going for a sweep, but Cormier’s base is too heavy. More of the same follows until Big John McCarthy calls a stand-up. Silva looks tired. He flicks out some jabs but can’t catch DC and Cormier lands the best shot, a solid right hand. One minute to go and Silva connects on a left knee, and then both men miss some punches that get the crowd into it. Good body kick and leg kick from Anderson. Nice right hand from Cormier answers and he clinches off it much to the disgust of the crowd. Round ends there. 10-9 Cormier again.

Round Three and Silva pushes forward and opens with a leg kick. Jumping kick follows but doesn’t land cleanly. Big overhand right connects for Cormier but Silva seems okay. The upward elbow (!) misses for Anderson though and DC takes him down again, again to a chorus of boos. It’s back to the same half-guard position with Cormier working him over with punches while Silva just works to disrupt the base of the champion. This is hardly the first Silva/Sonnen fight when it comes to excitement. Just over half the round gone and the crowd are outright chanting “stand them up”, which I can’t recall hearing since UFC 100 and Lesnar vs. Mir. Two minutes to go and indeed McCarthy stands them up. Cormier presses forward as little happens, and then he lands a leg kick. One minute to go and Silva starts to dance around and chase Cormier down, and he lands a body kick that hurts DC! Silva begins to swarm, but Cormier clinches with him to slow that burst down and that’s it. 10-9 Cormier, 30-27 Cormier.

Judges have it 30-26 all round for Daniel Cormier. Wouldn’t have called a 10-8 in there myself but it doesn’t matter really. Dull fight but if we’re honest and you step back a second, Cormier was always onto a loser here – he was fighting one of the biggest legends in MMA history so he was always going to be the heel with the crowd, and he could hardly risk standing with Anderson as a loss would’ve been absolutely devastating for his career. So he took the safe and smart route but it made for a boring fight overall. Massive respect to Anderson for taking the fight on late notice and he did what he could, but overall you’ve got to blame Jon Jones for this whole fucking debacle and really Cormier, Silva and the UFC did what they could to salvage it. In closing, fuck Jon Jones for practically ruining UFC 200, and I hope in time everyone can accept Cormier as the real champion now because Jones is obviously a cheat and a pretty bad human being in general. I knew I was right to have a bad feeling about him back in 2010!

Heavyweight Fight: Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt

Not going to lie, when Brock Lesnar retired back in 2011 I was sort-of glad to see him go simply due to the amount of annoying fans he brought with him – despite him always making for an awesome spectacle – and given his current status with the WWE I certainly didn’t expect to see him return to the UFC. To say this was a massive boon for Zuffa to be able to bring him in would be the understatement of the century. UFC needed a big drawing card for this show and of course Lesnar was it. Personally I didn’t think he could win though, especially when Mark Hunt was announced as his opponent. Was Hunt beatable? For sure, he’s not that good off his back and Lesnar’s wrestling would always be a problem for him, but I also remembered how Lesnar reacted to taking punches throughout his UFC career previously, and with years on the shelf behind him too, I couldn’t see anything but a Hunt walk-away knockout. Awesome matchmaking though, it must be said!

Crowd are absolutely AMPED for this. Lesnar uses his old UFC entrance theme Enter Sandman rather than his WWE track and of course it’s a thousand times better. And he’s apparently representing Canada these days, which is odd as fuck. He’s also in INCREDIBLE SHAPE, looking much leaner than in his first UFC run and probably more muscular too. More on THAT later, ha.

Round One and Brock circles on the outside as Hunt looks chilled in the centre of the cage, waiting to strike. Barely any action in the first minute before Lesnar actually lands a nice leg kick. Wild swing misses for Hunt. Another leg kick connects for Brock. Big shot follows and he gets deep on a double leg eventually and manages to dump Hunt onto the ground. Hunt gives his back in order to get to his feet, but Brock’s still on him and he looks for the takedown again. Hunt works to defend, using an underhook and leaning against the fence, but Brock completes the single leg and lands in side mount. Good control from Lesnar and it looks like he’s setting up for a kimura on the left arm. Hunt rolls onto all fours but Brock rides him and then begins to drop some really thudding punches to the side of the head. Knee to the body lands too. More clubbing punches to the head get through and Hunt’s in trouble. He manages to escape to his feet, but Lesnar shoots instantly and slams him down. Full mount from Brock this time but he can’t open up with enough of a flurry to finish him before the round ends. 10-9 Lesnar, bordering on a 10-8 I’d say.

Round Two and Hunt’s looking to cut the cage off more this time, throwing some feints as Lesnar circles on the outside. Jab misses for Lesnar. Big overhand right lands for Hunt but Brock takes it really well, partially deflecting it with his arm. Hunt continues to stalk forward but he isn’t really throwing all that much, probably for fear of the takedown I guess. Takedown attempt from Lesnar but Hunt sprawls this time and avoids it well. Another half-shot is avoided too. Hunt needs to make him pay for that but he doesn’t really, glancing on a couple of shots. Right hand lands to the head for Hunt but again Brock takes it well enough. This is a dull round actually. Another takedown is avoided by Hunt. Right hand misses for Brock and he looks tired to me. Short uppercut glances for Hunt. Just over a minute to go in the round. Big overhand right misses twice for Hunt. Lesnar’s backing up now for sure. Takedown attempt again from Lesnar and this time he drives Hunt into the fence, but Hunt again defends it and the round ends with Brock leaning on him against the fence. 10-9 Hunt I guess but it wasn’t a convincing round, more that Brock didn’t do much at all really.

Round Three and Big Dan Miragliotta actually gives both men a warning for inactivity coming out. Hunt stalks forward again to begin and he lands with a combo, but Brock ducks under and gets a single leg and this time he manages to get Hunt down, working almost immediately into full mount for good measure. Punches follow and Hunt’s in trouble. Lesnar’s ground-and-pound is as nasty as you’ll find in MMA really. Even his shorter punches seem to be doing a lot of damage. Hunt gets back to half-guard but Brock remains in firm control. Brutal punches begin to get through and Hunt is clearly hurting, but defending himself enough to stay in the fight. Full mount again for Lesnar with two minutes to go. He’s got Hunt’s head wrapped up now and from there he opens up with some heavy caveman punches to the ears and the side of the head. Hunt manages to get back to half-guard but Lesnar’s quite happy to work him over from there too, and that’s the fight pretty much. 10-8 round for Lesnar so call it 29-27 for me.

Judges have it a unanimous decision for Lesnar, 29-27 all round. Okay, so let’s get the positives out of the way first. It wasn’t a bad fight by any means and it was certainly better than Cormier/Silva even with the crappy second round; basically it was a perfectly acceptable HW fight far better than a lot of HW fights we get in the UFC but worse than the better ones this year. Lesnar looked excellent and won in exactly the fashion you’d imagine him to be able to beat Mark Hunt, that being taking him down and beating the shit out of him on the ground, and coming off five years on the shelf that’s impressive. Onto the negatives – and I’m glad I’m writing this like a week late as if I’d done it earlier I’d have been waxing lyrical about Lesnar’s performance – obviously this week it’s emerged that Brock failed both an out-of-competition drug test as well as the post-fight drug test, both for estrogen blockers which suggests he was probably using steroids at some point. It’s likely he’ll be hit with at least a two-year ban which means he’s probably done with MMA and in a lot of respects it renders his performance and this whole fight largely meaningless, except it’s not because Mark Hunt got beaten up and while he was paid well for it, is it really worth it when you’re fighting a roid monster who’s also making a lot more money than you? I don’t know, and for as much as the UFC pulled a major coup by getting Brock onto the show and making it one of the biggest PPV’s of all time, they’re probably going to take a lot of slack too now because people will say they knew Brock was on the juice and allowed him to fight anyway. The whole thing is sad and yet another mess for them to somehow clear up.

UFC Women’s World Bantamweight Title: Miesha Tate vs Amanda Nunes

When Miesha won the title back in March, I don’t think anyone would’ve expected this match as her first title defense. At the time there were rumors of a return for Ronda Rousey to challenge her old enemy, but the most likely fight looked to be a rematch with the woman she dethroned for the title in Holly Holm. Instead, she was matched with Brazilian Nunes – a fast starter and ruthless finisher coming off three wins in a row – while Holm was faced with kickboxer Valentina Shevchenko a little later in the month. My guess? Miesha’s camp were calling for the Nunes fight I’m thinking because they figured she was an easier opponent than Holm, and Zuffa went with it as Miesha is a marketable champ and Holm’s management are a real pain to deal with. Of course, nobody was expecting the fight to take the main event slot, but fair play to the UFC for putting the title match on last and it didn’t matter too much as obviously Lesnar was there to draw the big buyrate anyway. My pick? I thought Miesha could weather an early storm as she’d done against the likes of Sara McMann and Liz Carmouche and finish Nunes off on the ground in the later rounds.

Round One begins and they circle around with Tate staying way on the outside. Kick misses for Miesha. Jab lands for Nunes as does a leg kick. Good counter right lands for Nunes as Tate throws a right hand. Leg kick is caught and Miesha takes the challenger down, but she pops right back up. Miesha tries another single leg but Nunes stuffs that one and exits with a right hand. Crowd are pretty deflated post-Lesnar, unfortunately. Good right from Nunes and she shrugs off another clinch. Another attempt sees Nunes throw her to the ground and then glance on an illegal knee. Referee Herb Dean ignores it though as it didn’t totally land and Miesha doesn’t fake it like Josh Koscheck used to. Big combo lands for Nunes cleanly though and Miesha is in big trouble. Right hand and a hard jab follow and Nunes is in predator mode. Big combo has Miesha absolutely reeling and she can’t take the challenger down either. Nunes is all over her here. Big shots land for the challenger and Miesha is covering up and she’s down! Crowd seem almost horrified as the champ pops back up, but she’s in deep shit here and Nunes is ALL OVER HER like a bad rash. Big knee and another flurry connects and Miesha is BUSTED UP. Holy shit. She shoots, but ends up on all fours and Nunes spins and takes the back with both hooks! Tate gets free of one hook but eats some thudding hammer fists and Nunes slaps both hooks in again. Choke is SUNK and Miesha taps there, Jesus Christ.

Did not expect that at all if I’m honest but to be fair, in hindsight maybe it should’ve been exactly what to expect – Miesha takes damage in almost all of her fights (vs. McMann, Zingano, Carmouche, etc….) and she was up against probably the quickest starter in the division outside of Ronda Rousey and an absolutely ruthless finisher too. So where she was able to recover when McMann hurt her early, Nunes just didn’t give her a chance at all and took the belt in violent fashion. It’s weird though because no offense to her at all, she’s obviously a tremendous talent, but I don’t really buy Nunes as the best fighter in the division – I guess it’s because she’s only about eighteen months off taking a beating from Cat Zingano – and right now Women’s Bantamweight feels a lot like Light-Heavyweight did in the post-Liddell but pre-Jones years with the title switching hands a lot and no single fighter being truly dominant. I could see, for instance, Julianna Pena planting Nunes on her back and pounding her out and I could definitely see Rousey stepping in there, dumping the Brazilian on her head and hitting another armbar to reclaim the title. Nunes could well surprise me though, who knows? MMA is crazy sometimes. Oh, and for those counting, even if you disregard Aldo’s Interim title, we went for a TWO DAY STRETCH with no Brazilian UFC champs until Nunes did this. It’s like there has to be one! And for those who don’t follow the background of the fighters, we’ve officially got our first openly gay UFC champion now and the best thing is, I don’t think anyone actually cares because Nunes is a badass fighter. Which is how it should be. Fight was super exciting if one-sided, but a finish was just what we needed after the last three fights so bravo to Nunes.

-Show ends with a ton of plugs for the upcoming shows of which there is a TON. Can’t wait for UFC 201 in particular, hopefully UFC champion Tyron Woodley! And we finally close with a highlight reel.

Final Thoughts….

Tough show to rate, really. On one hand, it’s a must-see for the spectacle of the Lesnar fight and the fact that it was probably the UFC’s biggest show ever with their most loaded card, but on the other hand, in terms of the actual fighting it really underwhelmed. Cain’s opener was fine and the main event was fun as was Lesnar/Hunt, but for me Cormier/Silva was pretty boring even though I can totally understand why, and while I can appreciate Aldo/Edgar for the brilliance of Jose’s performance it wasn’t exactly an exciting fight, you know? I’d usually say three good fights out of five and nothing truly horrible is worth a thumbs up, so yeah, it is, but this was clearly the worst show of the weekend (!) and a bit of a letdown considering what was expected. But hey, that’s MMA.

Best Fight: Velasquez vs. Browne
Worst Fight: Cormier vs. Silva

Overall Rating: ***

Until next time,

Scott Newman:
NewmanMMA@gmail.com