Nunes vs Rousey | Cruz vs Garbrandt | Dillashaw vs Lineker | Kim vs Saffiedine | Smolka vs Borg | Hendricks vs Magny | Pyle vs Garcia | Carlos Junior vs Vettori | Thatch vs Price | Oliveira vs Means
UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey main card
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It was a shocking scene as Amanda Nunes bounced big bombs off the head of the former champion Ronda Rousey. Herb Dean was forced to stop the fight due to TKO at just 48 seconds of the first round. Nunes retained her title in jaw-dropping fashion due to the standing knockout. T-Mobile Arena went silent after an eruption when Rousey made her patented walk to the Octagon. But after the fight began, Nunes landed a big overhand right and the rest was a clinic of swirling swings before Dean stopped the fight. Rousey, stunned, could barely keep her feet under her as she became aware of what just happened. The win is the third-fastest finish in women’s bantamweight championship history behind Rousey’s 16 and 34-second finishes.
In a truly superstar-making performance, Cody Garbrandt announced his arrival among the UFC’s elite with a unanimous decision win over Dominick Cruz (48-46, 48-47, 48-46). Garbrandt toyed with the champion at times, utilizing a game plan ala Cruz himself, ducking and eluding the champs unorthodox striking attacks. Cruz was only able to unofficially land 25 percent of his total strikes (76/301), ironically less than the 30-percent mark opponents have been able to land on him throughout his legendary career. Garbrandt knocked Cruz down twice, landed the only takedown of the fight and ended up landing 41 percent of his total strikes (85/207). Garbrandt becomes the fourth undisputed bantamweight champion in UFC history.
Using a dominant second round that included an unofficial 103 total strikes and 48 significant strikes, TJ Dillashaw cruised to a unanimous decision, 30-26, 30-26, 30-26, over John Lineker. The match up was an intriguing one as Lineker plotted and tried to unleash his huge power punches, but the elusive Dillashaw kept his distance and landed when he could and then relocated. Dillashaw’s wrestling dominated the fight. He landed five takedowns and finished the fight with 171 total strikes and 71 siginificant strikes to secure the win. After the win, Dillashaw screamed into the mic at champion Dominick Cruz. He told him to stop picking his fights and that he wants his title belt back. Aside from the split decision loss to Cruz, Dillashaw has dispatched six of his last seven opponents.
Dong Hyun Kim took a razor close split decision win, edging Tarec Saffiedine, 27-30, 29-28, 29-28. Kim employed a persistent and aggressive attack in the fight, but was outwrestled and out-struck by Saffiedine in the fight. The TriStar product laded two takedowns compared to just one for Kim and landed 78 strikes to just 58 for “Stun Gun.”
They said it:
Dong Hyun Kim: “I watched the previous fights and I thought that I could win Fight of the Night, but Saffiedine has a great clinch game so it was hard to perform an exciting fight. I want Demian Maia!”
Tarec Saffiedine: “I felt like I touched him more. Outside of holding me against the cage, he didn’t do much.”
Ray Borg used his superior wrestling to ground Louis Smolka five times, controlling the Hawaiian en route to a unanimous decision win, 30-27, 30-26, 30-26. Smolka spent the fight on his back trying to scramble and attack with any submissions he could manage, but it was Borg who landed shots and controlled him to win the fight. Borg improves to 10-2 and Smolka drops his second in a row. Borg missed weight by three and a half pounds for the fight and Smolka receives 30 percent of his purse.
They said it:
Ray Borg: “We were in a scramble and as I took him back, going backwards, he landed on my ankle. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t plant on it, I couldn’t twist, which forced me to take it to the ground every chance I got. I expected it to be a grappling match. I expected him to scramble more and be a little bit stronger. It was a good fight by Louis. I want something right away. I need to make sure my ankle is okay first, hopefully it is, and then maybe Brandon Moreno.”
UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey FS1 prelims
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Johny Hendricks landed six of seven takedowns, but it wasn’t enough to convince the judges as Neil Magny secured a unanimous decision win, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. Hendricks was disappointed with the decision, but Magny was aggressive off his back, landing punches and attempting submissions. He had Hendricks in a triangle choke in the first and again in the third round. Plus, Magny out-struck Hendricks, 96-52 and 50-18 in significant strikes.
They said it:
Neil Magny: “I feel like it went my way. At the end of the day it is a mixed martial arts match, not a wrestling match. I definitely lost the wrestling match in that fight, but I won the striking and jiu jitsu aspects of it and that’s what got me the win today. I had myself winning rounds one and three, for sure. I know in round two I was put in a lot of bad positions and I wasn’t able to get my offense going, but I feel like I was the more offensive guy in both rounds one and three. For the first half of the third round I was moving a lot more, I was pressuring him, I was landing more strikes. He had the one big takedown in that round and I stuffed two of his takedowns in that round. I had a submission attempt that was pretty deep and I just finished strong trying to elbow him for the finish. I want to be on the Brooklyn card, I want to keep on winning, keep busy and keep chasing that gold.”
Antonio Carlos Junior could keep fighting after a few eye pokes from Marvin Vettori, capturing a unanimous decision win, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. Junior landed four takedowns and controlled Vettori for 5:38 of the 15 minute fight to capture the victory.
They said it:
Antonio Carlos Junior: “I knew he was good at grappling. He’s got really good guillotines and foot locks. Jiu jitsu is my expertise. I spent my entire life training jiu jitsu, so if you’re really comfortable on the ground, that’s it. I gave my best and got this win. I was prepared for his guillotine, so I was able to defend it well. There was tension on my neck, but that’s it. I think I did a good job. I don’t have a specific opponent in mind, but I’d like to fight three times in 2017.”
Marvin Vettori: “Life is a learning process. I’m going to take this loss, go back to the gym and work even harder. I really want the UFC to have faith in me. I’ll be back, I’ll be even better and I’ll be champion one day.”
Alex Garcia landed a devastating overhand right to the chin of Mike Pyle, knocking him out instantaneously as he fell back to the canvas. Garcia was winning the majority of the exchanges on the feet and the final blow was an instant highlight. Garcia said after the fight he’s looking to fight more in 2017 and even as soon as UFC 208 in Brooklyn.
They said it:
Alex Garcia: “I feel great. I can fight again next week. I’m good, I’m happy. I saw his game and he’s very good in jiu jitsu, I saw I was able to knock him out on the feet. I’ve seen him fight before and he’s been knocked out before, so I saw that I had the chance to do it too. I want a top-10 or 15 opponent in Brooklyn.”
Niko Price had Brandon Thatch in trouble a few times on the mat and his persistence paid off when he locked up an arm triangle late in the first round to earn the submission win. Price improved to 9-0 with the win in his UFC debut. Thatch now has lost his last four after a 2-1 to start his UFC career.
They said it:
Niko Price: “He’s been submitted the last three fights in a row, so I just take what I see. Honestly, I’m a brown belt in jiu jitsu. I started nine years ago on the ground, I just recently – in the last four years – started standup and I know I have power. If you can’t get the knockout, you have to be prepared for anything and I’m well-rounded. I’m still going through it, this whole entire thing is so surreal to me. I got the call two and a half weeks ago on short notice so I didn’t even get a full training camp. My cardio wasn’t good, normally it’s a lot more exciting when I’m in there, so this time I had to play a bit more cautious. I’m ready for anyone. I don’t care. Short notice, same day. Fly me in on weigh-in day, I’ll make weight on the way there. I’m ready to fight and I want that bonus. Tell Dana White everybody, I want that bonus.”
UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey FIGHT PASS prelims
Tim Means landed a pair of brutal knees to what referee Dan Miragliotta deemed to be a downed Alex Oliveira, bringing a halt to an otherwise entertaining fight. Means landed some big shots in the opening minute and Oliveira bounced back by landing a spinning back kick that sent Means rolling backwards. But Means recovered and ended up on top in the sequence that ultimately lead to the end of the fight.
They said it:
Tim Means: “I thought I had him in a two point stance, I threw a knee because he was trying to block my legs. Stop being a baby and come here to fight. Stop playing that hand touching stuff. I want to see my kids and some leftovers from Christmas. I’m going home to see my wife and eat some leftovers.”