2016 has arguably been one of the best years ever for mixed martial arts and it was never going to end without one last big bang.
The packed-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the setting for the madness on Friday night as it hosted it’s third ever MMA event, UFC 207.
Ronda Rousey blitzed in 48-seconds by Amanda Nunes
In the main event of UFC 207, Ronda Rousey returned after 13 months in exile to face the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes.
Many thought it would be a fairytale to remember, but the reality was anything but. Nunes came out the gates throwing solid, crisp strikes and she found a home early and often on the challenger.
Rousey looked totally out of her depth, eating strike after strike and seemingly totally bewildered by the champion’s combinations.
After just 48-seconds and Rousey in huge trouble, referee Herb Dean stepped in to bring an end to Nunes’ relentless onslaught with Rousey looking finished.
The American stood dazed in the center of the Octagon following the stoppage, but her face was marked up red and her eyes glazed over.
To the total disbelief of all in attendance and those watching around the world, Amanda Nunes had beat the brakes off Rousey in under 50 seconds.
Once the official announcement had been read, Rousey exited the Octagon sharpish as Nunes spoke on the microphone to Joe Rogan afterward.
Having been roundly booed all week by the Las Vegas crowd, the Brazilian had the crowd on their feet clapping as she proceeded to tell them she was the best in world. After that, I don’t think anyone is arguing.
Garbrandt puts on a clinic to win the bantamweight title
Few predicted it would’ve happened the way it did, but the result was the same—Cody Garbrandt is the new UFC bantamweight champion of the world.
Garbrandt put on the performance of a lifetime against a champion who stylistically should’ve been a handful for him.
The man from Team Alpha Male arguably lost rounds one and two, but from the start of the third, the tables turned as Garbrandt began to find a home for his big right hand counter.
After opening a massive cut above Cruz’s right eye at the start of the third round Garbrandt never looked back and proceeded to put Cruz on his backside multiple times in the fourth with big counters thrown of ever slowing Cruz strikes.
When the full five rounds were done, there was no doubt who’d won. Cody Garbrandt was the new UFC bantamweight champion and after having the belt strapped around his waist he wasted little time letting TJ Dillashaw know exactly where to find him.
TJ Dillashaw outclasses John Lineker
Before the title fights could begin, TJ Dillashaw faced heavy hitting John Lineker in a highly entertaining bantamweight fight that didn’t fail to live up the hype. Both men were happy to exchange in the center of the Octagon, but time after time it was Dillashaw who landed both his strikes and takedowns without being hit by a counter.
After dominating all three rounds comfortably, Dillashaw got the nod on the scorecards with all three judges scoring the contest 30-26 to the American.
Speaking on the microphone afterward, Dillashaw made it perfectly clear—he wants his UFC bantamweight title back.
In other news …
Elsewhere on the card, Johny Hendricks slipped to his third straight loss after coming out on the wrong side of a split decision loss to fellow countryman, Neil Magny.
Ray Borg defeated Louis Smolka via unanimous decision in the main card opener, while Dong Hyun Kim picked up a split decision win after a lackluster fight with Belgian, Tarec Saffiedine.
UFC 207 Times and Channels
Amanda Nunes def Ronda Rousey via TKO, Round 1, 0:48 – to retain the UFC women’s bantamweight title
Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-46) to win the UFC bantamweight title
TJ Dillashaw def. John Lineker via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Dong Hyun Kim def. Tarec Saffiedine by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Ray Borg def. Louis Smolka via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Neil Magny def. Johny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Antonio Carlos Junior def. Marvin Vettori via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alex Garcia def. Mike Pyle via KO (Punch), Round 1, 3:34
Niko Price def. Brandon Thatch via submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 4:30
UFC Fight Pass early Prelims
Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means declared a no contest (illegal knee), Round 1, 3:33