UFC 217 was a mind blowing event that proved that the sport of MMA is indeed the most exciting one. The event witnessed the return of a legend after long hiatus from the game, Georges St Pierre and many other jaw-dropping fights. The expression on UFC commentators Joe Rogan, John Anik and UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier said it all what a spectacle the second ever UFC event at NYC was in Madison Square Garden.
Here are a few pointers that we may or may not have noticed by the fans:
- Three titles change hands: This is the first ever event where three titles were on the line and all the three titles changed hands. This was totally unexpected as the defending champions were the favorites walking into the fight.
Weather Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the ‘bogeywoman’ or not, she had done enough in her career to prove that she was the pound for pound number one female fighter on the planet who could be ranked well above many men on the overall rankings. Going into the fight her opponent Rose Namajunas was the underdog but soon shocked the world dropping the undefeated champion with a series of strikes which forced the referee to stop the fight.
The following fight was between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt. This match was personal with the two bantamweight warrior waiting for a long time to get their hands on each other. Garbrandt came short of victory as Dillashaw’s head kick and a right hook did the trick for a finish.
Georges St Pierre made his return to the Octagon after four years of hiatus from the sport. Luckily for him his middleweight debut was a title fight itself against Michael Bisping. GSP looked bigger than usual and slightly slower but did something that the usually he wouldn’t do. He put the bigger Bisping to sleep with a Rear Naked Choke in the third round with only 37 seconds remaining to become the middleweight champion.
- Michael Bisping becomes the only fighter to share the Octagon with two GOATs – The Count is has one of the only few to have such a long career in the UFC with having 20 wins in the Octagon which is record. But one other achievement that Bisping now holds is becoming the only person to fight Anderson Silva and GSP who are regarded as the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
- TJ Dillashaw becomes the first fighter to win the Bantamweight title twice- Dillashaw was successful last night in his match against Cody Garbrandt by knocking him out in the second round making him the first fighter to win the 135 pounds strap for twice. Not only that, he also became the first fighter to beat two bantamweight champions- Renan Barao and Cody Garbrandt.
- GSP now ties the record of highest wins inside the Octagon with Michael Bisping- Before fighting for the middleweight title last Saturday night; Bisping had the record for highest wins inside the Octagon. But now with a win over The Count, GSP has ties the record with the former middleweight champion.
- GSP has the highest title fight wins in the UFC- GSP now hold a number of records. Not only does he become one of the few to win titles in two weight classes but also has the highest wins in championship fights. He has won the Welterweight title on two occasions and now begins a third title reign. He has a total of 13 wins in championship fights.
- Rose Namajunas wins for the first time via TKO/knockout- Namjunas is one the scariest female fighters in the UFC. She has had decision and submission victories inside the Octagon but never had she knocked out anyone until she finished Joanna Jedrzejczyk via TKO.
- Two undefeated champions face their first loss- Undefeated fighters Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Cody Garbrandt faced their first losses inside the Octagon in the hands of the arch nemesis. Though bough the beat downs were shocking, it is simply the part of the game which made the show a successful one at MSG.
- Joanna has already tied Ronda Rousey’s record of highest title wins- Ronda Rousey became the first female fighter to be signed with the UFC and was granted the inaugural UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. So in her first UFC title fight she entered the Octagon as the champion as was defending it rather than to win it from her opponent. Hence, she has had six title defenses which meant she has had six title fight victories. Joanna on the other hand had to win the title from Carla Esparza which would be considered her first title fight victory and then defended it five times. So she too has six title fight victories. But Joanna has more chances of breaking the record of highest title fight victories by a woman than Rousey who seems to be at the end of her career.
- Rose Namajunas wins via submission- Despite a TKO victory earned by Namajunas, Joanna had tapped due to strikes which went unnoticed by many as the tap wasn’t clear. Joe Rogan made it a note to bring that to the attention of the viewer while calling the fight as well as the post-fight interview.
Joanna tapped the exact same time when the referee intervened to stop the fight due to strikes.
- GSP taps his opponent for the first time in nine years: Rarely do we see the Canadian star finishing his opponent in a fight but always takes the safer option of outclassing his opponents to win a decision victory. But this time GSP finished his opponent for the first time in ten long years. The last time he finished his opponent was when he submitter Matt Hughes to by Arm bar at UFC 79 back in 2007.