UFC 210: The night of goodbyes, upsets and controversies.

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UFC 210 went down on 9th April at KeyBank centre in Buffalo New York. This was, so far, one of the most interesting and unorthodox event of 2017. The main event of the card saw Daniel Cormier successfully defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson.  In the co-main event Gegard Mousasi defeated Chris Weidman by a very controversial TKO.

Prelims (UFC Fight Pass)

Undercard (UFC Fight Pass)

Lightweight: Gregor Gillespie def. Andrew Holbrook via KO in Round 1 at 0:27.

Lightweight: Desmond Green def. Josh Emmett via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

Women’s Bantamweight: Katlyn Chookagian def. Irene Aldana via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Flyweight: Magomed Bibulatov def. Jenel Lausa via unanimous decision (29-26×3)

Undercard (FOX Sports 1)

Featherweight: Myles Jury def. Mike De La Torre via TKO in Round 1 at 3:30.

Welterweight: Kamaru Usman def. Sean Strickland via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Featherweight: Shane Burgos def. Charles Rosa via TKO in Round 3 at 1:59

Light heavyweight: Patrick Cummins def. Jan Blachowicz via majority decision (29-28×2, 28-28)

Main Card

  1. Charles Oliveira chokes Will Brooks.

The main card was kicked off by a lightweight encounter in which Charles Oliveira went one on one against Will Brooks. Both the fighters entered the octagon on a low note, as both had given disappointing performances in their last fights.

The Fight:

The fight never saw much action. After trading a shot or two, Oliveira hurled Brooks on ground. The BJJ expert then proceeded to work on a submission. Brooks attempted to scramble out  and for a second it even looked like he was successful, but the reality was otherwise. As soon as Will got back on to his feet he realized the devil was literally on his shoulder, but by the time he could figure out, it was too late. Oliveira had already locked- in a standing rear naked choke leaving Will with no other option than tapping out.

What’s Next and Thoughts:

Oliveira made it pretty clear that he wants to move back to featherweight division. He said that he felt at home at that weight class. He even spoke about the problem of missing weight in past and said that it won’t happen now as he had more professional guys backing him now. With this win Oliveira snapped a two fight losing streak and improved his record to 22-7(1).

Will entered the fight as a favorite, in fact he was the hottest favorite on the main card. This loss marks the end of the hype around him. This loss also throws him away from the list of contenders  & marks the beginning of a losing streak . His record falls to 19-3.

Amazing performance by Oliveira. He has clearly made a statement in his lightweight return. But he plans on to move back to featherweight division, a move I doubt anyone would appreciate. Oliveira has missed weight too many times in the featherweight division to be trusted with another shot. He’s clearly a natural lightweight and should stick to lightweight division instead of harming his body by cutting excessive weight.

  1. Thiago Alves decisions Patrick Cote

The next fight on the card was a clash of welterweights as former Middleweight  title challenger Patrick Cote went one on one against former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves. The two entered the fight in an attempt to bounce back from disappointing performances .

The Fight:

Alves controlled the fight from start to end.  Countering the heavy hits of Cote, managing timely low kicks and landing perfectly timed takedowns ,Alves did it all. The match saw major action in third round as Cote started to push the action in an attempt to secure a finish win. However he would end up on the wrong side of a takedown of Alves, which allowed Alves to land vicious ground for pound, stealing the round and the fight in the process. The fight went to the judges and Alves walked out with the unanimous verdict.

What’s next and thoughts:

Alves delivered a very good performance against Cote and successfully managed to bounce back from a very disastrous 1 fight lightweight run. The win snapped a two fight losing streak and also proved that Alves can still deliver in fights.

Cote announced his retirement from MMA after the fight. He first dropped his gloves in the centre of the octagon and when Joe asked him whether he was retiring Cote said yes.

I doubt anyone expected that Cote will announce his retirement from MMA. I don’t know what to make out of it. Alves on the other hand gave an amazing performance. He was a heavy underdog in the fight and was expected to succumb in a round or two. But he not only survived the heavy hits of Cote he also grabbed the win. With this win Alves improves his record to 22-11. Cote’s record with this loss falls to 23-11.

  1. Cynthia Calvillo taps Pearl.

The fight between the two straw-weights was a battle of two hot prospects. Both fighters entered the octagon with heavy momentum behind themselves. Gonzalez entered the fight riding a six fight win streak and Calvillo entered the fight with a perfect record of 4-0.

The Fight:

Calvillo dominated the fight from start to end. Calvillo on feet landed flurry after flurry to confuse Gonzalez before landing perfectly timed takedowns. On ground she took  control and tried  to get submissions. Surprisingly despite experiencing failure on ground Gonzalez repeatedly tried landing  takedowns, giving her back to Gonzalez. The fight saw the same pattern for two rounds before Gonzalez locked in the rear naked choke in the round 3, which forced Gonzalez to tap.

What’s next and thoughts:

Gonzalez couldn’t make a successful debut but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have anything else left to offer to the UFC. She is beyond doubt very talented and the fact that she holds a submission win over multiple time Post Fight Bonus award winner Cortney Casey, proves she is talented enough to stay in the promotion. Gonzalez should probably fight The Ultimate Fighter 23 contender, JJ Aldrich.

Calvillo proved it that she isn’t just a hype train but she’s a legit contender. In less than two months she has gone 2-0 in the UFC, winning both fights by absolute domination. Her transitions on ground and her ability to grapple were way too good to be true. I guess she should face Juliana Lima next.

With this Calvillo improves her record to 5-0 whereas Gonzalez’s record falls to 6-2.

  1. Gegard Mousasi knees Weidman to victory.

In the co-main event former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman locked horns against Strikeforce middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi. Both fighters locked horns to stay relevant in the title picture. Weidman entered the fight on a two fight losing streak. He was in a must win situation as the former champion hadn’t tasted win since losing his title back in December 2016. Gegard Mousasi entered the fight with heavy momentum behind him.  He was on a 4 fight win streak which included a win over Uriah Hall, the last person to beat Mousasi.

The Fight:

This was the most controversial fight of 2017. The opening round saw the two trade shots before Weidman started landing heavy takedowns. Mousasi successfully scrambled out from the holds of Weidman but that wouldn’t stop the All American from repeatedly launching takedowns. Mousasi landed occasional shots but that wasn’t enough for him to get the nod, as Weidman took the round on most scorecards.

However  round 2 followed a different story as Mousasi this time round landed a few hard shots and rocked Weidman. The back and forth  continued for over 3 minutes before Weidman got caught in a series of heavy knees, while going for a takedown. The shots landed looked illegal, hence the ref decided to stop the fight in between giving Weidman some time to recover. But later it was found out that the blows weren’t illegal, hence the fight was stopped over there itself and Mousasi was awarded the win by the way of TKO.

What’s next and thoughts:

The stoppage was one of the most controversial TKO stoppages of all time. The ref had originally stopped thinking that Mousasi had landed illegal shots but when it was found out that the blows weren’t illegal the fight should have continued, right? Wrong. The fight was stopped and it was announced as a TKO stoppage. For once if  you think logically, if the fight was stopped because of a foul then it should have  continued when it was found that there was no foul. If the intention of the referee was to get Weidman the time to recover and to not stop the fight, then why was the fight stopped? If there was no foul, then why wasn’t the match simply allowed to continue ? These are questions with no answers. Putting it in simpler words Weidman paid the price of referee’s stupidity. Honestly there should be an immediate rematch between the two. If not. Then Gegard can meet Yoel Romero and Weidman can face the loser of Souza-Whittaker.

With this win Gegard Mousasi improves his record to 42-6-2 and Chris Weidman falls to 13-3.

  1. Cormier retains

The main event of the evening saw Daniel Cormier putting his light heavyweight title on the line against heavy handed Anthony Johnson. Both fighters had stringed together impressive win streaks. The two were war bound and the fact that this was a rematch simply added fuel to fire.

The Fight:

The fight was one of the most weird encounters I have ever seen. The opening round saw Rumble charging down at DC, looking for takedowns. The two traded shots and Johnson caught DC more than once but failed to capitalize. The round ended with Johnson successfully landing the takedown split seconds after the bell.

Round 2 followed a different story as Johnson charged with a few heavy punches straight at DC. The traded shots before Ruble launched a takedown and brought DC to the ground. But seconds later DC would get back to his feet and would get a takedown of his own. DC then started working for a choke and the next we know is Rumble tapping out to the vicious hold.

What’s next and thoughts:

As soon as the fight came to an end an emotional Rumble announced his retirement from MMA. He said he had other plans and wasn’t going to anything related to MMA. This announcement has shocked many people cause Rumble is 33, which happens to be the biologic prime of athletes. Taking retirement in prime is almost unheard.

DC gave another dominating performance. He proved it that he is the best light heavyweight. And everyone knows what’s next for DC, the man who took his perfect record and the man who never lost the title, Jon Jones. If not him then he can go one on one against knockout artist Jimi Manuwa.

With this win Daniel Cormier improves his record to 19-1 and Anthony Johnson falls to 22-6.        

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