clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Tuesday After: Final thoughts on UFC 187

UFC 187 was one of the best pay-per-view (PPV) cards in recent memory. Let's take a look back at some of the memorable moments from a fun and violent night of action inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which went down this past Saturday night (Sat., May 23, 2015).

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I may still be stuffed from my Sunday's worth of burgers, dogs and expertly-crafted homemade potato salad, but there is one thing from this Memorial Day weekend that I could never get full from:

UFC 187.

It was far and away one of the best cards in recent memory and easily one of the better night of fights in 2015. "Give me more of these fight cards," was the resounding sentiment from fans and media alike, as the night came to its conclusion.

And what a fun and violent-filled evening it was.

A new champion, Daniel Cormier, was crowned in the Light Heavyweight division, the Middleweight champ, Chris Weidman, obliterated the No.3-ranked contender, Vitor Belfort, in a wild first round, an old-school Heavyweight, Andrei Arlovski, proved his resurgence is definitely for real, and a Lightweight contender, Donald Cerrone, won his eighth-straight fight.

There was drama, violence and also, some very amusing moments at the post-fight press conference (watch full video replay here), as well as the Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Detroit, Mich., where I took in all the action.

Sidebar: I saved $60 and helped myself to the dessert nachos and $4 pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Let's take a look back at some of the memorable moments that went down inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC 187:

Daniel Cormier submits Anthony Johnson to win the UFC light heavyweight title

Yes, it is odd that Jon Jones is no longer the champion, but this was the best possible match up to make with "Bones" on the shelf dealing with his legal issues and being stripped and suspended.

Johnson brought his thunderous hands right from the jump (as many expected), connecting with a huge right hand that sent Cormier reeling to the canvas. "DC," to his credit, regained his bearings and would soon take control of the fight and wear out "Rumble" with takedowns and also by making him carry his weight along the fence.

When Cormier locked up the fight-ending rear-naked choke, Johnson had almost nothing left and looked completely sapped of energy (highlights.)

Cormier made his post-fight speech quite brief, saying, "Jon Jones, get your shit together. I'm waiting for you," and walked out of the Octagon. It was a huge victory for "DC" and one for which he deserves a ton of credit. He took one of Johnson's best punches, which would have most likely been the beginning of the end for many an opponent, and he came back and essentially made "Rumble" quit.

For Johnson, it's a disappointing loss, but he won't drop too far down the rankings in a very shallow division. He will surely look back on the reason he was unable to finish Cormier after hurting him with the big punch early. Yes, he was out-grappled and out-grinded by an Olympian, but he needs to continue to improve and evolve on the ground. He can't continue to look like a fish out of water -- Jones would've finished the kimura that "DC" threatened with.

"Rumble" will be back -- and with his fight-altering power -- will remain one of the division's most dangerous opponents.

Weidman beats down Belfort

"All-American" came out with bad intentions in the co-main event, taking a few shots he wasn't planning on, but he maintained composure and easily took down the Brazilian with a double leg. From there the rout was on -- Weidman controlled Belfort and starting hammering away with punches, the majority of which were unanswered, until referee Herb Dean called it a night (highlights).

Weidman can definitely be reckless at times with his stand up, but it makes for exciting fights. He may want to be a little more careful if he takes on Luke Rockhold next, but most likely he won't, and we will all be treated to a fire fight.

"All-American" told the audience it's time to "join the team" and become a believer. I was sold after the first knockout win over Anderson Silva, but for some reason others weren't. A fight against Rockhold will be highly anticipated and also one in which he won't be heavily favored.

For Belfort, well, he looked his age and took one of the worst beatings of his 18-year career. I suspect he will be back for a couple more fights before all is said and done, but it's more than likely that was the last time "The Phenom" will fight for the title.

Cowboy wins his eighth in a row

What can you say about Cerrone? It looks like he will finally get the long-coveted 155-pound title shot. "Cowboy" has won eight straight and the last man to beat him? That would be current champion, Rafael dos Anjos, which makes for a nice narrative and build up to that fight.

Cerrone was firing on all cylinders at UFC 187 against John Makdessi, ending the fight in the second round with a vicious head kick that was believed to break the Canadian's jaw. Eight wins in a little more than 18 months is pretty impressive and certainly warrants a crack at the division strap.

Yes, he was originally supposed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the Dagestan fighter pulled out because of injury. Despite not defeating Nurmagomedov, you can still make a more than strong case that Cerrone deserves the shot against "RDA."

Makdessi hung in the pocket and made a great dance partner for Cerrone to slug it out with, much the fans delight. He wasn't expected to win, but fought valiantly and smartly called it a day when he realized his jaw was injured after eating the fight-ending kick. It looked weird, but he was smart to remove himself from further injury.

Dana White also heaped a ton of praise upon him during his post-fight interview on FOX Sports 1.

"Pitbull" can still bite

The "Fight of the Night" between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne was nothing short of every single thing you could ever want in a Heavyweight battle: Huge punches, swings in momentum and more huge punches (highlights). I will proudly give myself the Ol' Barry Horowitz pat on the back for boldly picking Arlovski to finish Browne, among receiving a bunch of crap for it among my peers and contemporaries.

I felt Arlovski's boxing was much tighter than that of Browne's and that he would be able to fire off and connect inside of Browne's wide and looping punches. And that is what the former UFC Heavyweight champion did. He got on Browne and stayed on him, landing big punches, as well as some short elbows and crafty back fists. Browne managed to make a brief come back and drop Arlovski with a big right hand, but Arlovski recovered quickly.

Browne was still on roller skates and Arlovski went in for the kill and sealed the deal.

"Hapa" was ranked No. 3 and Arlovski No. 8 prior to the fight. The rankings should be interesting when they get released later in the week. It's truly a remarkable comeback for Arlovski -- who was considered finished after his brutal knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix -- to be in the top five of the division almost 15 years after his fight in with the promotion.

Benavidez defeats Moraga by decision

Benavidez got dropped early with a head kick, but was quickly able to recover and counter with punches before taking control on the ground. Moraga was able to get the better of the Team Alpha Male-trained fighter in several of the striking exchanges in the fight.

However, once the fight got to the ground, Benavidez showed the reason he is one of the best flyweights in UFC and certainly one of the best on the ground. Moraga had no answer for Benavidez in any of the grappling exchanges and "Beefcake" was able to secure some well-timed takedowns to get the fight where he wanted.

He earned a 30-27 from all three judges. Next up could be another shot at Demetrious Johnson, whom he has lost to twice in his career (recap). Dodson, was ranked ahead of him and won his fight vs. Zach Makovsky at UFC 187, but did not look impressive in doing so. In fact, it was "Fun Size" who looked to be landing the more effective and significant strikes throughout that contest, but the judges gave the nod to "The Magician."

Ryan Bader calls out "DC" at the post-fight presser

In one of the most amusing moments to happen on Saturday evening, Bader -- who was in attendance -- decided to speak up after Cormier mentioned him at the presser. Bader had been commenting on Twitter that he should've gotten the shot against Johnson and "DC" was not happy about it.

Bader walked up to the dais and Cormier just unloaded a verbal assault on him for the ages. Cormier had the mic and told Bader he would have his way with him if they fought and that he was "and easy paycheck."

Finally, Cormier told him to "get the fuck out " of his press conference. It was a highly entertaining way to cap a great night of fights. Bader was likely due up next for Cormier anyway, with Alexander Gustafsson and Rashad Evans both out with injuries.

This may have made the fight closer to a reality.

For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania