Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again, as the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world staged its final event of 2016 with UFC 207, which went down last Friday night (Dec. 30, 2016) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the main event of the evening, Amanda Nunes absolutely obliterated former division champion Ronda Rousey in just 48 seconds (see it again here). In the pay-per-view (PPV) co-headlining act, Cody Garbrandt backed up all of his talk, defeating longtime Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz via unanimous decision in a dominant performance to claim the 135-pound title (video highlights).
Winner: Amanda Nunes
Who She Should Fight Next: Julianna Pena vs Valentina Shevchenko winner
Nunes shocked the world (at least some of it) by absolutely steamrolling former division champion Ronda Rousey in under a minute via devastating strikes, leaving "Rowdy" out on her feet until referee Herb Dean stepped in to save the day. With her first (and biggest) title defense out of the way, "Lioness" will have numerous challenges ahead of her, as the target on her back got even bigger after UFC 207. Up next, however, should be a title fight against the winner of the upcoming bout between Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko, which is set to headline UFC on FOX 23 on Jan. 28, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Winner: Cody Garbrandt
Who He Should Fight Next: TJ Dillashaw
After outclassing Dominick Cruz for five rounds, Cody Garbrandt claimed the 135-pound title, bragging rights and the possibility of being the promotion’s next big star. What he also won was a future showdown against former Team Alpha Male (TAM) training partner TJ Dillashaw, who defeated John Lineker via unanimous decision in main card action (see it again here). While "No Love" is adamant he and Cruz are going to run it back, at the end of the day, UFC president Dana White has the find word, and he declared that TJ and Cody will throw down for the strap sometime in 2017. It should be a very interesting matchup, as they known each other very well thanks to their numerous training sessions together. And after Dillashaw bolted sunny California in favor of joining Team Elevation in Colorado, "No Love" made it known that their was going to be hell to pay for turning on family. This fight is going to be B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Winner: TJ Dillashaw
Who He Should Fight Next: Cody Garbrandt
Dillashaw stamped his way to a shot at reclaiming his 135-pound title against John Lineker (see it again here). While it may have not been a much-desired rematch against dominkc Cruz -- who defeated TJ earlier this year — he’ll have to settle for another familiar face in the former of a former training mate. The story line can’t be any better, either, as the new kid on the block and champion from Team Alpha Male (TAM) looks to defend his title against a man who left the camp to do his own thing elsewhere.
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim
Who He Should Fight Next: Neil Magny
Both men proved victorious at UFC 207, so a showdown between the two talented 170-pound fighters is inevitable. Both victories, though, were rather close. After three rounds of action, Kim managed to steal away a split decision from Tarec Saffiedine in main card action (recap). As for Magny, he handed Johny Hendricks his third straight defeat in undercard action. It wasn’t a popular decision among the fans, as Neil was undeserving met with boo birds once the decision was read. Nevertheless, it’s a win on his record and he gets to move forward, and facing Kim next just seems right.
Winner: Ray Borg
Who He Should Fight Next: Brandon Moreno
Borg got back on the winning track with a dominant win over Louis Smolka (recap here). Of course, he didn’t win favor with the promotion by coming in four pounds overweight, Nevertheless, a win is a win and Ray is back in the win column. Up next, I’m feeling a showdown against rising sensation Brandon Moreno (No. 10), who is sitting just a few spots ahead of Borg (No. 13) in the rankings. With two straight victories inside the Octagon since leaving the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) house, Moreno is quickly capturing the hearts of fight fans around the globe, and a win over an Octagon veteran like Borg would put him over a bit more. For Borg, a win over Brandon catapults him further in the rankings, and sets him up for a potential fight against a top five opponent.
For complete results from UFC 207: "Nunes vs. Rousey," including play-by-play updates, click here and here.