Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Aug. 4, 2018 with UFC 227, which went down from inside The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The event saw Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw make quick work of Cody Garbrandt, knocking him out in the very first round of the headlining title fight.
In the co-main event, flyweight contender Henry Cejudo shocked the world by doing enough to defeat the longest reigning champ in UFC history, Demetrious Johnson, after five rounds of action (see it again here).
Biggest Winner: Henry Cejudo
After 11 straight successful title defenses, Demetrious Johnson has finally been dethroned from the top of the 125-pound mountain after Cejudo wrestled his way to a split-decision victory. Indeed, it was sweet revenge for “The Messenger,” who was knocked out by “DJ” two years ago in the very first round. Not one to fret, Cejudo worked his way up and this time around was a bit more patient, using what got him to the big dance to secure a win. Afterward, some people were feeling Johnson got robbed, and I don’t understand why. I had Cejudo winning three rounds to two, and didn’t think there was any doubt he pulled it off once the final bell rang.
In defeating Johnson, Cejudo will look to pump some new life into the division that has seen the same champion for the last six years. It was one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, and now the former Olympic gold medalist and now UFC champion will look to keep it going after calling for a Bantamweight title fight, which I highly doubt he’ll get. Still, it was a huge win for Henry, and taking out the pound-for-pound best is a huge feather in his cap.
Runner (s) Up: Renato Moicano and T.J. Dillashaw
T.J. left no doubt as to who the best 135 pounder in the world is after he made quick work of former champion Cody Garbrandt in the very first round. And he made it look easy, proving he is the more technical fighter, playing the patient game in order to let the brawler make a mistake. And once he did, “Viper” pounced and put an end to his night with a filthy right hook. In victory, T.J. puts an end to the bitter rivalry, as there is absolutely no reason for a trilogy fight.
Don’t look now, but Renato Moicano is showing the 145-pound weight class there’s another legit contender to worry about, as he took it to Cub Swanson in impressive fashion en route to a first-round submission win. That is now two wins in a row for the Brazilian, and five of six overall inside the Octagon with his lone loss coming at the hands of No. 1 contender Brian Ortega. Renato now holds win over Cub and Jeremy Stephens, which means he could be in line for bigger and better things moving forward.
Biggest Loser: Cody Garbrandt
This time around, Cody was a lot quieter with the trash talk, as it seemed the knockout loss to Dillashaw at UFC 217 humbled him a bit. Still, he was adamant he was the better fighter of the two. But in the rematch Garbrandt failed to pop off any offense, as T.J. outclassed him rather easily and proved that technique beats brawling power any day of the week. What’s worse for Cody is that he knows has to live with the fact that he has been knocked out twice by his biggest rival, and his road back to the title will get a bit tougher after losing the last two championship bouts. He can do it, but he will have to work twice as hard. Garbrandt is still a beast, and I’m eager to see how he bounces back after this.
For complete UFC 227 results and coverage click here.