Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged its second straight show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in as many weeks last night (Sat., June 6, 2020), as UFC 250 went down from inside the promotion’s Apex facility. In the headlining act, Amanda Nunes had her way with Felicia Spencer for five rounds, defending her Featherweight title to remain UFC champ-champ (video replay here). In the co-main event, Cody Garbrandt scored a huge stoppage win over Raphael Assuncao, which will be the one everyone will have to top to get knockout of the year.
Biggest Winner: Aljamain Sterling
Coming into the fight, Sterling and Cory Sandhagen knew a Bantamweight title shot was on the line, as UFC president Dana White confirmed that notion earlier in the week. And “Funkmaster” proved he wanted it more, coming out of the gate super aggressive and putting it on Sandhagen from the jump. After taking down Sandhagen, Sterling worked his way to a position where he eventually sunk in a fight-ending rear-naked choke, giving him consecutive win number five, all while handing Sandhagen his first UFC defeat (recap). More important, “Funkmaster” will now be the most interested observer when Petr Yan and Jose Aldo get it on later this year for the vacant 135-pound strap because he will get to face the winner. Furthermore, while we obviously hope neither Yan nor Aldo have to bow out for any reason, Sterling could be ready to jump in and fight for the belt sooner rather than later if need be.
Runner Up: Cody Garbrandt
While scoring the knockout of the year to date and an extra $50,000 in post-fight bonus cash is a nice cherry on top for Garbrandt, getting the win was imperative. That’s because “No Love” was coming off three straight knockout losses, putting him at risk of completely being removed from the championship picture. With a new lease on his combat life, perhaps Garbrandt can build on this momentum, get his confidence back and start mowing down one contender after another en route to getting back to the big dance. While he still has a bit to get there, ending Assuncao’s night with a devastating strike just reminded everyone in front of “No Love” that he still has the power and the skill to lay out the best of them.
Biggest Loser: Raphael Assuncao
This one was a bit tough, as two other fighters — Evan Dunham and Jussier Formiga — also suffered their third straight losses, while Sandagen lost out on a title shot. But Assuncao gets the nod here after losing his third in a row following a devastating knockout defeat to Garbrandt. Not too long ago, Assuncaol was considered a legit title contender after winning 11 of 12, including big wins over T.J. Dillashaw, Sterling and Marlon Moraes. But even that run wasn’t good enough to get him his first-ever shot at a UFC title. And now that he’s lost three in a row, his quest for a title shot may have escaped his grasp for good. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible to get an invite to the big dance. But if he wasn’t awarded one after a seven and then four-fight win streak, he is going to have to be perfect from here on out to get the nod over anyone else. It’s a tough stretch for the Brazilian bomber, who now hasn’t won a fight in two years.
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