UFC 207 was a smaller condensed card that ended the year in UFC. Mike Goldberg made his final appearance as the UFC commentator, a belt changed hands, and one belt was defended for the first time in over a year.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Welterweight – Alex Oliveira vs. Tim Means – No Contest illegal knees – (RD 1 – 3:33)
The card started of with a weird no contest. Alex “crotch chop even though I was overweight” Oliveira had one knee on the mat when Means crushed him with knees to the head. From what I saw in the replay it looked like Oliveira only had one point of contact on the ground making those knees legal. Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight and the judges ruled it an accidental knee to a down opponent no contest. Oliveira was bleeding badly and carried off in a stretcher while Means plead his case with Miragliotta and Rogan. Means shouted the knee was intentional and Rogan talked him through the replay disproving the judges ruling.
I hope this match gets looked at by whatever committee decides these things and changes the outcome of the decision. Means awkwardly called out the media in his post fight interview capping off a strange early prelim card.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Welterweight – Niko Price def. Brandon Thatch – Submission arm-triangle – (RD 1 – 4:30)
A second quick fight saw Price earn a first round submission on Thatch. Once the fight reached the ground, Price was in control. He was in the power position the whole time dictating the fight. Thatch attempted an arm lock which provided Price and opening to gain side control and wiggle out of it. Price then took Thatch’s back and forced him to tap with a tight arm-triangle.
Welterweight – Alex Garcia def. Mike Pyle – KO punch – (RD 1 – 3:34)
Since the first fight on the prelim card ended in the first round, Fox wasn’t able to fully meet their sponsors demands and played the Ben Affleck gangster movie trailer only once during the fight. But don’t worry, Fox was able to squeeze the trailer in twice during the short fight between Garcia and Pyle that lasted less than 4 minutes.
Garcia knocked Pyle out with one of the most brutal KO shots you will ever see. The right hand of Garcia landed directly on the jay of Pyle forcing him into unconsciousness before his body hit the ground.
Middleweight – Antonio Carlos Junior def. Marvin Vettori – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
With the help of his giant “Jesus” tattoo across his back, Junior won in a unanimous decision over Vettori. Time was stopped twice in the first round as both fighters poked each others eyes. The first one on Vettori left his eye looking rough. The second round is the only one that Vettori won. In this round he scored a takedown, landed ground and pounded and attempted a submission. Junior won the third round sealing the decision, where he scored a takedown and controlled the clinch.
Catchweight (173.5 LB) – Neil Magny def. Johny Hendricks – Decision unanimous – (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Magny had an 11 inch reach advantage in his fight against former champ Hendricks, while Hendricks was over 2 pounds overweight. In the first round Hendricks scored a takedown while Magny attempted a triangle and landed elbows to the head of Hendricks. In the second round Hendricks brought Magny to the ground 3 more times. In the third round Hendricks landed a jab, scored a takedown, picked Magny up and slammed him, and Magny attempted another triangle and landed similar elbows like he did in the first round.
Based on that description from my poorly written notes and foggy memory, I was surprised that Magny won. I couldn’t figure out the judges thought he won two rounds while Hendricks appeared to control him and throw him around.
Main Card (PPV)
Catchweight (129.5 LB) – Ray Borg def. Louis Smolka – Decision unanimous – (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Showing up 3.5 pounds overweight is a big deal in MMA and an even bigger deal as a flyweight fighter. Borg clearly won this fight against Smolka but 30% of his purse went to Smolka for the massive weight violation.
Smolka entered this fight with a 5 inch reach advantage being a tall 5’9″ for a flyweight fighter. Borg dominated the first round scoring takedowns, attempting a d’arce choke, and fucking up Smolka’s face with an elbow. He further crushed Smolka’s face in the second while controlling the ground. In between rounds Borg could be heard saying that he thinks he broke his ankle.
If he did break his ankle it didn’t affect his fighting much as he dominated the third round as well. He controlled the ground and attempted an arm choke. He shamelessly asked Rogan to be on his podcast and blamed his weight miss on “personal problems.”
Welterweight – Dong Hyun Kim def. Tarec Saffiedine – Decision split – (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Kim used his 6 inch reach advantage to win in a split decision over Saffiedine. This was the most boring fight of the night as much of it was spent in the clinch. After watching it I thought Saffiedine would win as he didn’t initiate most of the clinches, showed great takedown defense, and dodged most of Kim’s wild punches. You could tell Saffiedine was not enjoying himself as he could be seen looking up at the clock every time Kim hugged him and forced him up against the cage. Saffiedine was surprised by the decision, especially after hearing the 30-27 score card first. It’s interesting how one judge saw the fight completely different from the other two.
To further add to the confusion, the card took a break to show a shampoo ad featuring Rousey. Shampoo?
Bantamweight – T.J. Dillashaw def. John Lineker – Decision unanimous – (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Dillashaw destroyed Lineker earning the 30-26 score card from all three judges. I knew going into this fight that Lineker only really has two strengths as a bantamweight, he has knock out striking power and he has a chin that can absorb knock out blows. He was able to get a few shots in of his own, but his chin was the real winner of this fight.
The fight started off with Dillashaw throwing lots of kicks, a couple of which Lineker caught. The second round is where the 10-8 score came in. Dillashaw brought Lineker to the ground and unloaded on his face. Lineker could be seen talking to Dillashaw but that conversation was quickly ended with sharp elbows and punches. It is amazing that Lineker survived. More of the same occurred in the third round. Dillashaw mixed in a calf crank which looks as painful as it sounds but Lineker was able to survive and get to his feet where he limped around favoring that calf. Dillashaw was amazing in this fight, particularly with his timing on his takedowns.
After the decision was read, Lineker picked up Dillashaw acknowledging his defeat with good sportsmanship. Dillashaw then used the mic in his post fight interview to spew out conspiracy theories saying Cruz calls all of his own fights and is scared to fight him. He then pulled a Trump and said if he isn’t the next bantamweight to get a title shot, they system is rigged.
Bantamweight – Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz ( C ) – Decision unanimous – (48-46, 48-47, 48-46)
The best way to describe this bantamweight championship fight is that Cruz did all of his post fight media appearances with sun glasses on. All five rounds were brutal for Cruz. Garbrandt taunted him while kicking his ass. He dropped Cruz several times with blows and instead of going in for the kill, he danced over his body waiting for him to get back to his feet.
There were several times when Garbrandt kept his hands as his waist and relied just on his quick head movement to dodge the attacks from Cruz. In the third round Garbrandt opened up a cut above the left eye of Cruz that was so deep it looked like the eye brow was just going to fall off. Before the 4th round the two fighters were talking trash at each other from their own corners. The 4th round is where Garbrandt humiliated Cruz and was more conservative in the 5th sealing his victory.
This fight was insane as I thought Cruz was going to win easily. The two dudes clearly hated each other and Garbrandt used that as fuel to crush the long time bantamweight great. The two fighters hugged after the final bell which was cool to see after all of the trash talking.
After he received the belt, Garbrandt gave it to a little kid who walked to the ring with him. This killed survived cancer and Garbrandt told him he would give him the belt after he won it. This was a cool gesture and felt genuine but I still hate exploiting cancer to receiver good PR. After hearing Dillashaw’s rant earlier, Garbrandt told him to “come try me mother fucker.”
Women’s Bantamweight – Amanda Nunes ( C ) def. Ronda Rousey – TKO punches – (RD 1 – 0:48)
Nunes wasn’t hit once in the 48 seconds it took her to TKO Rousey. She crushed Rousey immediately and didn’t let up. Rousey didn’t do anything to fight back or protect her self and was quickly finished. I was shocked. I understand that Nunes clipped her right away which greatly diminished her ability to fight back and protect her self, but damn, it didn’t even look fair to have these two in the same octagon.
Rousey bailed out of the cage as fast as she could. Nunes was vicious in her post fight interview and finished it off with saying “forget about Ronda Rousey.” Just brutal.
UFC Fight Night is a couple of weeks away on January 15th, 2017.