Fight fans, welcome to 2017 and welcome to what will hopefully be another barnstormer of a year for combat sports. We’d first like to wish you a very happy new year, and to wish for another superb year of UFC events. The company is absolutely red hot and has enjoyed pay per view success after pay per view success to close out 2016. UFC 207 was, perhaps not unsurprisingly ,a little quieter given that found itself sandwiched between festivities and New Year’s celebrations, in addition to a very well-documented lack of media duties by one Ronda Rousey.
Nevertheless, UFC 207 from Las Vegas, Nevada featured another stacked card and plenty of highlight moments. We’re going to address the main event that had the entire world talking, as well as a standout fight between Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt, which went the distance.
Amanda Nunes destroys Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds
If Holly Holm’s shock victory over Rousey was convincing, this was an absolute mauling. Nunes staggered Rousey within 10 seconds with a clean blow and followed up with what felt like twenty more before the fight was stopped. Ronda offered zero offense and didn’t threaten to land anything in the 48 seconds this one lasted.
Rousey staggered into a peppering of clinical jabs from Nunes, making half-hearted attempts to close the gap and initiate a clinch; and whilst her corner was screaming at her to move her head, it looked like the year away from the sport had really slowed the once dominant Rousey down to the point where Nunes (who is an accomplished striker) was able to call her shots and deliver emphatically time and time again.
Blame squarely on Edmond?
He’s a much maligned and highly controversial figure, and Ronda’s longtime coach Edmond Tarverdyan is once again coming under heavy fire from his detractors, with much of the blame for Ronda’s second crushing defeat in successive bouts. He’s accused of tinkering with a winning formula and not preparing Rousey for Nunes' style on her return from her devastating loss to Holly Holm 12 months ago.
Nunes, in her post fight interview, ripped into the coach; implying that he had convinced Ronda to stick with a boxing-heavy style as opposed to her traditional judoka style which brought the Stockton, California native tremendous success throughout 2014 and parts of 2015:
"Yeah, because she (Ronda) thinks that she's a boxer, you know. He (Edmond Tarverdyan) put this thing in her head and make the girl believe in that. I don't know why he did that. She has great judo, and she can go far in this division, but he put some crazy thing about boxing in her head, and her career started to go down”
What’s next for Ronda Rousey?
It’s tough to tell at this point, and those speculations that Ronda would strongly consider retirement should she suffer a defeat to Nunes are now looking like the smart money. The fighter’s long, haunted stare into the lights of the T-Mobile Arena after the fight told its own story, and Rousey chose not to talk to the media after all was said and done.
Away from competitive bouts, a stint in WWE isn’t completely out of the question, as Rousey has appeared at numerous shows, including Wrestlemania 31, in which she teamed up with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to interrupt Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in front of 90, 000 fans. Rousey is definitely not wanting for much, becoming one of the most popular athletes of the 21st century and racking up an endless stream of endorsements, commercial partners and a Hollywood role or two.
One person hoping that Rousey opts for retirement is AnnMaria DeMars AKA Mother Rowdy AKA a former world champion Judoka:
“I would like to see her retire. I would have liked to see her retire a long time ago. Who wants to see their kid get hit?”
“You’re smart and beautiful, let the stupid people get punched in the face.”
Garbrandt beats Cruz - both leave as megastars
In what was definitely the fight of the night, we got to enjoy one hell of a battle between Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz in their Bantamweight clash. Garbrandt, Who went into UFC 207 with a sterling 6-0 UFC record carried on where the pre-fight trash talking left off, showboating (even pulling out the classic robot dance at one stage) and mocking the champion Cruz throughout the first two rounds and peppering Cruz with shot after shot. In the third round, Cruz was sent to the mat for the first of three times and was reduced to retaliation in brief spurts.
With the result in the bag, barring something spectacular from Cruz, Garbrandt was able to sit back in the final round and play out the remaining time with the unanimous decision almost certainly in his favour. That’s how it turned out as the judges awarded Garbrandt with a well-deserved win
Despite the loss, it was a huge weekend for the returning Cruz, who has overcome a litany of well-documented injuries and setbacks in recent times. He was able to stand up to a number of devastating strikes from Garbrandt who has built up a reputation for knocking out his opponents, picking up 10 straight KO wins heading into UFC 207.
Other UFC 207 Maincard Results
- T.J. Dillashaw beat John Lineker via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Dong Hyun Kim beat Tarec Saffiedine via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ray Borg defeated Louis Smolka by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
What are your dream fights for 2017? Where do you see Ronda ending up next? Follow Made4Fighters on social media, or by leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.