What. A. Night.
Saturday was one of, if not the most wild and incredible nights in the UFC's history, with three title fights, and three new champions being crowned. This card lived up to it's expectations and then some, and I truthfully still haven't processed or come to grips with what went down, but maybe after writing this I will.
I was fortunate enough to watch the entire card, from the early prelims until the main event on the main card, and it was an amazing night of fights from top to bottom. There were a ton of finishes, bombs being thrown and some brutal KO's from the early fights. However, I won't get into all of them because it simply would take too much time, so I'll start with the main card.
As I predicted, Johnny Hendricks simply was no match for his young, up and coming opponent, Paulo Costa, and he was battered and bruised until he was TKO'ed in the second round. Hendricks in my opinion really needs to hang up the gloves, as his career and stock continues to plummet. Costa on the other hand should find himself in a position to jump into the top-15 of the rankings, and take on an opponent in those ranks as well. This kid has some serious potential.
Next up we had Wonderboy and Jorge Masvidal squaring off in a fight between two high caliber welterweight strikers, and it was definitely an entertaining one. However, Thompson was simply too much for Masvidal, landing strikes from anywhere and everywhere, and coasted to a unanimous decision victory. Wonderboy now finds himself right back in the title conversation, but it is definitely like that he will have to wait until the winner of Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos gets their title shot. Whether he decides to sit and wait, or fight someone like Colby Covington or Darren Till, both of which would be great fights, is unknown for now, but hopefully we can get Wonderboy back in there. Masvidal on the other hand has now lost two straight and needs a win in a big way, possibly over a lower top-10 welterweight.
Now we get to the first of three title fights, and possibly the most shocking event I have seen in quite some time in the UFC. Joanna Jedrzejczyk put her straw-weight title on the line against "Thug" Rose Namajunas, in what was supposed to be a lock for JJ to make yet another title defense. But Thug Rose proved to everyone that this is the fight business, and anything can happen, no one is safe.
Namajunas proved that her hands are as good as anyone's, landing several bombs clean and flush, and finally dropping the former pound-for-pound female fighter. JJ will absolutely get an immediate rematch, and there is no doubt that she can come back and regain her belt, but all the respect and credit to Thug Rose for going out and doing her thing, and at only 25 years old, she's got the whole game ahead for herself.
In our second title fight, we had the grudge match to end all grudge matches, Cody Garbrandt defending his bantamweight championship for the first time against his former teammate and bitter rival, TJ Dillashaw. I had Cody winning this one all the way, and if the first round had a few more seconds in it, he might have.
But as we all know, there's five rounds in a title fight, and Dillashaw came right back out in the second round and brought it to Garbrandt, and after landing a huge head kick, was able to finish Garbrandt on the ground in the second round. Dillashaw is dead-set on going down to 125 pounds and fighting Mighty Mouse, and I hope he does and I hope Mighty Mouse takes his head clean off.
And last but certainly not least, we had the return of arguably the greatest mixed martial artist ever, Georges St. Pierre, and boy did the fight deliver on the hype. In a fight where I personally did not think GSP had what it took to move up to 185 pounds after 3+ years away from the sport, I am happy to say I was proven wrong. GSP came out, brought it to Bisping, landed some big takedowns, and truthfully only took the majority of the damage he did take from Bisping's strikes from the ground. Although there were a few instances where GSP seemed to have some ring-rust, he still looked great, and was able to keep the pressure on Bisping and finally finished him in the third round with a flurry of strikes and a rear naked choked to cap it all off. Hat's off to one of the sport's greatest ever, and I can't wait to see if his middleweight run will be for real or not, because his next opponent Robert Whittaker, the Interim Middleweight champ, is an absolute force to be reckoned with.