Saturday's UFC 210 was slightly disappointing in content, but had no shortage of drama, during and after the fights. The Buffalo card, that was headlined by DC vs. Rumble 2, created a ton of headlines and storylines, and I'll get into the biggest ones.
First, the two opening fights of the main card, Will Brooks vs. Charles Oliveira and Patrick Cote vs. Thiago Alves, were truly very solid fights. Oliveira defeated Brooks by submission, and has moved into 4th all-time in the UFC for submission victories. The win over Brooks sets Oliveira up in good shape to try and throw his name into the top Lightweights in the UFC.
Thiago Alves defeated Patrick Cote via unanimous decision and he looked awesome in doing so. It was the best I've seen Alves in a long time, and it looks like his return to Welterweight from Lightweight was a great choice. Patrick Cote, in somewhat of a shocking move, announced his retirement from the sport after his loss last night, leaving his gloves in the Octagon and telling Joe Rogan that after almost 20 years of fighting, it is time for him to move on. Salute to Cote on an awesome career in the UFC and in MMA in general, and best of luck in his next venture.
Next up we had the battle between two of the Strawweight's rising stars, Cynthia Calvillo and Pearl Gonzalez, (the fight that almost didn't happen because of Gonzalez's breast implants). Calvillo weathered the early striking flurries of Gonzalez, and used her excellent ground game to grind away at Gonzalez, and finally lock in a choke in the 3rd round. Cynthia Calvillo has proven herself to be a star in her first two UFC fights, earning two wins in just a 35-day span, and looking ready for a big-name fight next. She has however only been a pro for 9 months, but so far, she looks to be the real deal, but the UFC may want to slow her down a little bit and avoid another Paige VanZant situation, where she's exposed for being not quite ready, but we shall see.
The Co-main between Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman was a bizarre one. The fight was ended in the second round and Mousasi was named the winner via TKO, but it wasn't so simple. The fight was stopped after Mousasi landed a pair of knees to Chris Weidman's face, because the referee thought the second knee that Mousasi landed occurred while Weidman had two hands on the mat, which means that he is a downed opponent and those knees would be deemed illegal. However, upon review, it was clear to us all that Weidman's hand was off the mat, and the knee was legal, but instead of the fight continuing, Weidman was ruled the loser via TKO. He was visibly upset and has already filed an appeal and has asked repeatedly for a rematch, but Dana White and Gegard Mousasi both seem uninterested, as both felt the fight was near over regardless, because those knees did leave Weidman dazed and very confused. A rematch would suck for Mousasi who is trying to push for a title shot, but this Middleweight division is moving in slow-motion so I don't know what the next move truly is for these guys. One thing is for sure and that is that Weidman has fallen off the map, big time.
Finally, our main event, the long-awaited rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson for the Light Heavyweight Championship. This fight, in short, sucked. Rumble immediately went off of his gameplan, and rather than standing and trading and keeping the tempo on his terms, he attempted to WRESTLE DC. Yes, that's right, Rumble, attempted to wrestle Daniel Cormier, that is not a typo. I lost my mind when I was watching the fight, completely unaware of what Rumble was doing. Late in the first round, when the two were standing and striking, Rumble landed a beautiful headkick that for sure broke DC's nose, yet, he came out in the second round and instead of going right at the injury, he strayed right back into the wrestling nonsense that he was going for, and before we knew it, he was dropped to the mat and choked out once again.
What came next was even more shocking than his performance. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, the most dangerous man in the history of the UFC, retried from the sport. I was heartbroken when I heard him say it, because there has truly never been a more exciting and entertaining fighter in the UFC, a man who could take anyone's head off with a uppercut or head kick, putting fear in every opponent. The sport lost a true warrior and monster, and I will continue to hope for his return one day. Thank you for the memories and highlights that will last forever, and good luck to you Rumble.
DC had his own drama after the fight, which was expected, with Jon Jones and Jimmie Manuwa both in attendance. Manuwa has stated recently he feels he deserves the next title shot, and while it may be possible, if Jon Jones' return comes around the same time the fight with Jimmie Manuwa would be scheduled, then Manuwa will take a back seat. Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is the most highly anticipated rematch that I have ever waited for, not because of the content the fight will produce, but so Jon Jones can shut DC up once and for all, and he can take his crown back once again. We will have to wait and see how things play out between now and July, but lets hope we get DC vs. Jones ASAP.