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7/11/16: Top Five Takeaways From Saturday’s UFC 200 Event
UFC 200 has come and gone, and with the event now behind us today I take a look at my top five takeaways from the card in Las Vegas.
5. Contenders separated from those past their time: The undercard on Saturday night saw two fighters likely stake their claim to a title fight, two others move closer to consideration, and four more likely move out of the picture for good. T.J. Dillashaw and Cain Velasquez are both likely to get title fights in their next respective outing, taking Raphael Assuncao and Travis Browne out of contention in the process. Meanwhile, upsets by both Julianna Pena and Kelvin Gastelum meant considerable setbacks for Cat Zingano and Johny Hendricks. For former champ Hendricks, the loss to Gastelum follows up on his TKO loss to Stephen Thompson, and with him missing weight as well he may be out of contention for good.
4. Daniel Cormier’s likely to never be considered best at light heavyweight: Fair or not, Daniel Cormier’s legacy may always be that of the second best. Jon Jones’ drug test failure robbed him of an opportunity to prove otherwise, and if he doesn’t get that fight back there won’t be any way for him to get that back. While his performance against Anderson Silva was completely understandable, it’s also not the type of thing that will have anyone arguing him over Jones either in that field. He needs that Jones fight, and has to really be hoping that Jones’ USADA suspension comes down to six months, because he may not have two years left in his career.
3. Ronda Rousey vs. Amanda Nunes? Don’t be so sure: While Dana White has said Ronda Rousey will come back against the champion in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division, whomever that may be, I don’t know that it’ll be her best course of action to face Amanda Nunes after a year or more out of the cage. With how badly Rousey got hurt by Holly Holm, she could wind up getting hurt just as bad or worse against the buzz-saw that is the new champion. Had it been Miesha Tate emerging with a win, Rousey would have likely fought her next. Now there’s also a chance of seeing Nunes fight again soon with Rousey perhaps returning for a non-title bout at some point, perhaps in that rematch with Holly Holm.
2. Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor II is going to be big: Jose Aldo looked excellent against Frankie Edgar on Saturday night, putting together a strong 25-minute performance to take out the only fighter really challenging him to face Conor McGregor next at featherweight. With McGregor in the crowd watching intently, that’s the fight we’ll be seeing in the fall/winter after McGregor faces Nate Diaz a second time. Sure the first fight ended in 13 seconds, but Aldo got caught, and outside of that fight he’s been nearly unbeatable for a decade. The rematch won’t end in 13 seconds, and seeing just what happens from there is going to be fascinating to watch.
1. Brock Lesnar’s going to fight again: For someone who hadn’t fought in four and a half years and who hadn’t won a fight in six, Brock Lesnar came out of UFC 200 looking pretty good. The forgettable second round aside, Lesnar took a couple of big punches, got Mark Hunt to the ground several times, and picked up a clear win over a top ten guy. He’s got WWE obligations next month, but it seems Lesnar’s return won’t be a one-off, and I’d bet on seeing him fight in New York City this November at UFC 205.
[Photo (c) Joshua Dahl via USA Today Sports]
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