UFC 217 LIVE REPORT
NOVEMBER 4, 2017
NEW YORK, NEW YORK AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
ON UFC FIGHT PASS, FOX SPORTS 1 AND PPV
Keep it locked here all evening for live updates of UFC 217. My name is Michael Grocke and I’ll have quick results and analysis of the preliminary card followed by live round by round coverage of the main card.
Be sure to check out the MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast where I host every Monday at 6PM CT at pwtorchlivecast.com. You can also read my columns right here at MMATorch and for you sports bettors check out my website thefightingchampion.com. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Madison Square Garden in New York, New York for UFC 216 on Saturday night. The main event features the return of Georges St-Pierre after a four year lay-off. He’ll take on Michael Bisping for Bisping’s middleweight title. This will only be Bisping’s second title defense after winning the belt from Luke Rockhold in June, 2016.
The co-main event pits heated rivals TJ Dillashaw against Cody Garbrandt for Garbrandt’s bantamweight title. The main card also features a third title fight as Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her strawweight title against Rose Namajunas.
The main card rounds out with Stephen Thompson taking on Jorge Masvidal in a pivotal clash of welterweights and Johny Hendricks looks to get back on track after losing four of his last five when he steps into the cage opposite Paulo Borrachinha.
(1) Aiemann Zahabi (7-0) vs. Ricardo Ramos (10-1) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
Result: Ricardo Ramos over Aiemann Zahabi by Knockout (1:58 of Round 3)
Grocke’s POV: Ramos started the fight doing damage to the lead leg of Zahabi, but he went away from it for some reason. Zahabi really started to find his range and landed stiff jabs and some big uppercuts in the second round. I had the fight even going into the last round. The first part of the third round was pretty even on the feet. Halfway through the round Ramos caught Zahabi with a spinning elbow that put him to sleep. Big knockout victory for Ramos.
(2) Aleksei Oleinik (52-10-1) vs. Curtis Blaydes (7-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Result: Curtis Blaydes over Aleksei Oleinik by TKO – Dr. Stoppage (1:56 of Round 2)
Grocke’s POV: Blaydes took Oleinik down three times and dropped him in the first round. Oleinik was saved by the horn because he would’ve been finished if the round was 5-10 seconds longer. Oleinik was a bloody mess halfway into the second round. Time was called because Blaydes looked to have kicked Oleinik when he was down. After the doctor looked at Oleinik, the fight was called off. After a bit of uncertainty, they finally got things sorted out.
(3) Randy Brown (9-2) vs. Mickey Gall (4-0) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
Result: Randy Brown over Mickey Gall by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Grocke’s POV: Randy Brown came out and got the better of Gall on the feet as the round started, he then took Gall down and dominated the fight on the ground with control and heavy ground and pound. Possibly a 10-8 round for Gall. The second round was the complete opposite with Mickey Gall dominating Brown on the ground by landing ground and pound and submission attempts. Brown caught Gall with an uppercut that dropped him early in the third round. Gall was a bloody mess at this point. Brown spent the last four minutes of the round in top position pounding on Gall. Gall suffers his first loss in the UFC and a big win for Brown.
(4) Ovince Saint Preux (21-10) vs. Corey Anderson (10-3) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
Result: Ovince Saint Preux over Corey Anderson by Knockout (1:25 of Round 3)
Grocke’s POV: A fun first round! Anderson had success with his wrestling by controlling OSP on the ground and on the fence. OSP came back with a big flurry of punches that hurt Anderson as the round ended. OSP hurt Anderson with a big head kick as the second round started. Anderson was able to recover, he took OSP down midway through the round and controlled him for the remainder of the round. The third round took place on the feet until OSP just destroyed Anderson with a head kick. Anderson was asleep before he even hit the mat. An unreal finish and great win for OSP who was down 2 rounds.
(5) Walt Harris (10-5) vs. Mark Godbeer (12-3) – Heavyweight 265 lbs.
Result: Mark Godbeer over Walt Harris by DQ – Doctor Stoppage (4:29 of Round 1)
Grocke’s POV: Walt Harris came out throwing heat. He got a takedown at 3:30 and controlled Godbeer from on top until Godbeer finally got back to his feet with a minute left. Harris hit Godbeer low with a knee and as the referee was calling for time Harris kicked Godbeer in the face with a blatant cheap shot. The fight was called by the doctor due to Godbeer not being able to continue.
(6) James Vick (11-1) vs. Joe Duffy (16-2) – Lightweight 155 lbs.
Result: James Vick over Joe Duffy by TKO – Punches (4:59 of Round 2)
Grocke’s POV: The first round took place primarily on the feet with the exception of two Joe Duffy takedowns. Neither fighter did much damage on the feet. However I think Duffy landed at a slightly higher clip and kept the pressure on Vick. Vick picked up the pace, controlled the center of the octagon, out volumed Duffy and finally landed a big uppercut that dropped him. Vick pounced and was able to finish Duffy with strikes just before the horn sounded.
(7) Johny Hendricks (18-7) vs. Paulo Borrachinha (10-0) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Costa takes the center and lands a heavy kick to the body. Costa goes high with a kick but Hendricks blocks it. A right hand lands for Costa. Hendricks shoots and runs into a knee from Costa. A body shot lands for Costa with three minutes to go. Hendricks keeps backing to the cage allowing Costa to cut off the cage and fire heavy hands. Costa is doing a great job mixing things up between punches and kicks. A high kick lands for Cosat, but Hendricks comes back and lands a right hand. Hendricks lands a right and follows with a heavy kick. Costa smiles at him and says bring it on. Costa lands with punches as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Hendricks opens the round with a leg kick. Big John calls time for an eye poke from Costa. Back to action and Costa cuts the cage off and catches Hendricks with a big right hand. Costa follows Hendricks across the cage and lands anothe big shot. Costa has Hendricks against the cage and is teeing off. Johny goes to the mat and Big John stops it before Hendricks gets killed.
Result: Paulo Costa over Johny Hendricks by TKO – Punches (1:23 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Point of View: Please, please Johny Hendricks, call it a career. I was taken aback by the size difference between the two fighters. Costa is built like brick sh*thouse. Everything he threw he threw with bad intentions. For some reason Hendricks kept backing to the cage allowing Costa to just tee off on him. Costa looks to be the real deal and could be the next big Brazilian star. This was the biggest win of his career.
(8) Stephen Thompson (13-1-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-12) – Welterweight 170 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Thompson takes center. Masvidal refuses to touch gloves. Both fighters open with leg kicks. A head kick is blocked from Thompson as Masvidal lands a leg kick. Thompson with a heavy dose of kicks halfway through the round. Masvidal is trying to close the distance but is leery of the kicks from Thompson. Thompson lands a heavy kick to the body with two minutes to go. Masvidal returns the favor. Thompson drops Masvidal with a front kick. Masvidal smiles as he gets back to his feet. Masvidal lands two kicks flush. Thompson lands a straight left with 30 seconds to go.
ROUND TWO: As expected they both open with leg kicks. A head kick lands for Thompson. Masvidal rushes in and lands a nice right hand. A right hand drops Masvidal with 3:40 to go but he’s up quickly. Masvidal goes back to the leg kick with just under three to go. Masvidal just can’t get inside. Nice side kick from Thompson with 2:18 to go in the round. Big left hand lands for Thompson. Masvidal is having some success with the outside leg kicks. Straight left lands flush for Thompson with 1:15 left. Masvidal clips Thompson with a nice right hand and he follows with a heavy leg kick. Another leg kick lands for Masvidal but he takes a left hook inn the process.
ROUND THREE: A jab lands for Thompson as Masvidal lands a leg kick. Thompson seems to be moving forward more in this round. Spinning back kick just misses for Thompson. Masvidal goes back to the leg kick and lands. 32 leg kicks landed so far for Jorge, but Thompson nit showing and affects from them. Halfway through the round Thompson starts throwing heavy hands and Jorge is more than happy to oblige. Thompson is getting the better of the exchanges though. Thompson lands a big combination with a minute to go and Jorge has no counter. Masvidal finally lands a left hand with 30 seconds to go. They trade kicks. Thompson catches a Mavidal kick and as Jorge goes down the horn sounds ending the fight.
Result: Stephen Thompson over Jorge Masvidal by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s Point of View: That was your typical Wonderboy fight. He kept Masvidal off balance with odd angles, kicks and jabs. Masvidal had success with leg kicks, but that was about it. Thompson gets back in the win column with a much needed victory.
(9) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-0) vs. Rose Namajunas (7-3) – Strawweight 115 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Nice leg kick from Rose to open. Joanna is just missing with her punches. Both women light onn their feet and bouncing side to side. Rose drops Joanna with a big right hand. Rose pounces but Joanna scrambles to her feet. Back to center with 2:40 to go. Rose lands a big combination. A huge left hook drops Joanna again with two minutes to go and Rose pounces. She’s landing huge lefts and Joanna isn’t fighting back. Big John steps in and this fight is over.
Result: Rose Namajunas over Joanna Jedrzejczyk by TKO – Punches (3:03 of Round 1)
Grocke’s Point of View: WHAT?!? Seriously, what just happpened?? Rose Namajunas just destroyed Joanna Champion. Rose landed some huge punches and Joanna escaped after the first knockdown, but she didn’t let her off the hook the second time. After seeing the replay, Joanna tapped due to strikes. What an amazing performance and shocking performance from Thug Rose Namajunas. Congrats!
(10) Cody Garbrandt (11-0) vs. TJ Dillashaw (15-3) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Garbrandt takes center. TJ blocks a head kick with a smile. Cody reaches for a right hand as TJ throws a kick. Neither fighter landing much of anything with 3:30 to go. TJ is doing more smiling and mugging than throwing offense. TJ misses with a kick. Cody rushes in and lands a nice combination. TJ gets on his horse and gets out of there. Back to center. A nice exchange on the feet with Cody getting the better of with under two minutes to go. Another missed kick from TJ. Dillashaw just can’t seem to find his range in the first round. A big right lands for Cody with under ten seconds to go. TJ goes down but the horn sounds before Cody can capitalize.
ROUND TWO: Cody is talking to TJ as the second round starts. TJ keeps missing with kicks. TJ misses with a Superman punch. TJ closes distance but Cody shrugs him off. TJ lands a head kick that drops Cody. Cody pops right back up and gets caught with a right hand. Back to center withe three minutes to go and Cody looks fine. A big right hand drops Cody and TJ moves in. He is landing huge punches and Cody is not responding. That’s it, the fight is over.
Result: TJ Dillashaw over Cody Garbrandt by TKO – Punches (2:41 of Round 2)
Grocke’s Point of View: Wow, another stunner. Dillashaw caught Garbrandt with a big right hook that stunned him and TJ took it from there. I don’t think this is the last time we see these two in the cage against each other. Glad to see the two embrace after the fight. During the post-fight interview Dillashaw calls out Demetrious Johnson. Nice!
(11) Michael Bisping (31-7) vs. Georges St-Pierre (25-2) – Middleweight 185 lbs.
ROUND ONE: GSP comes out throwing a lot of leg kicks. GSP lands a nice overhand right. Bisping circling to the right as GSP walks him down. Bisping looks to backing up more than usual. GSPP with a stiff jab. Halfway through the first and Bisping hasn’t gotten anything off. Another overhand right lands flush for GSP. He follows with a jab. Bisping comes back with a right hand of his own. GSPP looks good as we approac a minute to go in the round. GSO shoots and gets a takedown with just under a minute to go. Bisping is back up quickly. Back to center. GSP lands a Superman punch that looked to hurt Bisping. He goes for a takedown but the horn sounds ending the round.
ROUND TWO: GSP comes out and throws a side kick followed by a front kick. They trade jabs a minute in. A side kick lands to the body of Bisping. GSP follows with a right. Bisping catches a kick and lands a nice right hand with just over three minutes to go. Bisping with a big right hand gets GSP’s attention. They trade jabs and GSP lands a takedown with 1:45 left in the round. Bisping gets up quickly. Bisping with an overhand right lands flush. Another right from Bisping. Bisping is finding his range now. GSP has slowed considerably already as the second round closes.
ROUND THREE: GSP shoots in instantly and gets Bisping to the mat. GSP is cut pretty badly as he works to better his position on top. Bisping is defending and inflicting damage from underneath. GSP is a bloody mess midway through the round. Bisping lands a right hand flush. GSP comes back with an overhand right and he follows with another straight right. A left from Bisping catches GSP off balance and stumbles but Bisping can’t advance. GSP drops Bisping with a left hook with just over a minute to go. GSP pounces and is reigning down punches and elbows. GSP stands and as Bisping tries to stand up GSP takes his back and has a RNC is tight. Bisping goes out without tapping.
Result: Georges St-Pierre over Michael Bisping by Submission – Rear Naked Choke (4:23 of Round 3)
Grocke’s Point of View: Wow, another upset and new champion. GSPP looked fantastic here. He looked good with the extra weight and fought a great fight. After a four year layoff I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he looked amazing. Both GSP and Michael Bisping were very gracious during their post fight interviews.
What an unbelievable night of fights. The main card delivered in a big way. We had three title fights all ending with new champions. Rose finishes JJ, TJ finishes Cody and GSP finishes Bisping. Who would’ve thought?
Thanks for following along with me tonight. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog
NOW CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: UFC 217 PREDICTIONS 11/4: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight