Here we are July 9th. The day fight fans have been waiting for. UFC 200 is tonight and the fight pass fights are going on as I type.
One of the most overstocked cards in the history of MMA that has done a good job of selling itself. Until a couple days ago anyways. Jon Jones was caught doping in June and confirmed with a positive B sample test result yesterday. We all wondered who would save the day as it was clear Daniel Cromier was going to fight and get paid.
A friend of mine and I scrolled through lists of 205’ers and even 185’ers that could come up a class. We looked at fighters on the under card that were already in shape and fighters from UFC 201 and 202 trying to predict the future. The future was not obvious to us, or me anyway. A fighter that was recently caught doping himself and only a few months after gallbladder surgery. He has not won a fight since 2012, but being considered one of the best of all time comes with some benefits.
I still consider getting in the ring with DC on one and a half days notice a benefit to Anderson Silva, even though the fight probably will not go in his favor. He remains relevant, the loss is excused on short notice, he saves a card (kinda), and he will get paid. I sound critical of the decision probably because I am a Silva fan and I don’t want to see him get wrecked. But who else would have been ready?
Ryan Bader confirmed on his Twitter account that he would not have been able to make weight and that would not have allowed it to be a title fight. Dana White told the media he would not even ask the current 185 champ Bisbing. Citing “benders” that the Count goes on after fights. Beyond those two, I am not confident in anyone making weight on less than 2 days notice.
This three round fight has the potential to be exciting if Andy can bring back some of his old swag and keep it interesting. But I don’t predict that. I see DC grounding him out in the late first or second round.
I am still looking forward to the rest of the card.
Travis Browne and Cain should be a solid heavyweight match up, that will test Cain’s ability to stand and fight a guy with great take-down defense, or prove how great a wrestler he really is by actually getting this fight to the ground.
Frankie and Jose is the perfect situation for Frankie “the Answer” Edgar. One of Aldo’s greatest strengths is his confidence, that had to have been impacted after his stunning knockout loss to McGregor. Either of these gentlemen in a match-up with Conor is intriguing to me. Although a Aldo win and then immediate challenge to McGregor will make for great entertainment.
A serious don’t blink fight. Brock can take you down and go hulk smash on your face as fast as Mark Hunt can swing that counter right and put you to sleep. I hope the later happens because a ground fight that doesn’t end fast can get really boring with those two guys laying on each other for 3 rounds. I don’t foresee any slick ground transitions or submission attempts out of either fighter on the mat.
Then there is the main event. Nunes and Tate has the makings of an instant classic, with Tate having a solid chance to defend her belt and solidify herself a rematch with her arch nemesis. Tate is a historically slow started and Nunes is quick out of the gate. Let’s see if Nunes will get it done early or if as I predict that Tate will be able to outlast Nunes’ gas tank and survive.
Overall a good night of fights ahead and I look forward to the aftermath and how we sort out the landscape after a few of these title fights and top contenders bouts.
PS how is TJ Dillashaw on the prelim card? He is one of the most dynamic fighters in the world. I need to get to a bar to watch that scrap live for sure.