The Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC for short is the world's largest MMA promoter with over 300 events held to date. The UFC features some of the best mixed martial arts fighters in the world go head to head and compete for different championships. The sport follows the Unified Rules of MMA and has featured over ten different weight divisions. Directed by CEO Dana White, many UFC events are broadcasted on pay-per-view services where they draw large audiences primarily due to the violent and physical nature of the sport.
The UFC ended 2016 successfully with UFC 207 on the December 30th. The event, featuring Ronda Rousey's heavily anticipated return to the octagon had over 4.5 million ticket sales despite some lesser match cancellations. This article will recap and provide analysis on the last UFC event of 2016.
Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey Women's Bantamweight Title
The highlight of the event, this fight was expected to be a quick return to grace for the first female UFC Champion Rousey. What happened was very different as Rousey’s return to the octagon was very short lived. Entering the match after a year of rest following a TKO loss to Holly Holmes, one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, Rousey was very lethargic in a fight that lasted for less time than it will take you to read this article. After a brief 48 second beat down with a series of consecutive, unanswered punches, Nunes secured a TKO victory over the former face of MMA. After a quick punch to the right, Rousey appeared lost and unable to avoid the onslaught that followed. Referee, Herb Dean, had to stop the match to save the remnants of a bruised Rousey who knew that her career was essentially over.
Staying silent during her exit from the Arena, although Rousey lost the fight and may have had her career ended entirely, she still took a pretty penny from the event. With earnings of $3 million compared to just $200,000 guaranteed for the champ Amanda Nunes, what is speculated to be Rousey's last foray in the MMA was very lucrative. Although Rousey was absent from the post-game conference, she released a statement to ESPN thanking her fans and asking for "some time to reflect and think about the future." Overall, Rousey will have a lot of time to think about this loss and retirement after her second consecutive TKO loss.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Dominick Cruz Men's Bantamweight Title
In a fight that was much closer than the one-sided affair in women's bantamweight title contest, Cody Garbrandt upset incumbent champion Dominick Cruz after five exciting rounds. Widely expected to win by many due to his veteran experience and an arsenal of unorthodox combinations, Cruz took a back seat in the bout by unsuccessfully landing many of his techniques. This inaccuracy combined with lethargy in his defenses lead to Garbrandt sealing control of the game with some lethal combinations in the third round. Instead of opting to go for a TKO, Garbrandt played solid defense to end the next two rounds to continue his undefeated streak at 11 - 0 with a unanimous decision to win his first bantamweight title.