Ovince Saint Preux vs. Corey Anderson: In the first round, there was a good takedown attempt by Anderson. OSP got right back up and Anderson another big takedown. Saint Preux managed to get up again, but Anderson was controlling in the clinch. OSP almost got the knockout in the second with a perfect head kick. OSP weathered all the control time built up by Corey and managed to land a clean head kick KO in third. I think Saint Preux should face ff against Jimi Manuwa or Shogun Rua. At this rate, Shogun is only fighting once a year and by the time Rua is ready to fight, if he does, would be a good time for OSP if he didn't get too hurt in this. However I believe Manuwa would be a better matchup. With Manuwa's loss to Oezdemir, they would both be trying to prove they belong in the top 5 over the other.
Walt Harris vs. Mark Godbeer: Some standup before Harris took it to the ground. Late in the first round Harris landed a knee to the groin. Godbeer seperated to recover from the low blow, then Harris landed a late head kick while the ref was trying to interfere. Walt Harris lost by disqualification for the late shot. It would be the third time they were put against each other, including UFC 216, but I believe this needs to see a proper end in the form of a rematch.
James Vick vs. Joe Duffy: Great back and forth stand up from both. Duffy may have won the first round with two takedowns and the round being almost even in terms of striking. Vick got the TKO with only seconds left of the second round.
Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Costa: Paulo spent the whole fight dominating the stand up. Hendricks just looked bad the whole fight only really landing some leg kicks. Costa got a TKO in the second after a god shot to Hendricks, then he had to land several shots to finally put him away. Even if the loss was to Derek Brunson, I believe Costa should be ranked instead of Machida. I also think the next step would be for Costa to go after Thiago Santos or Krzysztof Jotko. They may be at the bottom of the ranks, but those are the guys you need to go through if you are going to come into the middleweight ranks as a striker. As bad as this might sound, I believe Hendricks should just retire at this point. He isn't ranked, he looked awful this fight and he has looked awful in his last few fights. It is clear that his drive isn't there and it's almost like matching people up against someone who doesn't take this seriously anymore.
Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal: Thompson was able to keep control of the match by keeping his distance. He was able to pick his shots very well. Masvidal landed a lot of strikes, but he just couldn't keep up with THompson due to the distance he was able to maintain. Thompson won the fight by unanimous decision. Since Lawler and RDA are fighting for the number 1 contender spot for whenever Woodley comes back, I say Thompson should fight Covington to show the world whether or not he really belongs at his newfound #3. Masvidal should take the loser of Lawler vs. Dos Anjos; either way it will be a brawl.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas: Rose got a knockdown in the first and for a split second it looked like it was already over, but Joanna recovered. Later in the same round, Rose landed another big shot and put the champion away with a TKO with a new strawweight champion. I can see this fight getting a rematch due to Joanna having such a long title reign. If not, the champ Namajunas should take Jessica Andrade next. To me it's between her and Gadelha, but Claudia is taking time off and I don't know if Claudia will be back that soon. For Jedrzejczyk, even though it wasn't even a close match, I'd say Kowalkiewicz to stay in the top fighters. Or maybe she could take Tecia since they haven't fought yet and Tecia is #5 as of now.
Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw: After a while of what seemed like not much in the first round, Cody unleashed a good flurry of strikes. Garbrandt managed a hit that knocked TJ down in the last seconds. The crowd erupted as if he won the fight when Cody pushed him to the ground while trying to get back up. In the second round TJ came out with less movement and more direct striking. He landed a head kick, but Cody got right back up. A slick hook was landed by Dillashaw dropping the champ like a sack of potatoes. Dillashaw won by knockout getting the bantamweight title for the second time. If there is no rematch here, I think the winner of Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera should be next for the title. That fight is at the next pay-per-view, UFC 219, and would line up well with their schedules. Again, if there is no rematch, Garbrandt should face the loser of that matchup because currently there is a gap between these four and the rest of the division until someone proves themself.
Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre: The first round saw a good back and forth. A takedown was attempted by GSP. From there he went 3 for 3 in takedowns, one in each round. GSP started slowing a bit as the rounds went on. When on the ground, Bisping was landing elbows from bottom. In the third, GSP connected with a big hit. He was landing a barrage of hits, but couldn't finish the fight so he baited Bisping into giving him the back and St-Pierre switches to a rear naked choke and puts Bisping to sleep. GSP became the fourth person in the UFC to hold a title in two different divisions. It's already been well stated that GSP is fighting Robert Whittaker to unify the belts and I don't plan on disagreeing. Michael Bisping, still being in the top rankings, should face Yoel Romero next.
- Mike W.