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UFC 208 Thoughts

Here we go with the second UFC PPV to hit the state of New York. No sleep til Brooklyn for these UFC fighters, and while top to bottom it's not the most star-studded card, there's some potentially action packed match-ups. Topped by the crowning of the first UFC women's bantamweight champion, as "Rousey Slayer" Holly Holm fights fellow decorated striking champion Germaine de Randamie. Also, Anderson Silva tries to show he can still hang as he battles wild power puncher, Derek Brunson.

Ryan LaFlare def. Roan Carneiro by decision

Reax: LaFlare was motivated as hell being in front of his home state crowd and coming off over a year on the sidelines. He opted to stay on the feet, away from Carneiro's high level ground game. Early damage with body kicks, later damage with big punches that scored knockdowns. Carneiro gets the mount with about a minute left, but not enough. Great return for LaFlare.

Rick Glenn def. Philippe Nover by decision (split)

Reax. Even Nover looked surprised by getting a scorecard in his favour (a 30-27, no less). Pretty clear case of 2 rounds to 1, Glenn controlled the second and third with pressure and clinch work against the fence.

Islam Makhachev def. Nik Lentz by decision

Reax: Pure domination to the point that two scorecards read 30-25. The size difference was remarkable, as Makhachev was clearly bigger and much more thickly muscled than Lentz, which lead to a grinding, ground based victory that was pretty boring apart from some hard ground and pound late in the 3rd. Makhachev bizzarely calls out Floyd Mayweather in his post fight interview. Uhhh... no.

Wilson Reis def. Ulka Sasaki by decision

Reax: Fascinating, fast paced fight. Sasaki might be the biggest flyweight ever, and that played a huge role in the fight. In a dramatic finish, Sasaki came close to finishing with a deep body triangle, but couldn't get the RNC to go with it. Really fun stuff.

Some fight announcements. How the hell did Artem Lobov draw #4 Cub Swanson in a main event? Sounds batshit crazy to me. I do like Charles Oliveira going back to lightweight to face Will Brooks, and Rose Namajunes vs. Michelle Waterson. Unsure if that one is a main event, but I think it'd be a great 5 rounder.

Belal Muhammad def. Randy Brown by decision

Reax: Man, that makes 5 straight decisions for this card with not a finish in sight yet, but Muhammad was relentless in his attack, first with leg kicks, then ground control. Won't go on a highlight reel, but nice win over a skilled prospect in Randy Brown.

The decision heavy card means we don't have time for the traditional Dana White/Joe Rogan final hard sell. Shame, I love how over the top Rogan gets. I'll take this opportunity to say that I really like the team of Anik, Rogan and Cormier on commentary. Rogan seems to thrive on being able to deeply analyse technique with DC. Anik's not adding much, but we'll see how he goes with the big fights. Let's hope for some finishes as the show goes on.

Main Card

Dustin Poirier def. Jim Miller by decision (majority)

Reax: I said in my last UFC blog that you would like this fight if you had a pulse, as both guys are bonus machines, and despite slowing down late, it's probably in the lead for FOTN. The first two rounds were rock 'em sock 'em robots, with Poirier landing more and landing harder. Early in the third, some Miller leg kicks appeared to damage the shin of Poirier, forcing him to take it to the ground for the round. Great heart to come away with the victory after suffering an injury like that, as he couldn't stand after the final horn. Poirier told his corner he was going to take some time off after that.

Glover Teixeira def. Jarod Cannonier by decision

Reax: Cannonier had zero takedown defence, but decent enough at preventing Glover from advancing position or causing any real damage once on the ground. This created an uneventful stalemate. It seemed that the two outcomes for this fight were either a bounce back win for Glover after the Rumble loss, or Cannonier getting a statement win to move up in the rankings. We got neither. Glover won, but if anything, his stock dropped having a fight that dull. Decision no. 7- and decisions are fine when there's action and attempts to finish- i.e. Reis/Sasaki or Poirier/Miller- but this kind of thing isn't what you pay money for.

Jacare Souza def. Tim Boestch by submission (kimura) at 3:41 of Round 1.

Reax: Thank you Jacare! Grappling masterclass. Outside of Boetsch cracking him with one good punch, that was every bit the squash match it was supposed to be. Slick transition where Jacare got the mount near the cage, Boetsch bucked and sat up with his back on the cage, and Jacare immediately snatched the arm for the kimura. I've never seen a sequence quite like that, and it's that level of grappling that makes Jacare such a huge threat to Bisping and the title. I think The C(o)unt just shattered his orbital again just watching that.

Anderson Silva def. Derek Brunson by decision

Reax: That's... a little surprising. I was supporting Anderson, but I thought he was waiting too much on Brunson, and allowed him to hit too many punches in the clinch. That said, Anderson had some cool moments, landed several stiff jabs and threw some crazy kicks like the Anderson of old. Can't help but think it was a bit of a gift decision, but fuck it. He got a bit robbed in the Bisping fight, so this is karma coming back around. Anderson gives an emotional post fight speech. He says he knows he's too old, but "fight is my life". Just a really nice moment.

Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via decision to win the vacant UFC Featherweight Championship

Reax: We often see suspect judging in the UFC (see the previous fight), but here, a New York referee displayed his incompetence. I suppose, lack of experience is the nicer term, given that high level MMA in New York began in November at UFC 205, but shit, he was terrible. De Randamie landed two illegal punches after rounds 2 and 3. The ref gave warnings both times rather than take a point away. Given all that, the result is disappointing. De Randamie said that Holm didn't come to fight, despite Holm being highly active through the fight. Holm did utilise a lot of clinch work, but hey, it's MMA, not Muay Thai or kickboxing. It's on De Randamie to get out of those positions, and most of the time, she couldn't.

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Image of Mick Robson, founder of The Arena Media

Mick Robson is a freelance writer from Australia. A lifelong fan of pro wrestling and MMA, he endeavours to bring that passion through his coverage in news, reviews and opinion pieces.

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