After months and months of waiting, UFC 200 has finally come and gone. And the landmark card, which emanated from the brand new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, delivered just as we hoped it would.
Highlighted by two title fights, the return of former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, a last-minute light heavyweight super fight, an absurdly stacked undercard, an interesting yellow Octagon surface, and the introduction of some colorful new Reebok fight gear, the event was truly one for the history books. Here's a recap of all the madness for those who were unable to catch the historic event.
The Main Card:
Nunes Bloodies Tate, Locks up Choke
When Jon Jones' UFC 200 removal threw a wrench into the card's original main event, Miesha Tate bantamweight's title defense against streaking Brazilian Amanda Nunes was given the top spot. Needless to say, we've come a long way since Dana White infamously assured that "women will never fight in the UFC."
As she has done in 9 of her previous 12 wins, Nunes ended this one in the first. Quickly clocking the champion with a series of punches, Nunes then chased her wounded foe around the Octagon, before reversing a failed Tate takedown to lock up a rear-naked choke for the win.
With the win, Nunes becomes the fourth women's bantamweight champion in UFC history. She's now 13-4 overall and 4-0 since losing to Cat Zingano back in 2014. Tate, meanwhile, will now have to come to grips with arguably the worst loss of her career. Having had a five-fight streak snapped, she's now 18-6 overall.
Lesnar Smothers Hunt for Successful Return
Even after the announcement of the initially-planned Cormier vs. Jones UFC 200 main event, many fight fans felt as though the card was missing that special something. Evidently aware of this fairly widespread opinion, the UFC pulled off a miracle by borrowing former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar from WWE for a "one-off" fight inside in the Octagon. Lesnar's highly-hyped return pitted him against cement-fisted striker Mark Hunt.
Though many expected Hunt to flatten the returning giant with relative ease, Lesnar instead returned to vintage form with a three-round pummeling of his seasoned foe. Hunt simply had no answer for the incredible force with which he shared the Octagon, surrendering takedown after takedown, and eating hammer after hammer on the mat.
The win is Lesnar's first in the Octagon since a July 2010 defeat of Shane Carwin. With the win, he improves his record to 6-3 overall—though his current WWE contract means he's unlikely to step foot in the Octagon again any time soon. Hunt, meanwhile, returns to the loss column after consecutive smashings of Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Frank Mir. He's now 12-11-1 in sum.
Cormier Outwrestles Silva for Dominant Decision
Originally, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was supposed to share the evening's main event with interim light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. When Jones tested positive for a yet-unknown banned substance late on Wednesday night, however, all hell broke lose. The biggest card in UFC history had lost its main event, and Cormier had lost his opponent. Luckily, UFC 200 was stacked enough that the UFC had a viable Plan B for the main event spot. And thanks to some serious scrambling, the organization was also able to find a last-minute opponent for Cormier: none other than middleweight great Anderson Silva.
Given the brevity with which the two fighters had to prepare for each other, and the starkly different junctures they're at in their respective careers, this hastily-arranged matchup was riddled with x-factors. In the end, however, it came down to Cormier's Olympic wrestling. That's not to say Silva didn't let his strikes fly for a few fleeting moments, but ultimately, he had no answer for Cormier's takedowns and top control. After three rounds, the American had amassed more than enough control time for a well-deserved unanimous decision win.
With the win, Cormier moves to an awesome 18-1. He'll now return to his regular duties as UFC light heavyweight champion. Silva, meanwhile, remains winless since a 2012 defeat of Stephan Bonnar—though he can hardly be faulted for this loss, given the short time he had to prepare. He's now 33-8 overall.
Takedown Defense and Striking Skill Carry Aldo to Interim Title Win
The first of UFC 200's two title fights paired former featherweight champion Jose Aldo with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. The two fighters, who had met once before in a competitive 2013 scrap, fought for the interim featherweight title, so that the division would be allowed keep moving while undisputed champ Conor McGregor tests his mettle at welterweight.
This one unfolded much like the pair's first encounter, as Edgar had his moments, but was unable to land any takedowns on his incredibly sturdy foe, and was therefore unable to land much meaningful offense. Aldo, meanwhile, pieced his American foe up throughout the standup exchanges, bloodying his face and dropping him on more than one occasion. In the end, then, the decision was clear: two judges scored it 49-46 for Aldo, while the third gave it to him with 48-47 score.
With the win, Aldo becomes the interim featherweight champion—though Conor McGregor will cast a long shadow over his reign. The Brazilian is now a fantastic 26-2 overall. Edgar, meanwhile, loses for the first time since his last loss to Aldo. He's now 20-5 in total.
Velasquez Returns to Form with Vintage TKO Win
When we last saw Cain Velasquez in action, he lost the UFC heavyweight title to a streaking Fabricio Werdum. At UFC 200, the former champion attempted to rebound from this rather embarrassing loss against the towering Travis Browne, who in turn sought to build on the momentum of a controversy-riddled defeat of Matt Mitrione.
It was a vintage Velasquez performance. From the opening bell, the former champ poured on the pressure. Under an assault of punches, knees, and even a perfectly-timed spin kick, Browne quickly began to fall apart. Once Browne was rattled, Velasquez began to utilize his wrestling—and from there, it was only a matter of time. The TKO win came with just seconds to spare in the first round.
With the win, Velasquez rebounds from his career-low loss to Werdum, and could well have put himself in a position for a shot at the winner of Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem's looming heavyweight title fight. He's now 14-2 overall. Browne, meanwhile, returns to the loss column with an 18-4 overall record.
Peña Grapples Her Way to Unanimous Decision Win
The prelims were wrapped up by a scrap between top-ranked bantamweights Cat Zingano and Julianna Peña, who were arguably battling for a shot at the winner of Tate and Nunes' main event title fight.
Though Zingano started strong, this one would ultimately come down to Peña's grappling. Over the course of the last two rounds, the TUF winner was soundly in control of the fight, repeatedly taking her foe's back and battering her with ground-and-pound wherever possible. The end result, then, was a clear two-to-one decision win for Peña.
In victory, Peña extends her win-streak to four, and asserts herself as one of the very best fighters at 135 pounds. Now 8-2 overall, she has a very real claim to the next shot at the women's bantamweight title. Zingano, meanwhile, falls onto the first two-fight skid of her career, having lost her previous bout to former champion Ronda Rousey. She's now 9-2 overall.
Gastelum Outduels Hendricks in Spirited Scrap
The second last fight of the undercard paired former welterweight Johny Hendricks with TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum. Though Gastelum was able to dodge his previous weight-cutting issues and make the welterweight division's 170-pound cap for this bout, Hendricks, unfortunately was not.
Despite Hendricks' weight issues, it was a very fun fight, during which both men had their moments. In the end, however, it was Gastelum who landed the more significant shots—even rocking his accomplished foe opponent on several occasions. By the time the final bell chimed, he'd done more than enough to earn the judges' favor.
With the win, the former TUF winner rebounds from a recent split loss to Neil Magny, and elevates his overall record to 12-2. Hendricks, meanwhile, loses his second straight, having been stopped by Stephen Thompson in February. He's now 17-5 overall.
Dillashaw Outguns Assunção for Unanimous Decision
One of the many main-card-worthy bouts on the UFC 200 undercard saw recent bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw look to get back on track against oft-injured Brazilian contender Rafael Assunção, whom he lost to back in 2013.
Though Assunção was able to hang in there, this one was all Dillashaw, who was the far sharper man on the feet, and the more successful party when the fight hit the mat. By the time the bout ended, the former champ had done more than enough to sway the judges.
With the win, Dillashaw rebounds from a razor-thin loss to reigning bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, and is likely to have reasserted himself as the division's number-one-contender. He's now 13-3-0 overall. Assunção, meanwhile, tastes defeat for the first time since March 2011 loss to Erik Koch. He's now 23-5 in sum.
Northcutt Survives Submission Attempts for Decision Win
In late 2015, the 20-year-old Sage Northcutt was one of the most hyped fighters on the UFC roster. Given his December loss to an opportunistic Bryan Barberena, however, the young lightweight entered his UFC 200 bout with Spain's Enrique Marin desperate for a win.
Though Marin was able to threaten with submissions on several occasions, Northcutt ultimately got the win he needed, scoring a decision on the strength of his success on the feet.
With the win, the young prospect returns to the win column. His fighting out of several Marin submission attempts also helped erase any lingering doubts about his toughness. He's now 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the Octagon. Marin, meanwhile, will return to Spain with an 8-4 cumulative record.
Lauzon Scores Quick TKO over Sanchez
The Fight Pass Prelims were wrapped up by a scrap between TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez and post-fight bonus collector Joe Lauzon, who met in a lightweight bout that many considered a frontrunner for Fight of the Night honors.
As it turns out, the bout didn't last long enough for such things, as a frenzied Lauzon put his grizzled foe away with a savage salvo of punches in the first frame.
With this fantastic win, Lauzon rebounds from a decision loss to Evan Dunham. He's now 26-11 overall, and 3-2 in his last 5. Sanchez, meanwhile, returns to the loss column after a decision defeat of Jim Miller. He's now 26-9 overall.
Mousasi Starches Santos in One
Originally, former Dream and Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi was expected to take on streaking middleweight Derek Brunson on the UFC 200 undercard. When Brunson withdrew from the bout with vision issues, however, Mousasi was forced to shift his opponent to the lesser-known Thiago Santos.
Mousasi clearly wasn't effected by the opponent switch. After controlling much of the first round with his grappling, Mousasi eventually shut the lights off on his Brazilian foe with a right hand and a few follow-up ground strikes as the seconds melted off the clock.
With the knockout win, Mousasi builds on the momentum of a dominant decision defeat of Thales Leites, and hangs onto to his spot in the middleweight top-10. He's now 29-6-1 overall, and 6-3 since joining the UFC in 2013. Santos, meanwhile, has a four-fight streak snapped by the loss. He's now 13-4 in sum and 5-3 on the sport's biggest stage.
Miller Smashes Gomi for Quick Win
The fact that UFC 200 was kicked off by a scrap between former lightweight contender Jim Miller and former Pride and Shooto lightweight champ Takanori Gomi is a testament to just how absurdly stacked the card was overall. Under normal circumstances, these two decorated lightweights wouldn't be anywhere near the Fight Pass Prelims.
If Miller was bothered by his involvement in the first fight of the night, however, he didn't let it show. After catching a Gomi kick, the American quickly grounded the fight, from which point he easily locked up back mount, and poured on the ground-and-pound for a first-round TKO victory.
With the win, Miller rebounds from a pair of losses to Michael Chiesa and Diego Sanchez. He's now 26-8 overall, though he remains a tough 2-3 in his last 5. Gomi, meanwhile, falls onto a three-fight skid. The Japanese legend is now 35-12 in sum.
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