COMMENTARY | UFC 170 turned out to be decent fight card with lots of finishes to keep casual MMA fans entertained. It couldn’t have come at a better time considering the fact the previous two cards hosted by the Ultimate Fighting Championship both broke historical records for the most decisions in the promotion’s history.
As always, some fighters used the opportunity to propel themselves up the rankings in their respective divisions, while others fumbled under the bright lights of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Octagon.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the UFC 170 fight card held on Feb. 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
1. Ronda Rousey
Rousey lived up to the hyped once again on Saturday, making quick work out of fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann. She demonstrated her evolution as a MMA fighter, softening McMann up against the cage before finishing her off with a vicious knee to the liver a little over a minute into the opening round.
It was an extremely dominant performance against a solid opponent, proving — once again — Rousey is as good as advertised.
It’s hard to see anyone besides Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino bringing Rousey’s reign as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s female bantamweight champion to an end.
2. Daniel Cormier
DC looked awesome during his light-heavyweight debut at UFC 170, walking right through Patrick Cummins, securing his first TKO victory inside the Octagon.
It only took him 79 seconds. Exactly what he needed to against an opponent most expected him to beat.
With the impressive showing, Cormier will likely find himself fighting for — at the very least — a number one contender bout during his next outing.
3. Stephen Thompson
“Wonderboy” secured his most impressive victory as a professional mixed martial artist at UFC 170, handing gifted Aussie striker Robert Whittaker his first TKO loss. It was a beautiful display of superior striking against a talented opponent, establishing Thompson as a force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s welterweight division.
I for one can’t wait to see him bang with other talented strikers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division like Carlos Condit and Erick Silva.
Notable mentions: Rory MacDonald, Erik Koch, Mike Pyle, and Raphael Assuncao.
1. Robert Whittaker
Whittaker has the potential to be one of the special fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division, but he certainly didn’t fight like that at UFC 170. He wasn’t prepared for Thompson’s unorthodox striking techniques and he paid for it.
For now, it’s back to the drawing board for the TUF Smashes welterweight winner.
2. Demian Maia
Maia looked incredible during the first round of his UFC 170 encounter against Rory MacDonald, dominating the action, but he faded away during the latter rounds. He gassed himself out going for several takedowns from ranges you’d never expect a seasoned grappler to shoot from (Rory’s increased aggression didn’t help), paving the way for MacDonald’s come-from-behind victory.
3. Herb Dean?
Herb had a pair of controversial stoppages at UFC 170. First, he was accused of letting T.J Waldburger take too much punishment before saving him from Mike Pyle, then came cries of a premature stoppage during the Rousey vs. McMann main event.
I personally didn’t have any qualms with either stoppage.
T.J never lost consciousness during the closing moments of his bout, and he blocked a decent amount of Pyle’s finishing blows. I don’t have any problem with Herb giving him every opportunity in the world to recover before ending the contest.
McMann’s fight was stopped a bit early, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a horrible call. After the fight-ending knee to the liver, Sara turtled up, protecting her head with one hand, grabbing her side with the other — which is certainly not intelligently defending yourself. She didn’t move until Dean stopped the fight.
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