I genuinely see Conor having the trilogy fight with Diaz, leaving Ferguson in a bit of an odd situation.
Boy did UFC 216 deliver. We saw one of the fights of the year when Bobby Green and Lando Vannata fought to a draw in the prelims, we saw records broken, and champions crowned. There was a hell of a lot of grappling, the main card was extremely technical and a world class display from those involved. Some people saw there stock rise dramatically, and there could be some great fights made. Let’s get started from top to bottom of the main card.
Beneil Dariush and Evan Dunham fight to a majority draw
This was a really fun scrap to open up the PPV. Everybody knew it was going to be close, but very few would ever predict a draw in MMA. I agree with the decision, Dariush dominated round 1 while Dunham took rounds 2 and 3 less convincingly. A lot of people would say these men should rematch after a draw, but I disagree. Green and Vannata have to rematch because it was that damn fun, but two ranked guys like Dunham and Dariush have so many more options. Lightweight is the most stacked division and so many people want to make a crack at the rankings. I’d like to see Dariush give someone outside the rankings a chance since he hasn’t won in his last two, while Dunham deserves another crack at a ranked opponent as he hasn’t lost in 5.
Beneil Dariush (#10) vs Charles Oliveira (NR)
Mairbek Taisumov (#13) vs Evan Dunham (NR)
Mara Borella beats Kalindra Faria by round 1 submission
This was a one sided demolition by Borella, she looked extremely impressive and controlled the entire fight, she could be set for a quick turn around in the division and deserves a big name, and a ranked opponent. Jessica Eye makes sense, she’s ready to fight and both women could get a chance to make a big impression before the years end or early 2018. Faria is at the bottom of the pile now, with the rankings yet to be determined with TUF 26 still going on, she’ll likely fight someone who lost in the first round of the tournament.
Mara Borella (NR) vs Jessica Eye (NR)
Kalindra Faria (NR) vs Shana Dobson (NR)
Fabricio Werdum beats Walt Harris by round 1 submission
Derrick Lewis pulled out of the fight on 3 hours notice, Harris was pulled from his prelim fight and bumped to the main card in the biggest fight of his life, but he got mauled. Harris knew he was out of his depth, and it showed, this was merely a training session for Werdum and an excuse to keep him on the card at short notice. I feel bad for Mark Godbeer who was meant to fight Harris, and that fight should happen ASAP. It’s tough for Werdum, I don’t really know if they should reschedule the fight with Lewis, it’s dependent on his injuries. The only other logical opponent that isn’t booked is Volkov.
Fabricio Werdum (#2) vs Alexander Volkov (#5)
Walt Harris (#15) vs Mark Godbeer (NR)
Demetrious Johnson beats Ray Borg by round 5 submission
WOW. Johnson is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time it’s not even debatable at this point, he’s five rounds up against Borg, no risks are needed, but he suplexes Borg and mid throw goes for an armbar, easily the best submission of the year for me. Johnson has destroyed an entire division, and why should he just move weight class because some fans want him to? If I was him I’d stay at flyweight, and I’d let the winner of Dillashaw and Garbrandt drop down a weight class to fight for the flyweight belt. Borg was mauled here, he showed heart but that’s about it. It’s not a knock to him, DJ is just that good. He needs to fight some more of the top 10 guys and earn another crack at gold.
Demertrious Johnson (C) vs the winner of Garbrandt (135 C) vs Dillashaw (#2 135) (at 125lb)
Ray Borg (#4) vs Brandon Moreno (#7)
Tony Ferguson beats Kevin Lee by round 3 submission to become the interim UFC lightweight champion
Ferguson is a beast of a man, he’s become one of those characters that are impossible to figure out, his style is so unique, he’ll strike from any position and as you saw, throw up a million submission attempts. The fight went a little bit how I imagined, just a lot quicker and more intense. Lee started strong and gassed early, Ferg took over and looked a level above. Traditionally, the interim champion fights the champion, so by logic Ferguson should fight Conor McGregor, but it’s not gonna happen. I genuinely see Conor having the trilogy fight with Diaz, leaving Ferguson in a bit of an odd situation. He’ll likely end up fighting Khabib, with the winner of that then fighting Mac or Diaz next year. Do I want it? No. Will it happen? I think so. As for Kevin Lee, even with a loss his stock as sky rocketed, he fought in a big main event and put on a decent show, he’ll learn from the loss and come back stronger.
Tony Ferguson (IC) vs Conor McGregor (C)
Kevin Lee (#8) vs the loser of Eddie Alvarez (#4) vs Justin Gaethje (#7)