UFC 217: It’s a night of new champions at New York

UFC 217 - Bisping vs GSP

The biggest possible fight card of the year just came to an end at UFC 217 in a spectacular fashion. It was the day of the underdogs with all three titles changing hands in the most unexpected fashion. Bisping’s loss may not have come as a huge surprise for me as he fought one of the greatest of all time in George St Pierre. The other two title fights for sure ended with some unpredicted results. Here’s my review of the UFC 217 wrap up.

Bisping vs GSP

This is a pick’em fight with most booking houses predicting equal chances of victory for both fighters. However, Bisping went down as one more fighter who couldn’t solve the GSP puzzle. Just like his other fights, GSP displayed a tremendous amount of athleticism. Remember, GSP is a guy who brings in the scientific approach to an MMA fight. He isn’t just another hothead fighter who trades shots without any precaution. Like it or not, this strategy seemed to have paid the dividends for him. He is now the middleweight champion of the world.

Coming after a 4-year hiatus, GSP looked better than ever at UFC 217 and pulled off something that many thought was impossible. Bisping is one of the greatest fighters in the UFC, but he never fought any top middleweights during his title reign. From winning the title on a “puncher’s chance” to almost losing it to 46-year old Hendo, his title reign is not the one to envy upon. There is nothing wrong in running after a money fight, but he did hold up the division for almost a year without giving a shot to the likes of Romero or Jacare (just saying).

Now that GSP has won the middleweight, a unification fight with Robert Whittaker must be his immediate next (unless, of course, he has other plans). Whittaker has been medically ruled out till early next year. So, both fighters will have enough time to prepare for each other. Next year is going to be exciting for the middleweight division.

Garbrandt vs Dillashaw

TJ Dillashaw came into UFC 217 as an underdog and went home with the bantamweight title. Cody Garbrandt did look impressive until he got dropped with a well-timed headkick from Dillashaw. Though he recovered quickly from this kick, his chin gave out in the next right hook from Dillashaw.

Cody is one of the exceptional fighters in the division, and I expected him to win this one. He did come close with the vicious knockdown of Dillashaw towards the end of the first round. However, he could not capitalize on that. This could very well be the beginning of an interesting rivalry in the bantamweight division. Dillashaw may have won the fight on their first encounter, but I have no doubt that Cody will come back strong.

Jedrzejczyk vs Namajunas

The loss of Joanna Jedrzejczyk must be the upset of the year with “Thug” Rose Namajunas pulling off something that no one in the strawweight division has ever done before. Joanna was taunting Rose in every single press meet even up to the point of physical contact. Rose, on the other hand, was an epitome of composure with no signs of emotions of any kind.

The calm, composed Rose may have pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever in the UFC history. Joanna was the only strawweight champion till UFC 217. Rose’s victory has opened up an array of possibilities in the strawweight division. Joanna could push for an immediate rematch. If that doesn’t happen, the entire roster awaits Rose in the future and she can have her pick.