UFC 207 takes place in Las Vegas tonight and sees the return of one of their biggest stars in Ronda Rousey.
With a hugely entertaining main card, this looks like it will more than live up to the levels that have been set by the UFC this year, with their massive fight night in NYC for UFC 205 setting the bar extremely high.
Bigger than Conor McGregor?
Rousey’s return couldn’t be timed any better for the corporation as Conor McGregor takes some time off after the aforementioned 205. With Rousey arguably a bigger star, doing more for the status of the UFC & MMA – certainly for the women’s game if not overall – than anyone else.
— GIPHY (@giphy) December 29, 2016
In what many outwith the sport will see as Rousey coming back to retake her Bantamweight belt, she faces an extremely tough task in champion, Amanda Nunes. Similarly trail-blazing to Rousey, Nunes is the first Brazilian woman signed by the UFC & their first openly lesbian champion. Coming off the back of a four-fight winning streak which saw Nunes take the title, a run which included a hugely impressive demolition & submission via rear naked choke of previous champ Miesha Tate in a round, this is no forgone conclusion.
What adds to the intrigue of the match-up is Rousey’s absence further to her first professional loss in 2015 to Holly Holm, after a flawless 12-0 record including 11 first round victories!
Both weighed in bang on 135lb weight and look in great condition, bookmakers barely able to split them, this is a fight which justifies ending a massive year for MMA.
So much more than just Rousey’s return
Co-headlining the card in another hotly anticipated clash, the Bantamweight king, Dominic Cruz faces off to the young pretender Cody Garbrandt in a match where there is no love lost. Garbrandt has lived up to his ‘No Love’ nickname in the build-up to the fight, rising to Cruz’s baiting regarding everything from Cody’s lack of relationship with his father to his girlfriend’s Instagram. Some would say this is playing into Cruz’s hands and many comparing these mind games to the ones McGregor initiated on Jose Aldo (13 seconds it took to resolve that argument).
— #UFC207 (@ufc) December 29, 2016
Cruz’s name is finally beginning to be mentioned in the ‘pound-for-pound’ discussions, with an almost perfect record of 22-1 (his one loss avenged against future Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, which he then settled the score with a second victory), he has movement like no other & skill set to beat anyone in the world. Recognised ‘pound-for-pound’ best Demetrious Johnson will testify to this, saying you cannot beat what you can’t hit – Cruz inflicting Johnson one of only two losses in his career.
This is a massive step up for Garbrandt however having the experience of Faber in his team & devastating knock-out power in both hands, this fight you will not want to look away from!
And the rest
Add to these fights, an intriguing Bantamweight fight between heavy handed John Linekar & a man unlucky not to be facing Cruz, TJ Dillashaw in what will most likely be an eliminator for the next title shot; Welterweight battle with the experienced Dong Hyun Kim vs Tarec Saffiedine who similarily has mixed with the best in the business & fighting at a 129.5lbs catchweight, Louis Smolka vs Ray Borg, 2016 looks to end with a knockout blow!