Final Thoughts of UFC 217

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By Derek Bowe

Final thoughts of UFC 217

 

When UFC 217 was announced, you had to figure it would be a marquee event for 2017. Then when fights began to get announced, those thoughts were confirmed. Three title fights banded together with a plethora of exciting bouts up, and down the entire card made for a loaded lineup of fights. However, we all are aware, an explosive card on paper as such sometimes will possess a dead fuse which never ignites. Thankfully this card lived up to all prior expectations, delivering breathtaking action while cementing itself among the great cards in history. It is a treat to recap this one from top to bottom with some key points from each fight, in case you missed the action, here are some words which will not do near enough justice to the action witnessed.

Michael Bisping vs Georges St. Pierre – Middleweight Title Fight

– The size advantage was not nearly as evident as originally suspected

– St. Pierre does not appear to have the same cardio level, understandably, at middleweight as he did at welterweight

– Bisping could not establish his forward movement which allows him to let his hands go. He was forced to fight often off his back foot

– St. Pierre’s threat of takedown forced Bisping to hold his hands lower than he normally does

– That counter hook to finish the fight was live the entire night, St. Pierre ultimately capitalized in the third

– It appeared in the post-fight interview St. Pierre wished to express his desire to drop back down in weight, Rogan switched subjects quickly

– St. Pierre should drop back down in weight class, despite his fantastic return, there are mismatches at MIddleweight

Fight Grade: A

 

Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw – Bantamweight Title Fight

– Garbrandt possessed an evident speed, and power advantage, hurting Dillashaw on multiple exchanges in the first round

– Dillashaw looked to be missing early, just had he did in his previous match vs another elusive fighter in Dominick Cruz

– Garbrandt had little regard for Dillashaw’s power in the opening round, entering exchanges inside at will, this would haunt him later

– The fight was nearly over in the first, Dillashaw survived, then turned the tables in the champion in the second, finishing him with a great hook in an exchange, after previously dropping Garbrandt in the round with a roundhouse kick

– Dillashaw then called out Demetrious Johnson, though the better fight might be a rematch with Dominick Cruz should he get past Rivera

Fight Grade: A

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas – Strawweight Title Fight

– Namajunas appeared to be unfazed by Jedrzejczyk’s aggression in lead up to the fight, Jedrzejczyk looked bothered by that action

– From the opening bell, it was a battle of range, one Namajunas established early by staying at boxing range, rather than letting Jedrzejczyk get inside to use her elbows effectively as Karolina Kowalkiewicz did prior to Namajunas

– While Namajunas established her range, she also had Jedrzejczyk fighting off her back foot, never allowing her to dig in and come forward to get into her offense

– Jedrzejczyk was dropped twice by Namajunas, the second is where the finish came, midway through the first

– Namajunas has real power at Strawweight, say that again, Namajunas has real power at Strawweight

– An immediate rematch could be looming, it will be massive

Fight Grade: A

 

 

Stephen Thompson vs Jorge Masvidal

– Thompson was the much quicker fighter in this bout

– Thompson threw more volume than he has in his career, his most effective strikes came while exiting the pocket

– Masvidal was confused the entire fight, though found success when he was able to go to the body, as well as land leg kicks

– Masvidal’s inability to close the distance found him unable to mount the needed offense to trouble Thompson

– The volume Thompson displayed is what he needed in his bouts against the champion Woodley, if he had fought like that, he would be holding the belt currently

Fight Grade: B+

 

 

Paulo Costa vs Johny Hendricks

– Costa looked to be a heavyweight in with a blown up welterweight the size difference was staggering

– Speed, power, ability all for Costa, you can see how big of a mismatch this was

– Hendricks admirably took a ton of punishment, yet is a complete shell of his former self

– Hendricks needs to retire

– Costa is very talented, needs a top ten guy next

FIght Grade: C

 

 

James Vick vs Joe Duffy

– Both fighters with an incredible showing

– Back and forth boxing striking on both sides, both fighters had their moments

– Vick is ready for another big test

– Duffy will be a great fight for anyone, likely will not ever contend

– The fight could have seen the third round, but the decision to stop the fight was not a bad one, just the ref’s discretion

Fight Grade: A

 

 

Mark Godbeer vs Walt Harris

– Was a fantastic fight prior to the unfortunate stoppage due to illegal strikes

– Both fighters came out trading major heat

– I do not believe Harris was being a dirty fighter with that kick, I do believe he did not hear the ref and when the ref stepped in, he could not pull the kick

– Rematch?

Fight Grade: B+ (it was really good while it lasted).

 

Ovince St. Preaux vs Corey Anderson

– Beautiful high kick KO

– Anderson always finds a way to lose

Final Grade: A-

 

 

 

 

Randy Brown vs Mickey Gall

-Randy Brown is further in his advancement of his career than Mickey Gall.

Fight Grade: B-

Curtis Blaydes vs Oleksiy Oliynyk

-Glad Curtis Blaydes didn’t get disqualified.

-Curtis Blaydes dominated the fight and was well on his way to a win

Fight Grade: B-

 

 

Ricardo Ramos vs Aiemann Zahabi

– Two good prospects giving us the fight we hoped for

– Striking contest primarily in the boxing category

– Hard to tell who was winning prior to the finish, very close

– Zahabi will have a nice UFC career

– Ramos is definitely on the radar to make some waves

– Back elbow for the finish was his second time landing within a few seconds

Fight Grade: B+

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