In the prelim main event, former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks took on top 10 ranked Neil Magny. Then, in what has become typical Johnny Hendricks fashion, he simply fought to score points. He was unsuccessful in this endeavor, as Magny won via decision. Hendricks has now lost 3 in a row, and 5 of his last 7. He has also had a problem making weight for the division. He has talked about retirement in the past, and I think it may be time to call it a career unless he can fix his problems in and out of the octagon. As for Magny, this was a good bounce back win against a former champion. His reach can get him far in this division, and I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing him fight a top 5 guy next.
This title says it all. Cody Garbrandt upset Dominick Cruz to claim the bantamweight strap, becoming the second member of Team Alpha Male to win a UFC belt. All the talk leading up to the fight was if Garbrandt could figure out the puzzle that was Cruz, whose unorthodox movement befuddled opponents to this point. "No Love" proved that Cruz could be tagged, knocking down the champion several times. Garbrandt also showed the rest of the division that he isn't just a striker, as he was able to take Cruz down and avoid being taken down himself. The new champion is exciting to watch and I look forward to the likely bout between him and former teammate TJ Dillashaw.
Don't Fear the Return
The main event featured the long awaited return of Ronda Rousey, who took a staggering 13 months off following her knockout loss to Holly Holm. In that time, no champion had been able to defend the belt, as Holm lost it to Miesha Tate, who subsequently lost to now champion Amanda Nunes. The return of Ronda set the fight up to be likely the most important fight in UFC women's history. There were talks that Ronda would simply pick up from where she left off before her defeat, that her loss was a gimmick. Well, no one told that to Amanda Nunes. She exposed Rousey's poor stand up and forced Herb Dean to stop the fight a mere 48 seconds into the first round. This fight showed the MMA world a couple things. One, with the first successful title defense in the division since Ronda's reign, it showed that Nunes is a legit fighter and needs to be respected. Second, and likely most importantly, it showed that MMA was waits on no one. As time progresses, it demands that the best have to be true mixed martial artists, having no holes in their gamel. Ronda's stand up was exposed, showing that her competition truly caught up with her. No one knows what the future holds for Rousey, but if I were to guess, I would say it isn't going to be in the octagon.