UFC 217: Storylines
Tomorrow is UFC 217 and quite possibly the biggest card of the year. With three title fights, as well as a possible title contender bout, there is a lot going on this weekend. Here's what we got:
- The legacies of GSP and Bisping
Everyone is well aware that Georges St. Pierre is considered one of the best ever (To see why, CLICK HERE). Should he win the strap tomorrow night, it propels him that much higher. One thing I have not heard people talk about, however, is the legacy of Michael Bisping. He currently has the most wins in UFC history at 20, he defeated Anderson Silva, another one of the sport's greatest, and may well defend his belt against another all-time great. If he pulls out the victory, he may have sneaked his way into legend territory.
2. Bad Blood at Bantamweight
Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw are actually going to fight. This has been scheduled in the past, but had to be scrapped due to injury. Now, though, it is actually happening, and fight fans are salivating over it. These are two guys at the top of their games beating world-class fighter after world-class fighter. TJ, a former champ, has defeated the former kingpin of the divison Renan Barao twice and sent his career into a spiraling mess. He has beaten guys on short notice, beaten elite guys time and time again in his 13 fights in the UFC. Cody's path has been much shorter and has been meteoric, having only 5 fights before his title shot against Dominick Cruz, his best performance to date. He schooled the champion, bettering him at every facet of the fight game. This fight is going to show the world how far this division has come, as well being a barn-burner, FOTN possibility.
3. Joanna GWOAT?
Tomorrow night, Joanna Jedrzejczyk is attempting to tie Ronda Rousey's women's record for consecutive title defenses. She squares off against Rose Namajunas, the woman who lost the first woman's strawweight title fight. Since then, Rose has been getting better and better, preparing herself for another shot at the belt. She has won 4 of her last five, most recently over Michelle Waterson via submission. She brings a more slick ground game than Joanna has had to deal with thus far. Rose has to bring her "A" game, however, as Joanna has been champ as long as she has for a reason. She is a murderous stand-up fighter, piecing up every opponent she has went against thus far in the octagon. Her conditioning is elite, and she has a swagger that is second to none. If this stays standing, I see Joanna picking Rose apart like she has all of her previous opponents. If it goes to the ground, fasten your seat-belts because it could get wild.
4. Possible Welterweight #1 Contender
The last fight before the title fights kick off is a welterweight showdown between Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal. Thompson of course is coming off of this two fights with Woodley, the champion, while Masvidal is coming off a razor-close split decision loss to Demian Maia. This is #2 against #4 according to the UFC rankings, so it is clear that the winner of this may get the next crack at Woodley. For Thompson to get another fight, it will certainly take a strong performance, quite possibly a finish. Likewise, if Masvidal finishes Thompson, look for him to call out Woodley in his post-fight interview.
If you want to see who we have picked in this weekend's fights, CLICK HERE.