It’s not the UFC 200 we imagined. No Conor McGregor or Jon “Bones” Jones. But with a bantamweight championship fight between Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, Brock Lesnar making his return to the octagon after five years plus a deep card of solid fights, the much hyped UFC 200 delivered a thrilling night in Las Vegas.
Women’s Bantamweight Championship: (Champion) Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes
This one was over quickly. Miesha Tate came in the bantamweight champion in her last fight after defeating Holly Holm, who beat Ronda Rousey. And for the third straight women’s bantamweight championship fight, a new top dog has emerged. A flurry of punches by Nunes midway through the first round destabilized the champion, and a massive right hand busted Tate open. She then locked in a rear-naked choke and submitted the wounded Tate. Nunes is the first Brazilian woman’s champion in UFC history.
135 lbs.: Amanda Nunes def. Miesha Tate by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:16 of Round One
Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt
Making his surprise return to the UFC after five years away from MMA, the former heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar didn’t miss a beat. A match that most people predicted would be over one way or another quickly actually ended up going the distance. Coming in an underdog to knockout artist Mark Hunt, the massive Minnesotan was able to exert his will from the start. In the first round Lesnar took Hunt to the ground twice and delivered numerous hard blows to the head. After a largely uneventful and even second round, the ferocious “beast incarnate” Brock Lesnar drove Hunt to the ground again in the third round and established a full mount, whacking away at Hunt from on top of him. Hunt showed a lot of toughness lasting to the end of the fight after several minutes underneath Lesnar, but in the end Lesnar was the decisive winner by points. All indications are that this was a one-off for the 38-year-old Lesnar, but we’ll see if that changes after this impressive display.
265 lbs.: Brock Lesnar def. Mark Hunt by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Daniel Cormier vs. Anderson Silva
Daniel Cormier was slated to challenge Jon “Bones’ Jones for the light heavyweight championship in the main event of UFC 200 until Jones was stunningly pulled from the card this week after failing a pre-fight drug test. Just 48 hours before the fight, light heavyweight legend Anderson Silva and Cormier agreed to fight instead. Silva, who is 41, showed his valiance just by stepping in the ring, but it was clear the 41-year-old has lost a step in recent years. Throughout the fight Cormier neutralized Silva’s striking ability by taking him to the mat, where Cormier proceeded to control the fight to the ire of the Las Vegas crowd. Cormier wasn’t overly aggressive in this fight that went the distance, but proved himself pragmatic while fighting against a competitor he didn’t prepare for. Let’s hope we get to see Cormier vs. Jones at some point soon.
205 lbs.: Daniel Cormier defeated Anderson Silva (30-26; 30-26; 30-26)
Interim Featherweight Championship: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar
With Conor McGregor, who was pulled from the UFC 200 card after refusing to do the requisite promotion of the event, watching intently from his seat in the T-Mobile Arena, Aldo and Edgar fought for the interim featherweight championship and mostly likely a date with the UFC megastar. Aldo, who lost in his last fight to McGregor but is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world came out victorious by decision in this five-round fight. The Brazilian Aldo improved his record to 26-2, in this rematch of a 2013 fight that Aldo likewise won by decision. The majority of this fight the two combatants were standing up and Aldo was a half-step quicker and thus landed more significant punches. The fifth and final round, in which he made Edgar bleed with some powerful combinations, sealed the win and the title for Aldo.
145 lbs.: Jose Aldo def. Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision (49-46; 49-46; 48-47)
The Rest of the Card
265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez def. Travis Browne by TKO (punches) at 4:57 of Round One
135 lbs.: Julianna Pena def. Cat Zingano by unanimous decision (29-28; 29-28; 29-28)
170 lbs.: Kelvin Gastelum def. Johny Hendricks by unanimous decision (29-28; 30-27; 30-27)
135 lbs.: T.J. Dillashaw def. Raphael Assuncao by unanimous decision (30-27; 30-27; 30-27)
155 lbs.: Sage Northcutt def. Enrique Marin by unanimous decision (29-28; 29-28; 29-28)
155 lbs.: Joe Lauzon def. Diego Sanchez by TKO (punches) at 1:26 of Round One
185 lbs.: Gegard Mousasi def. Thiago Santos by KO (punches) at 4:32 of Round One
155 lbs.: Jim Miller def. Takanori Gomi by TKO (punches) at 2:18 of Round One