There were a lot of ways that UFC 200 could have gone wrong, and for a minute there, it seemed as if at least a few of them were destined to be realized. The one thing we failed to overlook in all of the lead-up to the quote unquote biggest card in UFC history, however, was that the fights themselves would be what left us underwhelmed when all was said and done.
And yet, here we are. Despite being stacked with recognizable talent and solid matchups from top to bottom, UFC 200 simply fell flat for the most part, ending the Zuffa Era™ with a faint whisper instead of the triumphant bang that we were all expecting it to be.
Of course, things got off to a rough start before the first fight of the night had even began. In an aesthetic misstep right up there with writing a cover letter in Papyrus, the UFC decided that the most immediate way to celebrate the landmark event would be to change its canvas from the traditional grey…to yellow.
If UFC’s new owners get rid of that horrible yellow mat, they are already heroes in my book. pic.twitter.com/E6eFC2z7o6
— Jonathan Snowden (@JESnowden) July 11, 2016
Should we be surprised that the UFC would display such an oblivious understanding to the basic tenants of style? I present you this Fight Night: Abu Dhabi poster as proof that we should not.
Pretty much everything about UFC 200′s main event between Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes can be summed up by Brian Stann’s first words in the above video, “These ladies were not supposed to be the main event.” With all due respect to both competitors, I simply cannot see the logic behind swapping out an internationally recognized WWE superstar and former heavyweight champion vs. a top 10-ranked heavyweight for a bout between a one-time champion and a challenger who has never headlined even a Fight Night event.
Was it the more “legit” fight to finish off the card? Sure, but since when has the UFC ever shown a desire or even a concern for appeasing the hardcore MMA fans who would be insulted to see such a momentous occasion topped off by an outsider like Lesnar? The fact is, you could just as easily see Tate. Vs. Nunes headlining a free card on FS1 as you could anything else, which made it all the more underwhelming when Nunes went out and obliterated Tate, thus deflating any remaining interest we might have in this whole Rousey-Tate-Holm triangle (which again, we predicted would happen).
Following his unanimous decision win over Mark Hunt on Saturday, there have been plenty of people talking about how Brock Lesnar has launched himself right back into the title hunt. They will say that Lesnar looked better than he ever has and damn near caved in Hunt’s face en route to a “dominant” unanimous decision. It’s both a ridiculously inflated view of the mostly lackluster fight that transpired over the weekend and conversely right on the money given how the UFC is operating in regards to title shots these days.
Don’t get us wrong, Lesnar looked about as good as a professional wrestler returning from a 5 year hiatus on short notice against a murderous striker could look on Saturday night, getting Hunt to the mat and utilizing his patented masturbation punches to prevent Hunt from landing much of anything for the majority of the three round affair. His standup was still as tentative as ever (understandably so against a guy like Hunt), but I guess the thing we take issue with is the almost fanboyish-like hope that many MMA bloggers have been treating Lesnar’s win with.
As Joe Rogan said in the opening moments of the bout, Lesnar did not decide to come back to the UFC for the fame or the money; he did it to prove something to himself. Brock Lesnar is a businessman first and a fighter second, so the idea that he’d set aside all of his other various engagements to embark on another UFC title run seems dubious bordering on plain silly. Brock Lesnar doesn’t give a sh*t about titles. He doesn’t give a sh*t about legitimizing himself to his doubters. He fights because he wants to and then moves on to the next challenge. If Dana White is to be believed (he isn’t), the UFC had to jump through a three ring circus of hoops with the WWE to get him back in the first place, so before we start discussing the thought of Lesnar dethroning Stipe Miocic or whoever else holds the heavyweight title in the next 6 months, let’s just appreciate what he was able to do at UFC 200 and move on to the next fight.
Again, it’s all about expectations, and UFC 200 largely forced us to reevaluate ours.
If “lowered expectations” was the theme of UFC 200, then it would be hard to declare the last-minute bout between Daniel Cormier vs. Anderson Silva as anything but its crowning moment. I think it’s best to let Cormier himself describe his largely underwhelming performance.
“The reality is, it would have been catastrophic if I would have lost tonight,” said Cormier. “I would still be the [light heavyweight] champion but would have lost to the guy that would have went down to middleweight and challenged for the belt. I did what I needed to do.”
So basically, if we didn’t already hate Jon Jones enough for ruining UFC 151 (also, being a terrible person), then we should definitely hate him for ruining the main event UFC 200, forcing Tate vs. Nunes into an undeserved main event slot, and leaving Cormier with no option but to fight like a…well, we’ll leave the fancy analysis to Cowboy Cerrone.
The full results from UFC 200 are below.
Amanda Nunes def. Miesha Tate via submission (RNC)
Brock Lesnar def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision
Daniel Cormier def. Anderson Silva via unanimous decision
Jose Aldo def. Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision
Cain Velasquez def. Travis Browne via first-round TKO (4:57)
Julianna Pena def. Cat Zingano via unanimous decision
Kelvin Gastelum def. Johny Hendricks via unanimous decision
T.J. Dillashaw def. Raphael Assuncao via unanimous decision
Sage Northcutt def. Enrique Marin via unanimous decision
Joe Lauzon def. Diego Sanchez via first-round TKO (1:26)
Gegard Mousasi def. Thiago Santos via first-round KO (4:32)
Jim Miller def. Takanori Gomi via first-round TKO (2:18)