Check out our live coverage of UFC 207: Rousey vs Nunes.
Later tonight, Ronda Rousey will be back in the octagon after being off for over a year. Will we see the old Ronda Rousey? A new Ronda Rousey? A damaged Ronda Rousey?
Whichever Rousey that may be, all eyes are on her. Standing in her way is Amanda Nunes, who is one of the most improved fighters in the UFC. If Nunes successfully defends her title, her star power continues its ascent.
Dominick Cruz faces off against Cody Garbrandt in the latest of Cruz vs Team Alpha Male. Thankfully, this is a fight and not a debate. Because the debate would be a Mike Tyson knockout.
We’ll be back for the main card.
Ray Borg Vs Louis Smolka
Borg missed a strike and fell on his back and Smolka followed him there, only for Borg to transition into side control. Borg handled him just about the entire round and Smolka was bleeding over his eye. Smolka tried to get up and was slammed down by Borg. Easy round for Borg.
There was an excellent scramble to start the second round. Borg went for a takedown, Smolka stopped it, and then it looked like Smolka was going to get the better position, but Borg hung on and landed on top. Borg was in Smolka’s half guard and went for an arm triangle. Smolka got out, got back up, and then was back down again. Borg is all over him.
It sounded like Borg said he broke his ankle in his corner. But it didn’t seem to be an issue. He dominated the round much like the first two and looked like he had Smolka out with an arm triangle, but Smolke escaped. Borg dominated all three rounds.
Winner: Ray Borg by way of unanimous decision
Tarec Saffiedine Vs Dong Hyun Kim
Saffiedine had a nice trip takedown and then Kim was up against the fence and Kim tripped him back, but Saffiedine was back on his feet. It was a weird, but close round in that Saffiedine, the kickboxer was doing better in the grappling, while Kim, the judo guy was doing just as well or better on the feet. Very physical round.
Saffiedine’s punches are straighter. Kim’s throwing hard punches, but they are wider and take longer to get there. When it comes to the bigger punches, Saffiedine’s clearly winning the striking battle now. Kim had him up against the fence and nearly had the trip takedown, but Saffiedine bounced right back up and then reversed position on the cage.
This round was a grinder. Neither guy landing anything big, or taking any chances and lots of position battles. Kim finally got him down for a second, but just a second. Kim got his back right at the end of the round. I have no idea who won this fight.
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim by way of split decision
The scores were 30-27 for Saffiedine and 29-28 times two for Kim.
John Lineker Vs T.J. Dillashaw
Lineker caught two of Dillashaw’s head kicks to start the fight. Lineker threw a head kick and missed and Dillashaw laughed. Dillashaw got an easy takedown. Dillashaw is being very careful on the feet. He’ll throw and quickly get his hands back into position to defend. Lineker didn’t land anything, but he’s throwing everything really hard.
Dillashaw dominated the second round. Once he had him on the ground, he toyed with him. Lineker not only couldn’t get up, but Dillashaw was peppering him with annoying punches and some hard elbows. Lineker wasn’t defending well. At one point, he threw his head forward as if to take the punches on his forehead.
Dillashaw got him down a couple times and dominated the ground work. Lineker was able to land here and there and a lot to the body late, but he Dillashaw was never in any real trouble.
Winner: T.J. Dillashaw by way of unanimous decision
All the scores were 30-26.
Cody Garbrandt Vs Dominick Cruz
Garbrandt looked calm and very quick. Not to say that he surprised Cruz, but I think he made Cruz more disjointed than Cruz made him. Cruz scored a wicked takedown, but momentum took him over and Garbrandt was in top position. Cruz was out of position and Garbrandt blasted him with a great takedown. This is good stuff.
Cody blasted him with a punch and Cruz was falling backward a bit and threw some wide hooks and one landed and Garbrandt buckled. Garbrandt landed an overhand right and then a left hook. Cruz didn’t flinch, but they landed clean. Cruz went for a takedown late, but Garbrandt stuffed it. They ended the round both landing, with Garbrandt’s shot being more impactful.
They went toe-to-toe to start the round and both landed, but again Garbrandt hits harder and Cruz was the worse off of the two. Cruz has a cut over his left eye and Joe Rogan said it was from a head butt. Garbrandt is landing and then mocking him. Cruz is missing and Garbrandt is mocking him. Garbrandt is starting to use his jab. He landed a nice series of shots, but Cruz took them. Cruz landed two shots near the end of the round. I have Garbrandt up 2-1, but his third and first round were more decisive than Cruz’s second.
They went toe-to-toe again and both landed, but Garbrandt put Cruz on his butt. Cruz tried to grab his leg, but bounced back up. Garbrandt looked like he was tiring at the end of the last round, but he looks perfectly fine in the fourth. Garbrandt knocked him down with a left hand, but got cute and posed after, letting Cruz get back up. He knocked him down two more times before the round ended. This is awesome.
Garbrandt was moving a lot in the round, which allowed Cruz to score with punches. Garbrandt didn’t want to put himself in bad positions to get knocked out. Cruz timed a knee perfectly that just missed. Garbrandt tied him up with about a minute left and pushed him up against the cage. He got on his horse to finish the fight. I have the fight scored 3-2 for Garbrandt, but the fourth round was 10-8.
Winner: Cody Garbrandt by way of unanimous decision
The judges scored it 48-46, 48-47, and 48-46.
Ronda Rousey Vs Amanda Nunes
It was over just as it began. Rousey stood right in the center with her and Nunes started blasting her with right hands. Rousey didn’t move her head, stuck her face right in there, and it was over very quickly.
Winner: Amanda Nunes by way of 1st round TKO