The UFC kicked off their PPV schedule for 2017 with UFC 208 from Brooklyn. The main selling point of this event is the crowning of the inaugural women’s featherweight champion. The big story coming out of the night was the lackluster main card that most people would consider to be one of if not the most boring in recent memory. The judges and referees played a big role in the outcomes of nearly all the fights and the new commentary team of Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik felt clunky. All right let’s just get into it.
#10 Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (20-5) vs. Jim Miller (28-8)
I said in my preview article that I thought this one would go to the ground, but these two decided that the majority of the fight was going to be fought in the stand-up. The first round could have gone either way depending on who you thought landed the better shots at the two stood and exchanged for the full five minutes. The second round was a lot of the same, but with Poirier definitely landing more shots as well as landing the more powerful shots. By the end of round 2 Miller had taken over 60 shots to the head. Round 3, in my opinion, went to Miller. He worked his leg kicks and clearly had Poirier hurt and might have been able to get a referee stoppage if he had kept the fight in the stand-up and kept attacking the leg. On the ground Miller had control, but wasn’t able to get any serious submission holds locked in. This one went to the judge’s cards and man were they weird. Poirier wins via majority decision but there was a 28-28 in there. Good fight to lead off the main card. Both guys looked pretty beat up at the end of the fight so we’ll have to wait and see when the next time we see either of these two lightweights will be. (Editor’s note: This was the fight of the night.)
#3 Glover Teixeira (25-5) vs. #15 Jared Cannonier (9-1)
Glover Teixeira just outclassed Jared Cannonier. That’s really all you need to say about this fight. Glover knew that Jared had a very good stand-up style and he was able to avoid that and take Jared down pretty much at will and keep him down for the majority of all 3 rounds. This was probably one of the least visually appealing fights I’ve seen in a long time as even on the ground there wasn’t a lot going on. Glover was able to lock in a pretty tight guilloteen choke but Jared rolled out before suffering too much damage. This one went the full 3 rounds and the results were basically what you’d expect. Teixeria wins by unanimous decision with all 3 judges scoring it 30-26. Honestly this fight could have been a 30-25, that was how dominant Teixeria was. For Teixeria, this win basically guarantees that he’s going to end up fighting the winner of the Daniel Cormier vs. Johnson fight for the light heavyweight title. As for Cannonier, he showed a lot of heart, but his wrestling/ground skills are not what they need to be if he wants to compete with the best in the UFC.
#3 Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (23-4) vs. #13 Tim Boetsch (20-10)
The Vegas odds makers were on point with this one. I mentioned in my preview for this fight how good Souza’s takedown and submission skills are and he had them on display in this fight. Boetsch was able to stuff the first take down attempt and even land a couple of hard looking shots early in the first round, but as soon as Souza was able to get him to the ground you could see that they were just in different skill classes. Souza was easily able to pass from side control into full mount and locked in a kimura that forced Boetsch to tap out at just 3:41 of the first round. Much like with the Teixeria fight before this one, this was just an example of a fighter being able to pick apart his opponent. Souza who has been in contention for the middleweight title for quite a while now used his post-fight interview to call out Michael Bisping. That fight or a fight against Yoel Romero would be one I’d very much like to see.
#7 Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-8) vs. #8 Derek Brunson (16-4)
There are fights where I’ll say the judge’s decisions were a bit weird, this one was just plain crazy. 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for Silva? What fight were they watching? This was boring from start to finish with neither fighter really landing any power shots, but Silva barely landed anything. He had good takedown defense but he still got taken down twice. Brunson was the “aggressor” and landed more total and significant shots and was able to get two takedowns. Could he have done more? Of course, but Silva is dangerous and can knock out and opponent in the blink of an eye, so it makes sense that Brunson was a bit cautious. I don’t know what this result will mean for either of these fighters. For Brunson, it probably drops him to #10 or #11 in the rankings and could move Silva up to #5 or #6. What a let down.
Holy Holm (10-2) vs. Germaine de Randamie (6-3)
The headline fight of the night as I mentioned in the opener is being used to crown the inaugural featherweight champion in the UFC’s featherweight division. Expectations were for this one to be a stand-up fight as both Holm and de Randamie are known for their striking ability. I would have loved to see these to stand and trade punches and kicks, ala the Miller vs. Poirier. That really isn’t what we got here though. What we got was Holm essentially trying to throw the same diving combination over and over for the first two rounds, Germaine easily avoiding it and punching Holly in the face with a counter. Holm switched up her strategy a bit in the last three rounds, trying to go for a takedown but Germaine proved that she has okay defense against a not great grappler. The match ended with all 3 judges scoring the fight 48-47 for de Randamie.
All right now let’s get into the judges and officiating in general. I’ve mentioned a few times in this article that the score cards were “wonky” and the Holm vs. de Randamie didn’t have quite the same problem, but the officiating was terrible. Germaine hit Holly after the bell in two straight rounds. I can probably excuse the first time, but that was probably the hardest shot that Holly took in the whole fight. But then she did it again in the next round and only gets a warning. It should have clearly been a point deduction and you could tell that the ref was worried it was going to happen again as he was basically standing between the two of them for the last 10 seconds of each round from then on. If, as it should have been, de Randamie gets a point deduction this fight ends in a draw. This would have been the perfect cap to a horrible night for the UFC. Dana White, in a post event interview said that this was probably one of the worst events that he’s seen in a long time.
Where do we go from here?
I mentioned in my preview article that if de Randamie won that they would probably have her fight Cyborg to set up a “Big Fight” between Cyborg and Nunes. That looks like what they want to do, but in her post-fight interview de Randamie said she needs to have surgery on her hand, which means she’s out for a while. Silva can pretty much pick who he wants to fight next and since he’s the bigger name he’s probably got a better chance of getting a fight for the title against Bisping than Souza. I wouldn’t mind seeing Silva vs. Souza. Teixeria now has to wait until April to see who he will fight for the light heavyweight championship. Man this was just a bad night for the UFC.
That’s it from us. What did you guys think of the UFC 208? Tell us about it in the comments.
Image from www.ufc.com