Three title fights, three new champions. UFC 217 was absolutely phenomenal in every sense of the word. Upsets, flawless gameplans, and the return of the mighty Georges St-Pierre! Let us take a look at the main card and see what’s next for the UFC’s new batch of talent.
Next up for the Fighters of the UFC 217 Main Card
Johny Hendricks Continues to Struggle
The one time champion Johny Hendricks has had a hard time as of late. After losing his title to Robbie Lawler, Hendricks has dropped five of his last seven fights. Weight was an issue at welterweight, where he was slightly undersized. After moving up to 185, he’s continued to have weight trouble and a huge size disadvantage. That’s what happened against Paulo Costa. Hendricks couldn’t find a way inside to do damage all night, all while Costa put in work on Hendricks. The future isn’t clear for Big Rigg, but for Costa, it’s all positive from here. As for Johnny, he is looking at potentially being cut from the UFC.
Johny Hendricks’ potential next opponent: Michael “Venom” Page
Paulo Costa’s potential next opponent: loser of Anderson Silva/Kelvin Gastelum match
Stephen Thompson methodically dismantles Jorge Masvidal
We knew Stephen Thompson is one of the top 5 strikers in the UFC. Jorge Masvidal was supposed to be the brawler that Tyron Woodley wants to be. By the end of the night, Masvidal gave Thompson almost no trouble, aside from a few flurries. Stephen Thompson, on the other hand, got back to work, picking apart Masvidal from awkward angles. Ultimately, Thompson is a next level fighter and Masvidal still has improvements to make. Being 0-1-1 against Tyron Woodley, Thompson might just get the next shot at Woodley after the Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler showdown. Masvidal will look for a quick rebound and continue his rise to a title shot.
Stephen Thompson’s potential next opponent: loser of RDA/Lawler matchup, Tyron Woodley (long shot)
Jorge Masvidal’s potential next opponent: Colby Covington, Carlos Condit
Rose Namajunas shocks the world!
Joanna Jędrzejczyk defending her belt was the surest thing going into UFC 217. Sike! Rose Namajunas, someone who was discounted a long time ago versus the seemingly invincible Joanna Champion, decided it was time for a “nice” champion. In the first round, she knocks down Joanna and people instantly realize, Joanna might be in trouble. With another knockdown, Rose took the belt from the 115-pound kingpin. With the emergence of the women’s flyweight division, it will be interesting to see how these two women move forward. Both can compete at both classes and be the first woman to hold two belts in the UFC.
Rose Namajunas’ potential next opponent: Joanna Jędrzejczyk rematch, Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s potential next opponent: Rose Namajunas rematch, TUF winner for women’s flyweight championship
TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt FINALLY battle!
This was a fight EVERYONE wanted. When two fighters hate each other as much as Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw do, fireworks are sure to ensue. Instead, we got a 15 megaton nuclear warhead. It looked as if Cody would take advantage of TJ in the first round, knocking him down at the end, with Dillashaw only being saved by the bell. The second round was opposite. TJ settled in and put down ‘No Love’ at 2:41 in the second round. Cody apparently has a vulnerable chin and now, the rest of the UFC might have a blueprint to try to beat him. As for Killashaw, he looks to take on Demetrious Johnson to end his reign of terror at flyweight.
TJ Dillashaw’s potential next opponent: Demetrious Johnson, winner of Dominick Cruz/Jimmie Rivera match, Cody Garbrandt rematch
Cody Garbrandt’s potential next opponent: winner of Dominick Cruz/Jimmie Rivera match, TJ Dillashaw
Georges St-Pierre is back, baby!
The long-awaited return of legend Georges St-Pierre has finally arrived with much, much fanfare. Michael Bisping, the middleweight champion, has only defended his belt once in two years, against a retiring 40+-year-old Dan Henderson. As a result, many people have called for him to vacate the belt. Instead, he gets punished by having to fight GSP. GSP came into the octagon looking absolutely MASSIVE. Bisping came down from 205 at the beginning of his career, and GSP looked to be sized just right against a large Bisping. In the first round, both fighters looked good. The second round, however, was epic. Bisping looked to find his range and started picking apart GSP, until he didn’t. Georges connected with Bisping’s chin, began the ground and pound ultimately submitting Bisping.
Both fighters certainly got paid well for the fight. Now, GSP’s future is wide open, and Bisping will probably be looking at the door with one more title fight. GSP has joined Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and Conor McGregor as the guys with more than one belt, he’s secured himself as even more of an elite in the MMA universe.