Take that, haters. Brock Lesnar just conquered the No. 8 fighter in the world. So either Mark Hunt is vastly overrated or Lesnar is that damn good. It’s one or the other. The MMA hardcores might contend that Lesnar got luckier than the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the truth is Lesnar was just the better athlete and fighter Saturday night at UFC 200. He may have had to go all Georges St-Pierre to get the win, but it worked for one Canadian, why not another?
But Brock may have also conquered the headlines in the aftermath of UFC 200, he’s not the only one creating a buzz. Amanda Nunes humbled Miesha Tate. Cain Velasquez proved the bigger they are the harder the fall. And Daniel Cormier, despite his one-sided victory, may be the most hated champion in MMA.
UFC 200 is over, and not unlike the classic 1980s film “Heathers,” the road was rich with hope, excitement, swerves, disappointments, and ultimately, surprises. Now that UFC 200 is done, what are we going to do with our lives?
7. Brock Lesnar is back
Make no mistake about it. Brock Lesnar is back and he won’t stop until he’s flat on his back or tapping his opponent’s right shoulder. Lesnar just earned at least $2.5 million. Money talks and Lesnar will be back and probably for the UFC’s Madison Square Garden show. This guy’s pocketbooks are going to be fatter than Cristiano Ronaldo’s by the end of 2016. With the leverage of a lucrative WWE career on his side, Lesnar will be printing money practically by himself. The truth is, Lesnar looked great. He did not look like a 38-year-old man inside the Octagon. He was big, strong and fought smart. There’s a lot of guys who can beat in the UFC. He’ll fight until he loses, and if he picks his opponents right, that could be awhile.
6. Bring Back Ronda Rousey
Our worst fears are coming true without Ronda Rousey in the women’s bantamweight division. That women’s title is changing hands like Vince Russo was booking it. Tag. You’re it. Holly Holm defeated a tired and overworked Rousey. Miesha Tate defeated an unprepared, probably overhyped Holly Holm. Amanda Nunes jacked up a flat-footed, ill-prepared Miesha Tate. Guess what’s gonna happen next? The great thing about Rousey was that she was dominant. She was clearly the best women’s fighter in the world. Then she lost and the title has shuffled around like a one-eyed jack in your grandma’s deck of cards. Rousey brought legitimacy to women’s MMA. She can easily come back to retake her crown.
5. Here comes Cain
We’ve been here before, where we think Cain Velasquez is greatest thing since Zac Morris and Kelly Kapowski got back together. Next thing you know, Velasquez will be out for 18 months with a knee injury. Velasquez looked like the prototype MMA fighter. Great striker, great on the ground, well-conditioned. OF course, he was fighting in Las Vegas, not Mexico City. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating the Cain Velasquez who fought at UFC 200. The question is, will we ever see that Velasquez again?
4. Jose Aldo is far from done
Also didn’t seem to suffer any psychological effects from his loss to Conor McGregor. Aldo fought smart and confident, and dominated Frankie Edgar. With McGregor bouncing around in weight, and the downside of his meteoric rise to the top, Aldo may just do OK in a rematch. If Nate Diaz defeats McGregor — again — McGregor is going to have a hard time cutting weight back down to the featherweight division and be taken seriously against. McGregor is a classic case of not being happy with what you have, and no he risks losing it all. Aldo will have the advantage going into the McGregor fight. He seems to have his head back on right.
3. Anderson Silva is still a title threat
Toward the end of the third round, Silva nearly kicked a rib out of Daniel Cormier’s stomach. Cormier backed into the cage, Silva jumped on him, but it was too late. Had Silva tried more of that earlier in the fight, it could have been a different story. Even when Cormier was on top, Silva did a skillful job of tying up Cormier’s leg and avoiding the ground-and-pound. With a full camp, that fight could have been a different story. At a minimum, Silva is a contender for the title. At a maximum, he can win the title. Silva vs. Bisping II for the middleweight championship? Book it.
2. Daniel Cormier needs to change his style
It may be that the fans just loved Silva, but Cormier was booed at the building last night like he was John Cena in Chicago. Cormier’s decision to take down Anderson Silva and lay on him, may have been the smart thing to do, but it wasn’t the popular thing to do. To the average fan it looked like Cormier took the easy way out. And when you are paying big bucks to watch a fight, that’s tantamount to treason. Cormier, like it or not, is not a fighter. He’s a wrestler. So in close fights he is going to rely on his wrestling. That’s great for him, boring for everyone else. Cormier should be able to stand and trade with a Silva who is past his prime. Michael Bisping did it. Too bad Cormier couldn’t.
1. Lesnar vs. Fedor
Brock Lesnar is back and it’s time to finally make the biggest fight of all time happen. The greatest heavyweight of all time against the greatest heavyweight attraction of all time. Fedor is coming off a win, a close win, but a win nonetheless. Lesnar is coming off a dominant win. This is a fight where Lesnar would be the favorite, but Emelianenko is capable of anything at any point in time. We’re talking the kind of fight that would draw at least 1.5 million PPV buys. You’d have a crowd almost completely behind the underdog Fedor. Both of these guys are MMA heavyweight legends. The UFC needs to do everything it can to make this fight and make quick.