After a packed weekend of action in both MMA and boxing, I finally have managed to catch up with UFC 222.
This PPV card had far more interest than recent PPV offerings, with the chance that we could get some new stars the UFC badly needs, and we most certainly got that.
Cris Cyborg predictably retained her title, the only real opponent she has left currently signed to the UFC is Amanda Nunes. If Cyborg beats Nunes, then what is next, she would have cleared out the entire bantamweight division, that’s great but Cyborg is a featherweight.
If the UFC is serious about Cyborg and the featherweight division then they need to bring in genuine featherweights. Being a champion of a division that doesn’t exist is a waste of Cyborg’s talents.
Brian Ortega entered the Octagon an underdog but left it a potential superstar. It started with a vicious elbow, it ended with a Razor Ruddock style uppercut. You have to have respect for Edgar for giving up a guaranteed title shot and not waiting for Max Holloway to heal up and sympathy for how the fight ended, his title ambitions may have ended for good.
Max Holloway v Brian Ortega is one hell of a fight to look forward to, and you will be hard pressed to confidently pick a winner.
Sean O’Malley I thought was being pushed too soon, he struggled on his UFC debut, and putting him on a PPV card against a tough opponent was a gamble, but the gamble paid off.
O’Malley showed variety both on the feet and on the mat, gutted out the 3rd when injured, and probably most impressive I felt was his patience. He’s still only just getting started and despite being 10-0, he can’t be rushed, but he has potential and just as important these days he has personality in abundance.
O’Malley being interviewed by Joe Rogan while flat on his back in obvious pain was bizarre but adds to his ongoing story.
On the prelims, Mackenzie Dern made her UFC debut and did so with a ton of hype and comparisons to Ronda Rousey. Dern got the win but struggled, she will improve, she needs to.
Main Card Results:
Cris Cyborg (c) def. Yana Kunitskaya via first-round TKO (strikes)
Brian Ortega def. Frankie Edgar via first-round knockout (strikes)
Sean O’Malley def. Andre Soukhamthath via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Andrei Arlovski def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Ketlen Vieira def. Cat Zingano via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)