UFC 203 was a controversial night for mixed martial arts. As a fan of this sport you cannot ask for more drama than what was on display here. We had a number of first round finishes and a fervent sold-out crowd. They had turned out in force to see their champion.
The women’s strawweight division has been very exciting lately, Paige Van Zant recently returned to the octagon and achieved a highlight reel knockout. On top of that, the title picture is tremendous, Joanna Jedrzejczyk could be facing Karolina Kowalkeiwicz soon. Both fighters are coming off of wars respectively. Kowalkeiwicz picked up a decision win over a tough opponent in Rose Namajunas.
Jedrzejczyk put on a show in a five round slug fest against Claudia Gadelha. However, Jessica Andrade could be about to make a splash in the strawweight division after her win at UFC 203. She was strong out of the gates against Joanne Calderwood, getting off a number of massive slams early. She dominated the Scotland native with her strong ground game on the way to a submission via guillotine.
In his battle with bantamweight legend Uriah Faber, Jimmie Rivera suffered an eye injury. An inadvertent eye gouge from Uriah Faber left Rivera blind in one eye during his post fight interview. Despite this, as well as an accidental low blow, Rivera picked up a unanimous decision victory.
The mere presence of the next fight on the card was polarising. There were many that believed CM Punk should never have been given the opportunity with zero prior MMA experience. His fans, stuck by him and were excited to see how he would fair in the octagon.
Mickey Gall’s first round submission of Punk was a dramatic moment. Although it has not cleared up the situation any. Fans and industry figures are still spilt completely down the middle. Part of the viewership was pleased to see him lose, taking the: “I told you so” attitude. Others have a new found respect for Phill Brooks for getting in there. One of those people is Joe Rogan.
In the build-up to this fight Rogan was one of the people talking about how absurd it is. Having seen Punk have the bravery to compete he made a full U-turn, saying in the post-fight interview that he looks forward to seeing what he does next.
Welterweight aside there was high drama in the heavyweight division. We had two heavyweight clashes as the co-main and main event. Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum rematched in the wild penultimate bout. The former heavyweight champion set the tone from the first bell as he leapt through the air, landing a flying kick to Browne’s face. That looked like something out of Street Fighter. Werdum continued to land flashy offence throughout.
In a rather strange moment, Browne called time due to a broken finger. This has got people talking as a fighter is not allowed to do so. The most shocking moment of the night came after the announcement that Werdum had won unanimously. One of Travis Browne’s cornermen could be seen yelling at Fabricio, his response was a push kick. This resulted in a tense moment as both team’s squared-off. Fortunately, it did not break into a brawl.
In front of a sold-out hometown crowd Stipe Miocic defended his heavyweight title. The electricity from the Cleveland fans made it a fantastic moment. The UFC heavyweight championship is difficult to hold on to. A roster of killers are after your head on a silver silver plate. So it was a great moment to see Miocic defend the belt against one of the most decorated heavyweights in history.
With that being said, this fight could not escape the controversy bug that seems to have injected every bout on the card. An understandably confused Overeem believed that he felt Miocic tap.
Early in the bout Alistair knocked Stipe down and attempted to cinch in a guillotine. Miocic was able to escape and KO’d ‘The Reem’ with ground and pound. Overeem swore that Miocic tapped but upon reviewing the tapes it was apparent he did not. Something good has come from this though, Joe Rogan has raised issue with the idea of interviewing groggy fighters after a knockout.
Nevertheless, UFC 203 was an exciting event and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for MMA fans. If you enjoyed this article superman punch that like button. Subscribe for more news and reviews from the world of MMA as well as TV shows and movies.