Thoughts on UFC 203 – September 12, 2016

  • UFC 203 proved to be a fun evening in Cleveland. I’m not sure what the fights looked like to the audience watching on television, but this was a great event to attend live in person.  This was my sixth UFC event that I’ve attended, and to be honest it was probably either my favorite or second favorite of the bunch (it’s neck and neck with UFC 140 for that honor). 
  • I think Stipe Miocic really cemented his place as the top heavyweight in the world right now, as he’s now knocked out Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, and Alistair Overeem in 2016, all in a span of just 8 minutes and 8 seconds! Honestly, I never really thought Miocic was true championship potential, especially after I saw him got finished by Stefan Struve in 2012 and lose a decision to Junior dos Santos in late 2014 (I thought he’d be a top guy, and get a title shot, but I never anticipated seeing him be champion).  While I’m not sure if it’s what the UFC wants to do next, but I’d love to see Miocic defend the title against Cain Velasquez in the near future.
  • Seeing CM Punk finally fight in the UFC was a pretty cool experience. Being there in person for this, especially as someone who’s a fan of pro wrestling and was a huge fan of CM Punk in his prime, was kind of surreal.  It was a very cool experience to be there firsthand for this, even if Punk did get run over by Mickey Gall pretty quickly.  While I know Punk said that he wants to fight again, I think what the UFC should do is keep Punk around in some sort of a public relations/ambassador role while allowing him to fight on the regional circuit.  If Punk fights again, I’ll definitely watch because I’m a fan, but I’d rather it not be in the UFC.
  • Did Urijah Faber finally get old on Saturday? I really don’t recall seeing Faber look so tentative before like he did on Saturday night. I wasn’t surprised to see him lose, because I did predict a Rivera decision win, but I was just surprised at how decisive the loss was for Faber.  I’m eager to see what’s next for both fighters here, as Faber is clearly closer to retirement than he is to a title shot at this point, and Rivera’s stock just increased with the biggest win of his career to date.
  • It’s kinda cool how I sort of nailed my UFC 203 predictions from Friday. Granted, I was wrong on the timeframe of each finish (I said Miocic would win in the second, he won in the first; I said Punk would lose in the second or third, he lost in the first, etc.) but it was neat that I called the winner and the method of victory at least.
  • Overall, Saturday was a great night and I can’t wait to attend another UFC event soon.
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