Despite a lackluster card below two solid co-main events, UFC 170 on Saturday night was a thrilling show that featured several top names who continued to cement their spots toward the top of their divisions.
The UFC is all about building top stars, and with women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey proving her superiority and Daniel Cormier dominating in his light heavyweight debut, UFC 170 was a success for president Dana White and company.
Here is what’s next for Saturday’s biggest winners.
|Weight class||Fighter 1||Fighter 2||Round||Method|
|Women's Bantamweight||Ronda Rousey||Def.||Sara McMann||1||TKO (knee to the body)|
|Light Heavyweight||Daniel Cormier||Def.||Patrick Cummins||1||TKO (punches)|
|Welterweight||Rory MacDonald||Def.||Demian Maia||3||Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Welterweight||Mike Pyle||Def.||TJ Waldburger||3||TKO (elbows and punches)|
|Welterweight||Stephen Thompson||Def.||Robert Whittaker||1||TKO (punches)|
|Preliminary card||Fox Sports 1|
|Women's Bantamweight||Alexis Davis||Def.||Jessica Eye||3||Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Bantamweight||Raphael Assuncao||Def.||Pedro Munhoz||3||Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)|
|Bantamweight||Aljamain Sterling||Def.||Cody Gibson||3||Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)|
|Flyweight||Zach Makovsky||Def.||Josh Sampo||3||Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)|
|Preliminary card||UFC Fight Pass|
|Lightweight||Erik Koch||Def.||Rafaello Oliveira||1||TKO (punches)|
|Lightweight||Ernest Chavez||Def.||Yosdenis Cedeno||3||Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)|
While Ronda Rousey did not rely on her patented armbar submission to finish her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship bout against Sara McMann, she used a series of punches and knees to the body to force an early stoppage.
Rousey has proved once again just how dangerous she really is.
After another dominant performance, Ronda Rousey's next logical fight to make is a match with Canada's Alexis Davis: http://t.co/agVrSw7EPi— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2014
As great as the champion looked on Saturday night, there are questions about the depth of the division and the legitimacy of her competition. Those who question her reign should get a viable contender next after Alexis Davis defeated Jessica Eye via a hard-fought decision victory.
Davis has won each of her last five fights and eight of her last nine bouts, and she has looked dangerous standing up, on the ground and in the clinch. While Rousey still has the advantage as the unquestioned best fighter in the division, a battle against Davis would be a true test.
I’d still bet my money on the champ, though.
As one of the most dominant heavyweights in Strikeforce when the company closed its doors, Daniel Cormier came to the UFC with an undefeated record and high expectations.
The wrestling extraordinaire beat Frank Mir and Roy Nelson via decision in his first two fights, but he made the decision to cut his weight and move down to the light heavyweight division.
After fighting the best heavyweights in the world for years, Cormier dominated Patrick Cummins via a first-round TKO and proved to the world that the move to the lighter weight class was the correct one.
I think Cormier vs the winner of Rumble Johnson and Phil Davis is the fight to make. Probably can do it July/August— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) February 23, 2014
While most fans would love to see Cormier take on his friend Rashad Evans in a battle for a No. 1 contender’s spot, the knee injury to Evans has spoiled that plan. Now, Cormier should be preparing for the winner of the Anthony Johnson vs. Phil Davis fight at UFC 172.
Regardless of which fighter comes out of that battle victorious, Cormier showcased his ability to use his wrestling to open up his striking. He will earn a shot for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with another victory.
Cormier is the real deal at 205 pounds.