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UFC 200: Cormier vs Silva | Lesnar vs Hunt


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Well it's that time. UFC 200!





Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones - Light Heavyweight Title


Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt


Miesha Tate vs Amanda Nunes - Womens Bantamweight Title


Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar - Interim Featherweight Title


Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne



Cat Zingano vs Julianna Pena


Johny Hendricks vs Kelvin Gastelum


TJ Dillashaw vs Raphael Assuncao


Sage Northcutt vs Enrique Marin



Gegard Mousasi vs Derek Brunson


Joe Lauzon vs Diego Sanchez


Takanori Gomi vs Jim Miller




Cormier vs Jones 2 should've happened at UFC 197 in April but Cormier got injured. There's been so many twists and turns to this rivalry that it's been hard to keep up with at times. If you're not a regular UFC viewer or a follower of MMA news, you might want to give my opening posts for UFC 182 and 197 a quick read to get you up to speed on how the feud started and what's happened so far.



UFC 182 opening post;




UFC 197 opening post;




That should cover pretty much everything. Jones did fight at UFC 197 against Ovince Saint Preux. Jones won comfortably but he didn't quite look like his usual self. Despite what Dominick Cruz would have everyone believe, I think the old 'ring rust' is a real thing and Jones hadn't fought in well over a year when he stepped into the cage with OSP.



So here we are. I don't really want to preview this one too much. I've covered it all before in the two above thread openers plus Jones will probably fuck up again yet. It's just what he does.



We've discussed it a lot recently but there really doesn't seem to be a great deal of buzz around this rematch. I think it'll pick up in the next few weeks but it's definitely missing something at the moment in terms of that genuine counting the days feeling before the first fight. Brock's return will almost certainly overshadow them as well.



What I have found interesting though, is the reversal in fan support. There seems to be a bit of backlash against DC and more people rooting for Jones than usual. The fact that the roles of champion and challenger are also reversed is a nice twist as well.



I'm not on Team Jones but I do love this Cormier vs Jones 2 promo;





I think this is going to be a great fight. But I'm struggling to see Cormier winning. You never know, the first fight was mega competitive in the first few rounds. But I don't know, just can't see past another Jones victory.





I'd love to see DC dismantle him. Yeah, he's been a bit of a crybaby in the build up so far, especially at the Unstoppable press conference, but Jones is a full-on scumbag.



Onto the co-main event...



Who would've thought a few years...fuck that, who'd have guessed even a week ago that we'd be seeing Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt in a few weeks?





This has a proper Pride feel to it to me. Absolutely love this matchup. I know people are talking about Brock fighting more after this but I think that's probably a touch of wishful thinking. He could, I guess. I'm sure it could be arranged like it has been this time. But this sounds like a one-off to me. That's the way I'm looking at it anyway - Brock's back for one night only, sit back and enjoy it.



The last time we saw Brock as a UFC fighter was this...





December 2011 at UFC 141. He'd just been crushed by Alistair Overeem in the first round and retired in the cage during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.



To be honest, I never thought we'd see him back in there. So this is just a bonus. For all the criticism Brock used to get, he always brought that 'big fight atmosphere' people talk about. If you weren't watching at the time then I can't even explain the buzz around his fights with Frank Mir at UFC 100 and Shane Carwin a UFC 116 especially. Can't do it justice but Brock PPVs had a completely different feel to them for me.





He did well in the UFC as well, despite his limitations skill-wise. Victories over Carwin, Mir, Couture and Herring are no joke. Heath Herring never fought again after the beating Brock served up to him back on a hot summer night in 2008.



They're not doing him any favours though with his opponent. But that's been the story of Brock's MMA career all over, hasn't it? Since almost day one, he was put in with the best. His second ever MMA fight as against a former UFC champion, for fuck's sake! I'm not sure there's another fighter who can say that.



So Brock getting a tough welcome back against a killer shouldn't be a shock to anyone...





The word 'warrior' gets thrown around willy nilly in MMA. It's a word used all too easily in combat sports in general, actually. But in this case it fits. Mark Hunt is a bastard warrior. A battle tested, brick fisted, granite tough, KFC loving, fat warrior.



He's been in some of the best heavyweight fights in MMA and kickboxing history. The wars with Jerome Le Banner and Ray Sefo in K-1. The battles with Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop and his unexpected gems against Yosuke Nishijima and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in Pride. The great fights with Junior Dos Santos, Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson in the UFC.



And of course...





Mark Hunt vs Bigfoot Silva 1. The best heavyweight fight in MMA history IMO. Definitely one of my top 5 favourite fights ever.



So yeah, Hunt's one of my favourite fighters. So as much as I like Brock, I'll be pulling for Hunt here. I wouldn't be gutted if Brock won but I really want to see Hunt get that UFC title before he retires and a loss to a '5 years on the shelf' Brock Lesnar at this point details that big time.



Lesnar vs Hunt promo;





I really love this fight because they're both strongest where the other guy's weakest. Hunt's one of the best heavyweight strikers in MMA history and Brock hates getting hit. But Hunt's wrestling is the weakest area of his game and that's Brock's bread and butter. There's a clear path to victory for both men and it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. It's why I was totally against the calls to give Brock 'an easy fight'. If Brock's only coming back for this show, let's see something. Not a squash match where the result isn't really in question. Brock can win this one. He can also get knocked spark out. That just adds to the fun. If they'd put him in with Bigfoot (who's shot to bits these days), we'd still have the 'Brock's back' element but the fight would be pointless and shite. Lesnar vs Hunt has the 'Brock's back' hype PLUS it's a hell of a fight. Win-win. I can't wait!




Tate vs Nunes should be a really exciting fight. These two were originally being penciled in to fight at UFC 194 back in December but it fell apart. Tate was having a dispute with the UFC at the time and was even making rumblings she might retire after being passed over for a title shot she'd been promised.



Fast forward a few months;







And Miesha Tate is the UFC bantamweight champion! Not only that, she beat Holly 'Ronda Rousey Slayer' Holm. That's got to make it that bit sweeter for her. To be the woman, you've gotta beat the woman. And Tate choked out the woman that KO'd the woman. So she's the woman now. You still following?



In all seriousness, the Tate thing was almost like the Bisping thing for me. Almost. Not quite because Tate's journey wasn't as long and turbulent as Bisping's but it was still quite a ride. She went 0-2 to Rousey and got stopped by Cat Zingano. It seemed like she'd never quite get there. But like with the Bisping thing, better late than never.



She's fighting a bit of a beast in her first title defence though;





Amanda Nunes is like a female version of Vitor Belfort to me. She's not unbeatable and if you can weather that initial storm and take her into deep water, maybe you can win. But, that initial storm is a right bastard to weather. Good luck with that shit.



Like I said, not unbeatable - she's 12-4. But she's dangerous. And she's got that 'kill or be killed' style where, chances are, if you don't put her away she's going to finish you. In 16 fights she's only gone to a decision twice. 11 of her 12 wins are by finish, 10 of them in the first round. The female Vitor Belfort. Not without faults, but a fucking handful all the same.





This is some fight this. It'll get lost in the shuffle, I'm sure. Understandable on a card like this, but don't be surprised if this one steals the show. Nunes is aggressive as fuck and Tate has form for being in barnburners going back to her Strikeforce days. Looking forward to this one a lot.




Aldo vs Edgar 2 for the interim featherweight title. And it's only the second fight on the main card! This is a killer fight and the timing of it adds another level of intrigue for me. How Aldo look coming off the McGregor loss? And against a Frankie Edgar who's in the form of his career?



They first fought in February 2013 at UFC 156. It went the full 25 minutes and it was a really excellent and competitive fight as I recall. Aldo just nicked it on points with a strong finish.





But, and I'll have to rewatch the fight before 200, I'm sure at the time I had Edgar just edging it. It was close. I think it was one of those fights you could logically argue for either guy getting the nod in. I just remember thinking Aldo got out of there with the title intact by the skin of his balls that night.





There's plenty of respect between these two so don't expect much in the way of shit talking. But I am expecting a brilliant fight. I think Aldo's going to be up for this one. He's got to be embarrassed with how the McGregor fight went. A great and proud champion like Aldo getting made to do the Flair Flop in 13 seconds...it's got to sting mentally even more than it did physically. So he'll be mega motivated to remind people who he is.



And Edgar's riding the best run of his career performance-wise with wins over Mendes, Faber, Penn, Swanson etc. He's looked amazing the last couple of years. In fact, Edgar hasn't lost since that first Aldo fight 3 years ago. He'll be wanting to get that win over Aldo here and finally get that title shot.





Winner fights Conor McGregor as well to unify the titles. Well, that's the plan anyway. You never know what's going on with McGregor.




Velasquez vs Browne could've been a PPV main event title fight a year ago. Here it is opening the PPV main card. And that's not a knock on these guys. It's a great fight. It's one I haven't really been thinking about much because it's mixed in with all the other good stuff this summer. But thinking about it now, this is an interesting one.



Cain needs to look good here. He hasn't fought since losing the title to Werdum in Mexico last June. He's been plagued by injuries for years now and people are starting to question whether he's finally breaking down physically too much, and that his run as an elite heavyweight might be on borrowed time. He's always hurt. It's almost tragic because he's such a good fighter. Fully healthy he can beat anyone on the planet. But he's destroyed his body in training to the point he's as frail as Dot Cotton these days.



And Travis Browne, for me, is an underachiever. He's fucking massive, he's pretty fast for a man his size, he's agile (he can throw flying knees and all sorts), he's powerful. It feels like he should've done better than he has, given his skills and physical gifts. The fact that he holds first round KO's over Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett yet he's still not putting it all together is odd. When he's on he's lethal but he's very inconsistent.



So I like this fight. It's two heavyweights who are trying to prove they're still very much relevant. They're both dangerous and in that division, with how unpredictable it can be, the winner could very well get a title shot soon.




Zingano vs Pena is yet another tremendous fight I forgot all about. I like these two but I'm much more of a Zingano fan. She's great to watch, likeable as fuck outside the cage and she's been through all the shit with her husband committing suicide. She's impossible to root against. Pena winning would be good in that she'd be a fresh challenger in the title mix but sod it, I hope Cat smashes her.




Hendricks vs Gastelum is a little bit like the Cain vs Browne fight in that they're both trying to either rebound or regain the momentum they once had. Hendricks for me is on the slide big time since the two wars with Robbie Lawler in 2014. He just hasn't looked the same since to me. He had that win over Matt Brown which was a good win, fair enough. But he looked cautious in that fight then got utterly blitzed by Wonderboy next time out. Obviously Wonderboy's a demon as well but I really think Hendricks has that look of a declining fighter. And Gastelum was looking like one of the top prospects in years until weight missing and a couple of losses saw him go right off the boil. Both need to make something happen but especially Hendricks. At least Gastelum has time on his side. If Hendricks loses this, I think he's done as a contender.




Dillashaw vs Assuncao 2 could've also been a title fight until recently. Another really solid fight. Assuncao's been out forever with injuries. And they came at the worst possible time for him. He was set to fight against Renan Barao for the title at UFC 173 back in May 2014. He got injured and has been injured ever since. To put that in perspective, in that time Barao's lost twice to Dillashaw and moved up to featherweight. And Cruz has returned, beat Mizugaki, had another year long layoff, returned again, won the title off Dillashaw and won the trilogy with Faber.



Dillashaw will be looking to make a big statement here. 1) he's just lost the title to Cruz in January. And the division isn't heaving with marketable challengers for Cruz. A big win here and TJ could be back in there. 2) Dillashaw's loss to Assuncao the first time was questionable. I scored it for Dillashaw and I think most people did. So Dillashaw gets to erase that and maybe bag himself another crack at Cruz. Big, big fight for Dillashaw.



All that said, I can't stand the little knob and I hope Assuncao batters him.




Northcutt vs Marin is probably here purely as a showcase for Northcutt. He's coming off the first loss of his career so losing two on the bounce would be a bit of a disaster for him. I don't know much about this Marin. Without checking I'm thinking he was on TUF Latin America or something. I hope Northcutt wins impressively. I'm not massively on his bandwagon or anything but I thought the backlash against him and the spiteful shit coming out after his loss was pathetic, to be honest.



He's a 20 year old kid who lost a fight at the end of the the day. He's going to be gutted enough without a bunch of pricks giving him abuse over it. I know you'll always get some of that but it's usually just from fans and nobodies on twitter. To see actual UFC fighters in their 30s and stuff gloating about a kid losing a fight was a bit off to me. And it was clearly out of jealousy that he was getting hyped by the UFC. Which is silly because it's not his fault they're hyping him and what's he supposed to do, say 'no, don't promote me'?




Mousasi vs Brunson is probably the fight I'm least arsed about on the whole card. Still a good fight, I'm just not as into it as the rest. Mousasi's likely going to want to make it a standup fight, Brunson's probably going to want to wrestle. Fancy Mousasi to win but he goes hot and cold and Brunson's decent so you never know.






Lauzon vs Sanchez is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. To be honest, I could've picked any of about six or seven fights. This card is that good. But Lauzon vs Sanchez! How can this possibly miss? If there was a pound-for-pound ranking for the most consistently exciting fighters in MMA history, these two would've been in the Top 5 forever. They've both been in some of the craziest and bloodiest wars in the sport. I don't know what the fuck will happen here, but it's probably going to be wild.




Gomi vs Miller is the opening fight on the card as the lineup stands as of today. When a fight like this is jerking the curtain you know you have a proper deep card. I love these two and I can see this being really good. Should kick the night off on the right note. It's either going to be 1) Miller submitting Gomi after Gomi gasses trying to behead Miller, 2) Gomi bombs him out in a minute or 3) three rounds of mayhem.



That's yer lot.





Sweet mother of fuck. No doubt there'll be changes to the lineup yet. Either a shuffle of the bout order or injuries or whatever. But with just four weeks to go, we should be OK for most of this stuff now. Fingers crossed.

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I'll go with;


Mcgregor Vs Edgar

Tate Vs Rousey III

Lawler Vs Nate Diaz

Velasquez Vs Browne


It feels a bit like there isn't one massive fight now that's big enough for the event. There would've been options if McGregor had maintained his unbeaten run and if Holm had beaten Rousey, but that's all fallen through. Could they do 3 title fights to make up for that?


It also wouldn't surprise me at all if McGregor is talked into the RDA fight rather than going back down to FW. I can see that happening. That still feels like a bigger draw to me than a title defence against Edgar.

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It also wouldn't surprise me at all if McGregor is talked into the RDA fight rather than going back down to FW. I can see that happening. That still feels like a bigger draw to me than a title defence against Edgar.



Can't see that happening at all. After listening to the latest Rogan podcast with Schaub I'm convinced McGregor's next fight will be a title defence against Edgar.

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Yeah, that's what id put my money on if I was a betting man. I just mean I wouldn't be totally shocked to see them switch it up and go with RDA.

I don't think UFC would be keen on it though, nor is Conor right now. I think McGregor needs to beat Edgar at 200, and then Aldo in a rematch at FW before fans will even buy him moving up again - even if it's just to LW.

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Nah I don't think he will either and echo the sentiments mentioned regarding my opinion being tainted after listen to JRE.A GSP return on the card Chunk posted would do it for me.


The way UFC have been booking PPV cards lately that one would only seem slightly stronger than normal. And not some ridiculous monster of a card like they've been eluding to.

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i find it weird that the UFC are putting so many big guns on shows just before 200, i'd have thought Anderson would have been a shoe-in for 200 but they've just announced him for 198. It leads me to believe that the UFC are definitely pulling Ronda, GSP out of the hat for this one, along with Conor. That's the 3 biggest PPV draws in the companies history on one show.

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i find it weird that the UFC are putting so many big guns on shows just before 200, i'd have thought Anderson would have been a shoe-in for 200 but they've just announced him for 198. It leads me to believe that the UFC are definitely pulling Ronda, GSP out of the hat for this one, along with Conor. That's the 3 biggest PPV draws in the companies history on one show.

Well it's 4 months away and they have cards to fill & a lot of guys ready.


And Anderson isn't as much of a draw any more. 2 losses to Weidman, a boring decision against Diaz, busted for PEDs, then a loss to Bisping - the luster is gone for the most part. There have been 5 second bursts of brilliance (or ninja-hand type stuff) in the Diaz & Bisping fights that never really amounted to anything.

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