The UFC needs to come to Orlando, FL more often, Simple as that! As both a Central Floridian and a fan of MMA, we the people of Orlando made it very clear at UFC on Fox 17 that “Dana, we want more.” The sold out Amway Arena was absolutely electric Saturday night, and the fighters must have felt some of those energy currents. 7 of the 13 fights ended via submission or KO/TKO, and the UFC closed out the 2015 year with an excellent card. UFC on Fox 17 had it all: veteran fighters showing they still have what it takes to be relevant; one of the last remaining champions of 2015 retained his belt in a symphony of violence, and we got to hear about Connor McGregor…. A lot. (No weight class is safe anymore McGregor) In the end the final product was a fun, strange, and exciting fight card that left the fans in Florida cheering for an encore.
So here’s to you Dana White and the Zuffa Corporation, thank for all the great memories in 2015 come back to Orlando anytime you please.
Rafael Dos Anjos- RDA is not going to be losing his belt anytime soon. The 31-year-old Brazilian made quick work of Donald Cerrone finishing the fight in a mere 66 seconds. Dos Anjos picked apart the almost always-slow starting “Cowboy” with crisp, vicious, and lightning fast combinations leaving Cerrone to “protect himself” as his only weapon of offense. This is the fifth straight fight in which it has seemed Dos Anjos has only gotten better with age, and is there really anyone left for him to fight in the lightweight division? Maybe that Conor McGregor call out wasn’t so crazy after all?
Alistair Overeem- This man is about to get PAID!
If their was ever a time for Alistair Overeem to win a fight, Saturday would most definitely be that night. Overeem, who is now a “Free Agent”, finally got the fight he had asked for so long ago. Sure, it may have taken 3 years due to chronic injures to both fighters, but UFC on Fox 17 finally got Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem to touch gloves and come out fighting, well kind of. Though the opening round was amusingly tentative, Overeem stuck to his game plan forcing Dos Santos to push the pace, which left the Demolition man time to pick his spots. Overeem landed a monstrous left hook that flatted JDS, and within a few seconds (and Hammer fists) the fight was over.
In the very weak Heavyweight Division it is extremely likely that we will not only see Alistair Overeem back in the UFC, but we could see the former K1 champ get a shot at Fabrico Werdum very soon.
Nate Diaz Post fight interview- I personally am a huge fan of the Diaz brothers, but Saturday nights rant was even a little much from a Diaz perception. After the king of Stockton, who has been on a 1-year layoff beat the red hot Michael Johnson by unanimous decisions, Little Diaz had nothing to say about the impressive performance he had just put on, and a lot to say about wanting a shot at Featherweight Champ Conor McGregor. A lot more. “Conor McGregor, you’ve taking everything I’ve worked for motherf*****. I’m going to fight your f****** a**.
‘You know what’s the real fight; the real money fight is me. Not these clowns you already punked at the press conference.” Oh and don’t forget this was on live television. Sure I would break out my credit card in a heartbeat to watch this fight, but its just not happening anytime soon, sorry Nate.
Donald Cerrone- This is a very tough one for me; the Cowboy is a great fighter and in my book will go down as one of the greater 155’ers of our time. The problem is I don’t think Cerrone will ever be champion in this division, and he has to know that. The Budweiser drinking, cowboy hat wearing, leg kicking lightweight was on an impressive 8 fight win streak before Saturday, which was gone in a quick 66 seconds. If Cerrone is fine with being a potential top 10 for the rest of his career I most certainly am too. But I think in the near future if another shot ends in defeat we could see Donald Cerrone drop to 145.
Danny Castillo and the Alpha Male team- Wow if the Alpha Males New Years eve revolution isn’t “Have a better year than 2015” I will be truly shocked. As for their fighter Danny Castillo, the 36 year olds time in the UFC should most defiantly now be over. Castillo lost his 4th, yes you read that correctly 4th straight fight inside the octagon Saturday, which is unheard of in the UFC. Another bad situation for the boys of Alpha to now sort out.