This weekend’s UFC 207 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada marks the final show in what has been an action-packed year for the UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. The UFC 207 main card features two highly-anticipated title fights including the long-awaited return of former Women’s Bantamweight Champion and legendary pioneer of female MMA, Ronda Rousey. It has been thirteen long months since fans last saw Rousey step into the octagon, causing questions to arise over her physical fitness as well as her mental well-being following the devastation of being on the receiving end of a brutal Holly Holm knockout that was heard by fight fans all around the world. However, when Rousey makes the long walk to the octagon this Friday night (Saturday afternoon AEST) it won’t be Holly Holm blocking her path to regaining the women’s bantamweight 135lb strap – instead it will be the hard-hitting Brazilian, Amanda ‘Lioness’ Nunes in her first defence of the title since capturing it at July’s landmark UFC 200 event with a first round KO of then-champion Miesha Tate. Nunes and Rousey promises to be an interesting encounter with both women hellbent on having their hand raised at the fight’s end. Whilst Nunes brings aggressive striking to the bout, Rousey will look to keep out of the Brazilian’s range whilst attempting to make good use of the Judo prowess which saw her win a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Pressure will surely be on Rousey to prove to the world her ability to overcome the shattering loss suffered at UFC 193 and once again climb to the top of the stacked 135lb division.
In the card’s co-main event Men’s Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz will put his belt on the line against the UFC’s latest hot prospect 25-year old Ohio native Cody Garbrandt. The fight promises to be a battle of experience-versus-youth whilst giving hardcore fight fans a chance to observe Cruz’s ability to deal with the raw knockout power of a fighter such as Garbrandt and a closer look at Garbrandt’s talents against a fighter as well-rounded and technically sound as the champion Cruz. The fight also promises to continue the long-standing feud between Cruz and the recently-retired Urijah Faber-founded Team Alpha Male. Cruz and Garbrandt have engaged in a war-of-words as of late with Garbrandt seemingly trying to prove his legitimacy as heir to the Men’s Bantamweight throne through trash-talking and digs at Cruz’s inability as of late to finish his opponents. In return, Cruz has angered the younger Garbrandt through digs at ‘No Love’s’ family including his father and girlfriend. Garbrandt’s explosive reactions to these taunts has seen him go as far as storming out of an interview, suggesting Cruz may already be inside of his opponent’s head.
Both title fights at UFC 207 offer their own tantalising story-lines and make for what is sure to be a powerful end of the year for the UFC, which has continued its rise over the last twelve months into a genuine juggernaut of the sporting world. UFC 207’s PPV value is seemingly solidified by other exciting match-ups such as a Men’s 135lb title eliminator between the #1 and #2 ranked fighters in TJ Dillashaw and John Lineker respectively. The main card is rounded out by the return of exciting Korean Welterweight Dong Hyun Kim who meets Tarec Saffedine and a Flyweight encounter between Louis Smolka and Ray Borg. Former Heavyweight Champions Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez were supposed to meet in a rematch of their 2015 title fight to decide who would next face current champion Stipe Miocic but the fight was cancelled following the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s (NSAC) decision to deem Velasquez unfit to fight following physical examinations as well as comments he made in a recent interview about recurring injuries and his wish to have surgery in the days following this weekend’s event. Whatever the results, UFC 207 promises to deliver explosive action and some interesting scenarios for the future and the new year.
You can watch UFC 207 live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV via Pay-Per-View. The main card action kicks off at 10pm ET on Friday, December 30 (2pm AEST on Saturday, December 31). IN Australia, the Prelims can be watched live on Fox Sports Australia from 12pm AEST.