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UFC 178 Recap: One of the Best Cards of the Year!

Written by jakobe. Posted in MMA News Sources

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(All video courtesy of UFC on Fox/ image via Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

 

UFC 178 was hyped as one of the most stacked fight cards of the year and totally delivered. It didn’t just deliver…it gave a virtual smack down to all the critics claiming too many cards, not enough finishes, and boring fights.

 

It was originally billed as the much anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson but things took a turn for the bizarre as the main event changed opponents and was scrapped all together leaving the UFC’s smallest champ to step up and carry the main event as in a title defense against Chris Cariaso. Mighty Mouse made quick work of the challenger who was clearly game but outclassed. Johnson has cleaned out the division and seems on another level from the rest of the flyweight fighters. Johnson did what was expected, he finished Cariaso and left no doubt why he remains the undisputed champ.

 

Although the card was headlined by the flyweight title match, it had plenty more matches each with their own interesting storyline. {youtube}MT3oOBIndvU{/youtube} Former Bellator Champ Eddie Alvarez got his chance to finally test his skills in the Octagon as he took on Donald Cowboy Cerrone. You know the saying, be careful what you wish for as Cowboy gave Alvarez a harsh welcome to the UFC. Alvarez showed he definitely belongs among the best in the division and gave Cerrone a tough time in the first round. Cerrone however found his range and his strikes started wearing Alvarez down. His leg kicks in particular brutalized Alvarez finally dropping him in the third frame. Cowboy followed him to the ground and delivered punishment for the rest of the fight. Cerrone is on the short list for a title shot now and Alvarez will be a force to be reckoned with, but has a way to go before he can achieve the status he had in Bellator.

 

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The hype train known as Conor McGregor showed no signs of slowing down as he made his prediction of a 1st round knock out of Dustin Poirier come true in spectacular fashion. Poirier was supposed to be McGregor’s first true challenge and highest ranked opponent to date. He showed no fear of McGregor’s striking but the end came quickly. McGregor needed only 1:46 to end the fight and even less time to clamor for his shot at title holder Jose Aldo. Claiming his weight division was full of rookies and has beens, McGregor has always claimed he is the best fighter in the UFC, after this fight he might have gained a lot more believers.

 

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Fight of the Night bout saw Tim Kennedy got in a slugfest with Yoel Romero in a fight that will be remembered more for the controversy between rounds than the actual fights. Kennedy weathered the early storm from the former Cuban Olympian and connected with some brutal punches at the end of round 2. Romero was clearly saved by the bell and his corner seemed to do everything to buy their fighter some extra time as they were slow to get out of the cage and Romero was still sitting on his stool dazed at the start of the third frame. Despite ref Big John McCarthy trying to get him to stand up to start the round, Romero was able to buy enough time to recover and connect some hard punches on Kennedy when the fight did resume. Kennedy was never able to recover and was TKO’ed at :58 seconds into the final round. Romero was showered with boo’s and Kennedy has vowed to appeal the ruling. Nevada rules state that a fighter unable to answer the bell at the start of a round will lose the fight by TKO. Whether or not the outcome of the fight can be appealed or not remains to be seen, but at the very least it deserves a rematch. {youtube}L-BgCMh5oB4{/youtube} Cat Zingano made a triumphant return to the cage stopping Amanda Nunes in the third round via TKO. Overcoming injury and personal issues Zingano looked very impressive. Impressive enough to earn the next fight and title shot against Ronda Rousey.

 

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Former bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz has not stepped in the cage in almost 3 years. Being stripped of his belt because of inactivity due to injury Cruz had a lot to prove. Kept off the main card, his fight against Takeya Mizugaki capped off the prelim card. Everyone including the UFC brass was wondering what version of Dominick Cruz would show up. It took exactly 61 seconds for Cruz to show that he still had the heart and skills of a champion. Exploding with a takedown and crushing Mizugaki with some vicious ground and pound, Cruz made his return as resounding as possible. The UFC brass listened and Dana White announced his next fight will be versus champ TJ Dillashaw. 3 years is a lifetime in the sport of MMA, in little more than a minute Cruz found himself only one fight away from reclaiming his belt. UFC 178 was without a doubt one of the best fights of the year to date. Not only for the action it delivered but also for the fights it now sets up. Zingano vs Rousey. Cruz vs Dillashaw are just a few of the reasons why the fan in all of us still believes MMA is the best sport in the world!

 

Full fight results after the jump

 

 

 

Main card PPV

Flyweight Demetrious Johnson (c) def. Chris Cariaso Submission (kimura) Round 2 - 2:29

Lightweight Donald Cerrone def. Eddie Alvarez Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Featherweight Conor McGregor def. Dustin Poirier TKO (punches) Round 1 - 1:46

Middleweight Yoel Romero def. Tim Kennedy TKO (punches) Round 3 - 0:58

Women's Bantamweight Cat Zingano def. Amanda Nunes TKO (elbows & punches) Round 3 - 1:21

 

Preliminary card (Fox Sports 1)

Bantamweight Dominick Cruz def. Takeya Mizugaki KO (punches) Round 1 - 1:01

Lightweight Jorge Masvidal def. James Krause Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Welterweight Stephen Thompson def. Patrick Côté Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Welterweight Brian Ebersole def. John Howard Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

 

Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass)

Lightweight Kevin Lee def. Jon Tuck Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Bantamweight Manvel Gamburyan def. Cody Gibson Submission (guillotine choke) Round 2 - 4:56

 

$50,000 bonus winners:

Fight of the Night- Tim Kennedy vs Yoel Romero

Performance of the Night- Conor McGregor and Dominick Cruz