UFC Quick Hits: 215 Main Event Canceled, UFC In Pittsburgh
Before I begin this abbreviated look at UFC 215, I'd like to look back at the Super Bowl of the Summer, Mayweather vs. McGregor. As one who denounced the all the way from it's first rumblings in social media until the time the bell rang, I have to give it to both fighters for putting on one hell of a show. McGregor, by will or by Floyd's choosing, gave everyone rooting for the underdog a whole lot of hope in the onset. However, as is common with McGregor, once the fight dragged into the later rounds, the UFC Superstar faded quickly and Floyd sealed his fate. Kudos to both men for a good showing. Hopefully that's the last of these shenanigans, I can't stomach another night of boxing.
UFC 215 will feature the postponed Nuñes vs. Shevchenko 2 in addition to Demitrious Johnson steamrolling some unlucky bastard for his UFC record 10th title defense (UPDATE: The Demitrious Johnson fight has been canceled - what the hell). Personally, I'm excited for the card and I love watching masters ply their crafts, and Nuñes and Johnson are two of the best champions in the sport, Johnson coming in a close second to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in my unofficial and meaningless Champion Rankings. I'll only be looking at the Johnson / Borg fight as you can find my breakdown of Nuñes / Shevchenko here and the rest of the card is very lackluster:
Amanda Nuñes vs Valentina Shevchenko
Shevchenko comes in as a very slight favorite to this rematch from UFC 196. Nuñes won that bout by unanimous decision on the back of a heavy second round of ground-and-pound domination. Nuñes dominated nearly all of the first bout, and the odds-makers may be looking to Shevchenko's victories over top contenders Holly Holm and Julianna Peña heading into this rematch as a reason to make her the favorite. At near even money, I'd take a bet on the champ.
There are some names on the card but they're well past contender days and I honestly think Dana White built this card as a slight to both Johnson and Nuñes whom he has had recent vocal criticisms of. Couple that with the fact that they're coming off of a mega-fight, and they're due for a clunker.
A few things I'm looking at in the UFC going forward:
McGregor / Diaz 3? This seems to be the way the McGregor compass is pointing. While it's what most fans want, I’d caution against it. What happens if McGregor loses? Losing the trilogy fight against a middling brawler on the heels of a failure against Mayweather? That could spell disaster for the UFC's only nationally recognized talent.
When is Stipe Miocic going to fight again? He's apparently in a contract dispute with the UFC and won't fight until it's resolved. He has brought back a bit of life and stability to the Heavyweight division and it would be best to get him back in there sooner rather than later. A strong Heavyweight champ sells tickets.
UFC in the Burgh. The UFC is making a stop in Pittsburgh on September 16th. The card will be televised live on FS1 (over / under on stock video of the incline / Primanti's sammiches?). Luke Rockhold will face David Branch in the main event. There are title implications here as Rockhold is currently ranked 3rd in the division and is the one who lost the belt to current champion Michael Bisping.
Until next time.