UFC 208 Review

UFC 208 wasn’t the most action-packed card, but it did provide some memorable moments Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The night produced the crowning of the first-ever women’s featherweight champion in Germaine de Randamie, as the Dutch kickboxer beat Holly Holm via unanimous decision in a tight bout.

Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie

Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

With such a close decision, refereeing played a role. Twice de Randamie threw punches after the bell, landing a serious right hand the first time after Round 2 and failing to connect in Round 3. However, no points were deducted. Had the referee properly deducted a point, we could have easily had a draw. What a turn of events that would have been.

Despite the controversy, the UFC named a new champion, and de Randamie didn’t just make history as the first champion of the division; she also joined an elite club of two Dutch mixed martial artists.

Between the bells, de Randamie had her way in the striking game. While Holm was active on the outside, de Randamie consistently landed destructive counter right hands. After the bout, de Randamie addressed the fighter on everyone’s mind: Cris “Cyborg” Justino. The former Strikeforce fighter was in attendance for the bout, and de Randamie expressed interest in a future fight with the MMA star.

The setup to a future championship fight between de Randamie and Cyborg wasn’t all that went down. UFC 208 was a somewhat bizarre card, but there were some redeeming qualities to be found, including the potential last fight for Anderson Silva and several ranked fighters in action.

Here’s a quick rundown of the results and a closer look at each of the main card fights:

  • Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
  • Anderson Silva def. Derek Brunson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Ronaldo Souza def. Tim Boetsch via submission (kimura) at 3:41 of the first round
  • Glover Teixeira def. Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Dustin Poirier def. Jim Miller by majority decision (30-27, 28-28, 29-28)
  • Belal Muhammad def. Randy Brown by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Wilson Reis def. Ulka Sasaki by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Islam Makhachev def. Nik Lentz by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)
  • Rick Glenn def. Phillipe Nover by split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
  • Ryan LaFlare def. Roan Carneiro by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)

Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson

Although it was headlined by a UFC title fight, UFC 208 might just be remembered for Anderson Silva’s final bout. The former middleweight kingpin flirted with retirement after defeating Derek Brunson via unanimous decision.

If Silva does decide to walk away from the sport at 41 years old, this decision might be considered a retirement gift. This was a fight marked by sporadic action, and although the rounds were close, there were those who felt it was closer than the scorecards indicated.

The performance had flecks of vintage Silva but not much of the magic that used to make him the pound-for-pound king. Brunson, however, was able to find success in multiple aspects, including consistently landing hard punches in the clinch.

In the end, it wasn’t enough for the judges to give him the decision. Silva’s bursts weren’t consistent, but they were effective enough to steal some rounds.

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Tim Boetsch

After seven consecutive decisions to start the card, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza got the first finish of the night when he submitted Tim Boetsch in the first round.

Coming into the fight as the massive favorite, Jacare was in a tough situation. A win was expected, but a loss would have been devastating to his title hopes. Once the fight hit the mat, there was no doubt the end was near.

Souza effortlessly passed into mount and then locked up a kimura that forced a tap.

It’s getting harder and harder to deny that Souza is deserving of a title shot. He is 7-1 since making the move to the UFC from Strikforce, with six of those wins coming in some form of finish.

That’s the kind of streak that is hard to ignore, and it won’t be surprising to see if Souza’s next fight is for the strap.

Jared Cannonier vs. Glover Teixeira

In case you were wondering if Jared Cannonier was ready to take on the upper echelon of light heavyweight contenders, Glover Teixeira answered your question. The Brazilian manhandled Cannonier for all three rounds to pick up the unanimous-decision victory.

Cannonier—who was making just his second appearance in the light heavyweight division—had his moments. He was able to rock Teixeira at the end of the first frame, but in the end, the veteran’s jiu-jitsu game was too much.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. Teixeira didn’t create many highlights in controlling the fight from top position, but he did show he’s still capable of dominating lesser competition.

It was an important bounce-back win for Teixeira after losing in 13 seconds to Anthony Johnson his last time out. Recovering from that loss to earn a title shot will require more than a win over Cannonier, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller

The UFC couldn’t have picked a better matchup to kick off the pay-per-view portion of the card than the lightweight scrap between Jim Miller and Dustin Poirier.

The two 155-pounders are known for putting on exciting fights, and they didn’t disappoint.

Overall, Poirier’s striking proved to be an advantage. He was able to land the cleaner, more effective punches in the exchanges. But Miller’s toughness was on display as he absorbed everything Diamond threw at him and continued to bite down on his mouthpiece and return fire.

Miller had some success with heavy leg kicks to Poirier’s lead leg but was unable to turn that into anything more than an inconvenience. Miller’s performance was enough for one judge to see the bout as a 28-28 draw, but the other two judges gave Poirier the nod.

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