Garbrandt Takes Belt From Cruz
For the last year, everybody was wondering how Ronda Rousey would look when she returned since suffering her first loss last November to Holly Holm. She showed up fight week looking to be in the best shape of her career. When she got in the cage against the champ Nunes, it was clear that getting in shape wasn’t why Ronda failed against Holm.
In the 48 seconds that the fight lasted, Nunes was able to land many shots that she threw on Rousey. Rousey tried to close the distance, but was unable to secure a clinch. When they separated, Nunes would throw combos at Rousey’s head, landing most of them. Rousey had almost no head movement, which made for an easy night for Nunes.
Rousey never went completely unconscious, but referee Herb Dean saved her from taking more damage, stopping the fight. Rousey was stumbling on her feet, using the cage to keep her upright after being hit with a fury of punches.
Rousey didn’t speak to commentator Joe Rogan after the fight nor with the media at the post-fight press conference. It’s unclear what’s next for her, but all signs point to her retiring and going into a career of acting.
Nunes has now won five straight fights. There isn’t a clear number one contender lined up for her yet. On January 28, #2 Valentina Shevchenko fights #3 Julianna Pena, with the winner most likely earning a shot against Nunes.
In the co-main event, Cody Garbrandt put on a show against Dominick Cruz. Garbrandt knocked Cruz down numerous times, allowing Cruz to get back up to keep the fight standing. A headkick split Cruz’s eyebrow open in the middle of the fight, making it hard for him to see. Both fighters were taunting one another throughout the fight and both seemed to be having fun competing.
Cruz has always done a great job at not getting hit, yet Garbrandt was able to hurt Cruz more than we have ever seen inside the octagon. At the end of the fifth and final round, Garbrandt raised his hands, knowing he had done enough to win the fight. All three judges gave the fight to Garbrandt, who handed Cruz his first loss in 10 years.
It’s unclear if there will be a rematch between Cruz and Garbrandt or if T.J. Dillashaw will get the next title shot. Dillashaw, the champion before Cruz beat him last January, has won two straight fights. What makes this fight intriguing, Dillashaw and Garbrandt use to train together at Team Alpha Male before Dillashaw left the camp to train elsewhere.
There won’t be another UFC event until January 15 in Phoenix, AZ when Yair Rodriguez takes on BJ Penn.