The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for UFC 207: “Nunes vs Rousey.” The event was headlined by a UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout between Amanda “Lioness” Nunes and former champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
In tonight’s co-main event, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz put his title on the line against unbeaten rival Cody “No Love” Garbrandt. Also at 135, ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw battled John “Hands of Stone” Lineker. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for UFC 207.
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship
Amanda “Lioness” Nunes vs “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Nunes rocked Rousey right away with punches and she wobbled her repeatedly with big hooks. Rousey stayed on her feet, but Nunes teed off with huge shots and Rousey was kept up only by the cage wall. Referee Herb Dean had finally seen enough and jumped in to stop the brief and extremely one-sided fight.
Winner: Amanda Nunes by TKO (Punches) at 0:48 of round one. She improves to 14-4-0 and remains the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt vs Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz
The fight began with the fighters trading quick kicks and punches. Garbrandt showed off his foot movement and taunted. He landed an overhand right as Cruz threw a head kick. Both men landed hooks and Garbrandt threw winding overhand rights. A combination and a body kick landed for Garbrandt, who continued to taunt his opponent. Cruz briefly took him down, but Garbrandt used a guillotine choke attempt to get back to his feet. Cruz scored with a big flurry of power punches, but Garbrandt smiled and stayed on his feet. He took Cruz down and landed a knee on the way up. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Cruz opened round two with a three-punch combination and Garbrandt replied with a left hook. Cruz knocked Garbrandt off-balance with a quick flurry. The fighters continued to trade powerful hooks and Cruz landed a knee, but Garbrandt fired back with left and right hooks. He landed a nice body kick and a combination, then followed with more body kicks. Cruz landed a right hand and tripped Garbrandt, and the close round ended with another exchange of punches. 10-9 Cruz, barely.
Garbrandt stunned Cruz with a head kick and a right-left combo in the third round, and Cruz was cut above the left eye by an accidental headbutt. Cruz recovered and Garbrandt taunted him while throwing quick power punches. Cruz scored with a head kick and two punches of his own, but Garbrandt answered back with right hands. He hurt Cruz with a left hook and a knee, but Cruz recovered quickly again. Garbrandt ducked under Cruz’s punches and cracked him with a right hook. Both men landed lunging punching combinations late in the round. 10-9 Garbrandt.
Huge punches were exchanged in round four and Garbrandt floored Cruz with two looping hooks. Cruz appeared to be out for a second, but he recovered very quickly and got back to his feet as Garbrandt opted to taunt rather than dive in for a finish. The fighters traded leg kicks and Garbrandt remained a step ahead in the exchanges. He landed punches and kicks to Cruz’s face and body while evading nearly all of Cruz’s counters. Cruz did connect with a lead left hook, but Garbrandt dropped him with a one-two and Cruz was wobbly as he got back to his feet. Garbrandt knocked him down two more times before the end of the round. 10-8 Garbrandt.
The final round began with both men landing combinations and Garbrandt scored with a nice one-two. Cruz answered back with three hard punches that snapped Garbrandt’s head back. Cruz landed a leg kick and Garbrandt stopped to do a pushup. Cruz began to land kicks and he avoided a right hand from Garbrandt. Both men tried unsuccessfully for takedowns and Cruz backed Garbrandt up with punches. Garbrandt initiated a clinch against the cage and he landed a knee on the break. Cruz tripped Garbrandt with a leg kick just before the bell. 10-9 Cruz.
Winner: Cody Garbrandt by Unanimous Decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-47) after three rounds. He improves to 11-0-0 and becomes the new UFC Bantamweight Champion.
T.J. Dillashaw vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker
Lineker opened the action with a right hand and he tripped Dillashaw to the mat after catching two kicks. Dillashaw stood and landed a head kick, but Lineker caught it and took him down again. The fighters returned to their feet and Dillashaw avoided a one-two. He landed a body kick and took Lineker down into half-guard. Lineker tried to sweep, but Dillashaw kept him pinned down. The fight eventually returned to the feet and Dillashaw kicked to the body. Lineker cracked him with three left hands and Dillashaw replied with a right. Big punches were exchanged late in the round. 10-9 Dillashaw.
Dillashaw quickly took Lineker down in round two and briefly held back control. Lineker escaped to his feet and threw looping hooks, but Dillashaw evaded most of them. He kicked at Lineker’s body and swiftly took him down again. Dillashaw postured up with elbows, but Lineker shrugged them off. Dillashaw kept the pressure on with punches and hammerfists as Lineker looked for a kneebar. From mount, Dillashaw dropped more punches and hammerfists. Lineker got back to half-guard, but Dillashaw punished him with punches and elbows until time expired. 10-8 Dillashaw.
Dillashaw used feints to keep Lineker guessing in the final round, and he landed a hard kick to Lineker’s body. Dillashaw took Lineker down and landed a nice right hand on the way up. He ducked under a right hook from Lineker and took him back down again. Lineker got to his knees and Dillashaw blasted him with right hands from back control. A scramble ensued and Dillashaw attacked with a calf slicer. Lineker pulled his leg out and the fighters stood. Lineker landed huge punches to the body, but Dillashaw was unfazed. He jumped into a left hook before the bell. 10-9 Dillashaw.
Winner: T.J. Dillashaw by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) after three rounds. He improves to 14-3-0.
Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim vs Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine
Both men attempted judo trips in the opening minute and Saffiedine took Kim’s back after sweeping out his leg. Kim stood and tried to throw Saffiedine to the mat, but Saffiedine countered with knees to the body and returned to his feet. Kim walked him down with lunging punches and Saffiedine countered with leg kicks. He landed quick punches in close and the fighters traded looping hooks. Saffiedine grazed with a head kick and he tripped Kim again after landing knees and an elbow. 10-9 Saffiedine.
Saffiedine mixed up his strikes with knees and punches in round two, which prompted Kim to clinch against the fence. The fighters separated momentarily, but Kim closed the distance again and scored with punches. Saffiedine circled away and threw a head kick. He followed with a leg kick, but Kim was relentless with his forward pressure and he continued to pin Saffiedine against the cage. Little transpired in the final minute and the crowd began to voice its displeasure. 10-10.
Big punches were exchanged right away in the final round and Saffiedine landed a head kick. Kim clinched and Saffiedine broke free. A nice uppercut scored for Kim and he tried unsuccessfully for a takedown. Kim eventually got Saffiedine down for a split second, but he could not keep him there and Saffiedine landed knees to the body after standing up. He shot in for a takedown and Kim stuffed it. He got Saffiedine down and took his back late in the close round. 10-9 Kim.
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30) after three rounds. He improves to 22-3-1, 1 ND.
Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg vs Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka
Smolka established his jab right away in round one and he circled on the outside. Borg threw a head kick, but fell in the process. He quickly regained his footing and took Smolka down, then locked on a Brabo choke. Borg released the choke and he took Smolka’s back in a scramble. Smolka stood and Borg slammed him right back down. He mounted Smolka, who began to bleed from a cut near his right eye. Borg transitioned to an omoplata and Smolka countered with a leglock attempt. Borg punished him with punches from the top and mixed in knees to the body. 10-9 Borg.
Both fighters landed leg kicks in round two and Borg scored with right hands that led to a takedown. Smolka scrambled, but Borg dragged him back down and worked from the top in side control. Smolka looked to set up a heel hook and Borg dropped two big right hands in return. He mounted Smolka and continued to strike from the top until Smolka regained half-guard. Borg locked on an arm-triangle choke, but Smolka prevented him from passing his guard and ultimately escaped to his feet. He trapped Borg in a guillotine choke while being taken down, but Borg easily escaped before the bell. 10-9 Borg.
Borg wasted no time in taking the fight to the ground in round three, and he took Smolka’s back after fending off an omoplata attempt. Borg transitioned to a tight arm-triangle choke that had Smolka in all sorts of trouble, but Smolka refused to submit and Borg moved from mount back to side control. The fighters stood and Borg tried to jump onto Smolka’s back. He lost the position, but still managed to get Smolka down against the cage. Smolka scrambled up and threw side kicks to the face. Borg landed a spinning back elbow just before the end of the round. 10-9 Borg.
Winner: Ray Borg by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 10-2-0.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)