UFC 200: Nunes beats Tate in first round to win title, Silva loses to Cormier
Miesha Tate started stronger, with Nunes tentative and playing on the counter before landing a couple of huge punches that stunned Tate and busted her open. The champion was reeling but made another takedown attempt that Nunes comfortably evaded before getting on Tate's back and applying the rear-naked choke for the win in 3:16.
It the third consecutive bantamweight title change after Holm, Tate and now Nunes have won the title - each fight a perfect example of how a smart counter-attacking approach benefits the challenger. Tate's stay-back approach from the Holm fight differed markedly from her style against Nunes, although to be fair after the way she got hit the fight was going to be over sooner than later.
In the co-headline fight, Brock Lesnar, the 2.5 million dollar man who came back to the UFC after five years out, beat Mark Hunt via unanimous decision 29-27, 29-27 and 29-27) after an aggressive showing where he defended well and was able to assert his ground game on his older and slower opponent.
Before the fight the talk was about Lesnar's strong ground game versus Hunt's punching power (and Lesnar's reported inability to take a punch), but in the end it turned out to be a convincing but not overwhelming confirmation that Lesnar is back for good. Another, bigger fight beckons for the former heavyweight champion and arguably the biggest draw in the UFC (and WWE).
Daniel Cormier took on Anderson Silva, a last-minute replacement for Jon Jones after the former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for a drug test taken in June. Silva's late entry into the fight changed it to a non-title, three-round bout, with much of the focus before the fight on whether Silva would last till the end given that he hadn't trained for the fight.
In the end the fight proved the least popular on the night, with Cormier focusing on taking down Silva and keeping him on the ground, a modified strategy from what he had trained and planned for Jon Jones. Long periods on the mat made the crowd restless and they booed Cormier at the final whistle and during his post-fight speech, but with the new fight being made on Thursday, there was little either side could do but show up and go through the motions.
Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fought for the interim featherweight title, with the official champion Conor McGregor more content on plotting revenge on Nate Diaz and possibly a lightweight title bout assuming he comes out of UFC 202 with a win. The fight went the full three rounds with Edgar enjoying the upper hand in round one before Aldo grew in confidence and defended brilliantly while landing more and more shots.
The fast-paced fight ended with verbal sparring between the winner, Aldo, and Conor McGregor, who was sitting in the audience:
The first fight of the main card was Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne, with the former UFC heavyweight champion charging in from the first bell and driving Browne back up to the cage with a series of low kicks before planting him to the mat with a big right. A spinning back kick was thrown in for good effect, and Velasquez closed out the fight with seconds remaining in the first round, mounting Browne and pummelling him with punches until the ref intervened.
A 10th knockout for Velasquez in UFC, right behind Vitor Belfort (12) and Anderson Silva (11). He'll be close to the title picture, but he may need another fight before he gets another shot at the belt he lost to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188.
UFC 200 proved to be a massive draw for celebrities, with athletes (Tom Brady), movie stars (Justin Timberlake) and even European megastars (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) all in attendance:
UFC 200 Main Card Results
Brock Lesnar def Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27 and 29-27)
Daniel Cormier def Anderson Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 and 30-26)
Jose Aldo def Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46 and 48-47)
Cain Velasquez def Travis Browne via TKO (punches) at 4.57 of first round
Julianna Pena def Cat Zingano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Kelvin Gastelum def Johny Hendricks via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
TJ Dillashaw def Raphael Assuncao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Sage Northcutt def Enrique Marin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joe Lauzon def Diego Sanchez via TKO (strikes) at 1.26 of first round
Gegard Mousasi def Thiago Santos via KO (punch) at 4.32 of first round
Jim Miller def Takanori Gomi via TKO (strikes) at 2.18 of first round