UFC 182 kicked off the new year with the highly anticipated and highly promoted showdown between UFC Light heavy weight Champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Finally a fight card to discuss after what seemed like an eternity since the last fight card produced by the UFC which was UFC Fight Night on December 20 in Brazil.
Since then the fodder for conversation was the signing of the Reebok Uniform deal, CM Punk signing, Anti-trust lawsuit and the UFC and the overall performance of the UFC’s brand of MMA.
So here is to a new year, new fights, story lines and a look back at the first fight card of 2015.
Jon Jones regains his tittle by defeating Daniel Cormier in unanimous fashion by outworking and out wrestling his bitter rival former Olympic team captain, Cormier. Now the discussion begins to swirl around Jones’ legacy. After his performance at UFC 182 he can easily enter the discussion of the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T).
Is he? He certainly is the best fighter in the world right now and looks poised for a successful run of tittle defenses in 2015 and beyond. The “villain” role suits him well and in the fight game such a role can serve as a lucrative career.
Although the card was not necessarily bad, fighters defiantly missed their opportunity to shine under the bright lights of a high profiled event like UFC 182.
For the second fight in a row Alexis Dufresne missed weight and refused a second attempt to make weight, forfeiting 20 percent of her fight purse to opponent Marion Reneau. As a result Dufresne was outclassed and beat down by Reneau who earned a unanimous decision victory in her UFC debut.
Overall a great night for the UFC. Dana White is expecting well over 700,000 PPV buys. 2014 was considered a down year and many media outlets and fans attributed a decline due to injuries, over saturation and or a lack of promotable stars.
2015 is off to a great start. MMA’s Pound for Pound Champion Jon Jones put on a brilliant display of skills and takedowns in defeating Daniel Cormier. Although the rivalry ended with a period rather than an exclamation point the legacy of Jon Jones continues to grow and he will be a promotable star in 2015.
Now the focus is on former Pound for Pound champion Anderson Silva and his super fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 183 January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although this is not a championship fight it still features the G.O.A.T. Silva against a big draw in Nick Diaz.
The Following month the UFC will showcase two champions at UFC 184. Chris Weidman defends his tittle agains Vitor Belfort and UFC women’s champion Ronda Rousey faces Cat Zingano.
The first three major UFC cards feature current champions, fan favorites and the sports greatest fighter early signs show the UFC is committed to bounce back in 2015.