Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ended 2018 last night (Sat., Dec. 29, 2018) with a bang with the UFC 232 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which went down from inside The Forum in Inglewood, California. Headlining the event was a Light Heavyweight title fight that saw Jon Jones once again defeat Alexander Gustafsson, this time knocking him out in the third round to win the vacant title (see it again here). In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes became the women’s Featherweight champion after she knocked out Cris Cyborg in just 51 seconds, shocking the world in the process (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Amanda Nunes
Nunes put one of hell of a dominant performance, knocking out the most-feared, vicious fighter in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA) in Cris Cyborg. And she painted her finest masterpiece yet, going toe-to-toe with the hard-hitting striker, standing in the pocket and landing her shots while staying out of danger. After rocking Cris four times, dropping her on two of those occasions, “Lioness” delivered the coupe de grace and smashed her foe with an overhand right to put an end to the fight. And it took all of 51 seconds.
In short, she bullied the bully by not backing down and picking her apart with precise striking. With the win, Nunes not only becomes the first person to ever knock Cyborg out, she makes history by becoming the first-ever women’s UFC champ-champ. Above all else, Nunes solidified herself as the greatest female fighter of all time, as she now holds knockout wins over Ronda Rousey and Cyborg, both in less than a minute. If you look at her current winning streak, she holds wins over Rousey, Cyborg, Miesha Tate, and Valentina Shevchenko (twice). As for what’s next for Amanda, well, she can pretty much write her own ticket in the division of her choosing.
Runner Up: Jon Jones
“Bones” is back, and this time he didn’t let the judges play a part in his win over Gustafsson, as he made sure to put an exclamation point on his performance by knocking out “The Mauler” via vicious ground-and-pound. With the win, Jones once again reclaims his 205-pound title and returns to his throne, one that was relinquished by former champion Daniel Cormier.
It was a great comeback win for Jones, but, we all know there will still be that annoying black cloud hanging over his win — and perhaps his career — given all of the drama that went down in the past week with his multiple failed drug tests. Because the fact of the matter is, regardless of whatever the “experts” say there will be plenty of people who won’t be too convinced Jones never dabbled with performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). Fair or not. Nevertheless, his win sets up a potential trilogy fight with “DC.”
Biggest Loser (s): Carlos Condit and B.J. Penn
It’s always tough to see two former dominant fighters go on such long losing streaks. For Carlos Condit, his loss to Michael Cheisa marks the fifth straight time he’s come up on the losing end, third time via choke. Carlos had flirted with retirement after his previous two losses, and now that he’s suffered another devastating defeat, there is no telling what “The Natural Born Killer” will do moving forward or if UFC will keep him on the roster.
As for Penn, that is now six straight defeats for the former Welterweight and Lightweight champion. When you’re losing to the likes of Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald and Frankie Edgar, it’s understandable as they are the cream of the crop. But when you can’t get past the likes of Dennis Siver and Ryan Hall, it should be a sign that your combat career should come to a close.
I personally don’t want to see “The Prodigy” lose another fight inside the Octagon. He’s done what most will never come close to accomplishing in the sport, his legacy is cemented and he should jut walk away from the fight game before he suffers his seventh straight loss. We’re talking Bob Sapp territory.
For complete UFC 232 results, including play-by-play, click here.