UFC 217

UFC 217: GSP caps off wild night of upsets by choking out Michael Bisping

It was a Saturday night to remember at Madison Square Garden as three champions walked into the storied venue, masters of all their domain. By the end of the evening, all three were relieved of their crowns.

Georges St-Pierre (26-2-0), the former welterweight champion, returned to the octagon against middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-8-0) and overcame some good strikes and elbows from the bottom from Michael Bisping in the first two rounds. He also landed a few takedowns and remained active, rather than simply trying to win points with his wrestling.

St-Pierre stunned Bisping in the third round with a left hook counter that sent him to the canvas. St-Pierre immediately took the back and forced referee John McCarthy to call the bout at 4:23 of the third round.

As the undisputed middleweight champion, St-Pierre will unify the belt with interim champion Robert Whittaker, who was cageside at MSG. GSP also joined the short list of fighters who have captured UFC gold in two different weight classes.

Earlier, TJ Dillashaw came back from a shaky first round to catch Cody Garbrandt with a headkick and earn a second-round TKO victory. Dillashaw was knocked down several times in the first round and looked close to being stopped but survived.

“At the end of the day, you have to behest with yourself,” he said backstage to the UFC correspondent Megan Olivi. “I’m brutally honest with myself. I made a technical error and he capitalized on it. Hats off to TJ, but this is what happens in this game. This is what I love to do but at the end of the day you have to be honest with yourself. I made an error and he capitalized.”

Dillashaw now becomes a two-time bantamweight champion and after the fight called out Demetrious Johnson.

Rose Namajunas stunned heavy favourite Joanna Jedrzejczyk by landing a crushing left hook and following up with strikes to end the bout 3:03 into the first round. Jedrzejczyk had held the belt since UFC 185 in 2015, defending five times, one less than the female UFC record held by Ronda Rousey.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 

AIEMANN ZAHABI VS. RICARDO RAMOS 

 

WINNER: RICARDO RAMOS VIA KO (SPINNING BACK ELBOW)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: AIEMANN ZAHABI VIA UD

Andrews: Excellent win for Ramos as he outmaneuvered Zahabi and landed two spinning elbows to put him away. Zahabi got caught but he will be back.

#9 ALEKSEI OLEINIK VS. #12 CURTIS BLAYDES 

 

WINNER: CURTIS BLAYDES VIA TKO (DOCTOR STOPPAGE) 1:56

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEKSEI OLEINIK VIA SUBMISSION 

Andrews: Excellent win for Blaydes as he teed off on Aleksei and forced the doctor to call the bout. Oleiniki is a tough guy but how much more can he take? It might be time to hang them up.

RANDY BROWN VS. MICKEY GALL 

 

WINNER: RANDY BROWN VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICKEY GALL VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: I thought Gall would be able to get the fight to the ground, but Brown used his length to start fast and outwork Gall. Good win.

#6 OVINCE ST. PREUX VS. COREY ANDERSON 

 

WINNER: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA TKO R3 1:25

ANDREWS PREDICTION: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA TKO

Andrews: OSP used his striking as expected to dispatch Anderson. Good win.

WALT HARRIS VS. MARK GODBEER 

UFC 217

WINNER: MARK GODBEER VIA DQ (ILLEGAL KICK)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: WALT HARRIS VIA TKO

Andrews: Throw this one out as the NYSAC made a big mistake in disqualifying Harris.

JAMES VICK VS. JOE DUFFY 

 

WINNER: JAMES VICK VIA TKO R2 4:59

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOE DUFFY VIA SD

Andrews: It was a close fight but Vick put him away with a nice flurry. Good fight, hard luck for Duffy.

JOHNY HENDRICKS  VS. PAULO COSTA

 

WINNER: PAULO COSTA VIA TKO R2 1:23

ANDREWS PREDICTION: PAULO COSTA VIA TKO

Andrews: It may be time for Hendricks to retire. Costa simply overpowered him.

#2 STEPHEN THOMPSON VS. #4 JORGE MASVIDAL

 

WINNER: STEPHEN THOMPSON VIA UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: STEPHEN THOMPSON VIA UD

Andrews: Thompson outstruck Masvidal and piled up the points. Classic wonder boy and Masvidal, as usual, showed his toughness but was unable to penetrate the karate stance. Good win.

JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VS. #4 ROSE NAMAJUNAS 

 

WINNER: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VIA TKO (STRIKES) R1 3:03

ANDREWS PREDICTIONS: JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK VIA TKO 

Andrews: What a performance by Rose! She stood with JJ and pushed forward with that left hook and then followed up to leave no doubt as to one of the greatest upsets in UFC history. Rematch?

CODY GARBRANDT VS. TJ DILLASHAW 

 

WINNER: TJ DILLASHAW VIA KO (PUNCHES) R2 2:41

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CODY GARBRANDT VIA TKO

Andrews: TJ overcame a shaky first round and several knockdowns to crack Cody with a headkick and then a left hook to crack open the fight and put Garbrandt away. TJ’s footwork was on point too. Cody did well in the first round and had his chances to put TJ away and got caught in the second. Excellent fight and we will see these two battle again.

MAIN EVENT

MICHAEL BISPING VS. GEORGES ST-PIERRE 

 

WINNER: GEORGES ST-PIERRE VIA SUBMISSION (REAR-NAKED CHOKE) R3 4:23

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL BISPING VIA UD

Andrews: What an amazing performance by GSP. To come in after four years, move up a division and then overpower the champion on the feet, take him down, overcome some good shots and elbows and then choke him out. Unbelievable. Biping did not roll over, he put up a fight, but this fight cements GSP as an all-time UFC GOAT first ballot nominee.

@kenaiandrews

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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