UFC 214 Recap: The Pound-for-Pound King is Back!
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones capped a wild UFC 214 with a spectacular showing.
Updated: July 30, 2017 • 4:05 PM ET
Daniel Cormier lost a heartbreaking fight to Jon Jones Saturday night.
The UFC’s pound-for-pound king is back and now, he’s champion again.
In what was a back-and-forth battle through two rounds, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones’ calculated approach eventually paid off in the third round as he defeated Daniel Cormier by TKO to reclaim the light heavyweight title Saturday night at UFC 214.
After landing a head kick that wobbled Cormier, Jones rushed the former champ and landed repeated punches to a defenseless Cormier on the ground. Referee John McCarthy gave Cormier every chance to defend himself, but the damage was too much, and he stopped the fight. The win was Jones’ first finish since 2013.
Jones is back on top of the light heavyweight division, and it seems he has ended his bitter rivalry with Cormier with a second straight victory over his abhorred adversary. Saturday night, Jones became the first man to ever finish Cormier in the Octagon, and he’s the only man Cormier has ever lost to. After a long road back to the top, Jones, for now, has put all the controversy behind him and re-cemented himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In his post-fight Octagon interview, Jones addressed the so-called super-fight idea with former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar by calling out WWE Superstar. Only time will tell if this super-fight will happen, but another Jones fight can’t come soon enough.
Woodley Does Enough to Get Past Maia
In the co-main event of the evening, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and No. 1 contender Demian Maia fought five rounds to a decision. It wasn’t the most exciting fight and fans let the fighters know with a chorus of boos, but Woodley’s takedown defense was superb. That, combined with a knockdown and 45 significant strikes landed, was enough to get him the decision. Maia was 0-for-24 on takedown attempts, which is usually his bread and butter. However, the champion was clearly prepared for such an offense.
Woodley has successfully defended the welterweight title three times, and a finish of Maia would have put him in line for a super-fight with former champion Georges St-Pierre. However, in the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said St-Pierre will fight middleweight champion Michael Bisping next, taking away the “money fight” Woodley has been looking for since winning the title at UFC 201.
Cyborg Cements her Legacy with UFC Gold
There’s a new women’s featherweight champion, as Cris Cyborg was as good as advertised. She defeated Tonya Evinger by KO/TKO in the third round of their title fight Saturday night.
Evinger kept the fight close in the first round and even scored a takedown, but Cyborg’s power proved to be too much for Evinger to handle. After winning a UFC title, Cyborg has cemented her position as the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time.
The women’s featherweight division is now Cyborg’s to lose, and it’s difficult to imagine her slowing down any time soon. In the post-fight press conference, White said he spoke with Holly Holm about fighting Cyborg next, or we could see the champ fight Megan Anderson. Anderson was supposed to fight Cyborg at UFC 214, but she pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons. Whoever fights Cyborg next will have their hands full, as she continues to live up to her destructive reputation.
Lawler Shines in Comeback Bout
In a welterweight showdown, Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone fought to the final horn, giving fans exactly what they wanted to see. It was a back-and-forth battle that could have gone to either fighter, but a unanimous decision landed in Lawler’s favor in the end. The former champion landed 85 of 164 strikes with 77 of those being significant.
Cerrone tried to get back into the win column, landing 99 of 185 strikes with 82 of those being significant. Despite out-striking Lawler and taking him down once, it wasn’t enough for Cerrone as he has now lost two fights in a row. He won’t be going anywhere, though; fans can expect him to fight again soon. Cerrone is one of the busiest fighters in the UFC, which has resulted in his large fan-base.
This was Lawler’s first fight since losing the title at UFC 201, and he proved he hasn’t lost his warrior spirit. He has thrust himself right back into the title conversation with the win.
Swiss Light Heavyweight Provides Sweet Knockout
In one of the more shocking outcomes of the evening, Volkan Oezdemir needed less than a minute to put away Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight fight. Oezdemir landed a short left hand from the clinch to Manuwa’s chin that wobbled him, then shoved Manuwa to the ground and finished the fight shortly after with a flurry of punches.
Oezdemir has won three fights in a row, and continues to surprise the non-believers with finishes. He’ll undoubtedly climb the light heavyweight rankings, but will he be the next in line for a title shot?
In the prelims, No. 3 featherweight Ricardo Lamas finished No. 15 Jason Knight in the first round of their featherweight fight. Lamas is riding a two-fight win streak and could be poised for a fight with a top five fighter in the division.
No. 8 bantamweight Aljamain Sterling defeated No. 13 featherweight Renan Barao by unanimous decision in a catchweight fight. Sterling has won two fights in a row, while former champion Barao has lost four of his last six fights.
In a featherweight fight, No. 8 Brian Ortega gutted out a submission victory over No. 9 Renato Moicano. Ortega was significantly out-struck in the fight, but he sank in a tight guillotine choke after a Moicano takedown attempt in the third round. Ortega has won four fights in a row by third round finish, proving that he’s a threat in the featherweight division. The loss was Moicano’s first in four fights in the UFC.
In another featherweight fight, Calvin Kattar had a successful UFC debut by earning a unanimous decision victory over Andre Fili in a close fight.
Early Prelims results
Women’s strawweight fight: Alexandra Albu (7-0) stayed undefeated with a decision victory over Kailin Curran.
Flyweight fight: Jarred Brooks used five takedowns to defeat Eric Shelton by decision.
Lightweight fight: Drew Dober defeated veteran Joshua Burkman by first round KO.