UFC 216 is in the books, and had far reaching implications. The show will be one that I think we'll look back at and see as a real push for several names, even in loss. With multiple fighters falling out of the card, others stepped up and many defined their legacies. Below are seven takeaways from the card.
UFC needs a 165 pound division:
Take that "COME TO THE UFC PI AND MAKE THE WEIGHT LIKE AN ADULT" shit somewhere else. Human adult males by and large compete between 155 and 175 pounds. That's why the UFC has 100 lightweights and 100 welterweights. Realign the divisions already. You have Kevin Lee, Donald Cerrone, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nate Diaz, Rustam Khabilov, Rafael Dos Anjos, Alex Oliveira, Jorge Masvidal are an awful nice start for such a thing.
Kevin Lee will be a star no matter what:
Through staph, a bad weight cut and a loss, 25-year old Kevin Lee is going to be around for a long time. The lead up to this fight was the showcase he needed. If he competes at 155 pounds, we know he can bring the pain to Tony Ferguson. If he were to move up to 170 pounds, he has a similar frame to that of champion Tyron Woodley. We'll be seeing a lot of Kevin Lee for years to come.
Conor McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson is the fight to make:
Ferguson has earned it. Ten straight wins is unheard of in the UFC's lightweight division, which could be among the most competitive of divisions in any era in UFC history. Sure, Nate Diaz is out there. If Diaz vs. McGregor III takes place in the summer with or without a title, and even if McGregor loses to Ferguson, it still does huge business.
Demetrious Johnson is the greatest fighter I've ever seen:
By a country mile, not even close. I think Jon Jones is more talented, but Demetrious Johnson is the most skilled fighter I've ever seen. It's weird to think that a guy I've seen taken down probably twenty times in his UFC career is head and shoulders above everyone else -- usually that number is an indication of a weakness. Nope. Not for Mighty Mouse.
Tony Ferguson makes chicken salad out of chicken shit:
Every time. Take him down? Have some elbows to the dome. Waistlock? He'll somersault out of it. Tony Ferguson is a special kind of special. He steps out of his comfort zone, which has to be way, way out of his opponent's comfort zone, because Tony is pretty comfortable damn near everywhere.
UFC did the right thing going on with the show:
In true Las Vegas fashion, UFC let the show go on after the horrific incidents last week. Everyone in this line of work knows someone whose live was directly affected by those events. UFC is ingrained in Las Vegas culture, and what they did for the city Saturday night at UFC 216 was A+ stuff.
Finally movement in the lightweight division...kind of:
I stated on Holy Smokes MMA Podcast this week that the 155 pound division has been stagnant. Ferguson hadn't fought in 2017 before UFC 216. Same for Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmadomedov and Nate Diaz. Al Iaquinta may be retired, who knows. Michael Johnson wants to leave the division. Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez went to a no contest. We got some movement....but also two draws at UFC 216, too.