This extended preview of UFC 200 gives us a quick look at the top four fights on the biggest mixed martial arts card of all-time in under 10 minutes.
The title unification bout at the very top of the card between bitter rivals Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones is a main event that is beyond perfect for this landmark card. When you look at the greatest rivalries in UFC history (Liddell-Ortiz, Rousey-Tate, Silva-Sonnen, Mir-Lesnar, etc.) this is one that could end up at the top of any list. The bad blood is as honest as it gets when it comes to Jones and Cormier. Make no mistake about it, we will see the very best each man has to offer come July 9th, and believe you me – we won’t see the winner inviting the loser over for a BBQ after the fight is over.
In Jones we have arguably the greatest mixed martial artist in the world looking to reclaim his spot atop the division he took over back in 2011. This is a fighter who has been his own worst enemy; his legal issues are well documented and will be a big part of the storyline and build up to this mega main event. Cormier on the other hand, a man who seems to be the perfect family man but as a professional wrestling fan just knows how to play the role of the heel, is looking to cement himself as the true 205 lbs UFC champion. Being the all around great guy that he is, he could’ve easily fought for gold at heavyweight if his training partner and good friend Cain Velasquez wasn’t holding it when he became #1 contender. Instead, Cormier dropped down in weight and earned himself a shot at Jones at UFC 182. Luckily for us and the UFC’s bottom line, these two men quickly became a match made in hell.
In the co-main event of UFC 200, we the only man to hold both UFC and WWE heavyweight gold making his return to the Octagon against the most dangerous walk off KO artist in the division. Brock Lesnar versus Mark Hunt is a fight that just a few weeks ago we would’ve only found in our wildest dreams. Now, with Lesnar being granted a UFC return for one night only by WWE, we get to see “The Beast Incarnate” take on “The Super Samoan” in a battle that may end up rivaling any choreographed fight in an Avengers film.
It’s as simple as this – Lesnar feels that he wasn’t defeated by Cain Velasquez or Alistair Overeem in his final 2 UFC fights – he feels that it was his disease (diverticulitis) that made him not only lose those fights but ultimately make the tough decision to hang up those 4XL lunchbox sized UFC gloves. Now that he’s back to full strength, fighting at UFC 200 was a no brainer for not only him but also the UFC. When the UFC says it was Brock who made the call and they had nothing to do with it you have to remember that promoters lie for a living. And that’s ok. Do not, I repeat, do not get it twisted – as happy as Brock is to get back into the Octagon no one is happier than the UFC brass. Lesnar versus Hunt turns a solid UFC 200 card into a legendary one.
When current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate takes on Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 she’ll be looking to become the 2nd woman in the division after Ronda Rousey to defend that very title successfully. Unfortunately for Holly Holm, the woman who shocked the world by ending Rousey’s 12-fight unbeaten streak, she’d fall a victim to the relentlessness of this hard-nosed Tacoma, Washington born women’s MMA pioneer. Nunes, a KO artist and black belt in BJJ, is currently the biggest threat to Tate’s title and could very well end up being the recipient of the proverbial hot potato known as the UFC women’s bantamweight title.
The first of three title fights to take place on this stacked card will be of the interim featherweight variety when 9-time defending UFC/WEC champion Jose Aldo takes on former 2-time defending lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. In rematch of their UFC 156 bout, both Aldo and Edgar will look to put themselves in position to take on the biggest star in MMA today, Conor McGregor, to unify UFC featherweight gold. 4
If you didn’t think those fights were strong enough, the remaining 8 fights feature 3 former UFC champions and 11 previous event headliners.
Here’s your full UFC 200 ‘Cormier vs. Jones 2’ fight card as it stands today:
Light Heavyweight Championship Unification Bout
Daniel Cormier (c) (17-1) vs. Jon Jones (ic) (22-1)
Heavyweight Co-Main Event
Brock Lesnar (5-3) vs. Mark Hunt (12-10-1)
Women’s Bantamweight Championship Bout
Miesha Tate (c) (18-5) vs. Amanda Nunes (12-4)
Featherweight Interim Championship Bout
Jose Aldo (25-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (20-4-1)
Cain Velasquez (13-2) vs. Travis Browne (18-3-1)
Women’s Bantamweight Bout
Cat Zingano (9-1) vs. Julianna Pena (7-2)
Johny Hendricks (17-4) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (11-2)
T.J. Dillashaw (12-3) vs. Raphael Assuncao (23-4)
Sage Northcutt (7-1) vs. Enrique Martin (8-3)
Diego Sanchez (26-8) vs. Joe Lauzon (25-11)
Gegard Mousasi (38-6-2) vs. Thiago Santos (13-3)
Jim Miller (25-8) vs. Takanori Gomi (35-11)
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