Even with the omission of Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC 187 was a stacked card on paper and it delivered when it went down on Saturday night (May 23, 2015) from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card, especially, was fantastic. The main event of the evening, a five-round light heavyweight bout between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, was a competitive, exciting bout that eventually saw Cormier snare a third-round submission to win the vacant belt. It was a great fight, although we are all left to wonder how Jones against Johnson would have went down. The co-main event wasn’t the best fight, as it was a one-sided beatdown that saw Chris Weidman smash Vitor Belfort for a first-round TKO. It was a dominating performance from Weidman, but one of the most lopsided title fights in a long time. The lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone and John Makdessi was another main-card fight that featured a highlight-reel finish, but like Weidman vs. Belfort, it was a one-sided beatdown. The flyweight bout between John Moraga and Joseph Benavidez, which opened up the PPV, was more-or-less a one-sided fight as well, although it went the distance. The best fight on the main card, and perhaps the most unexpected slobberknocker in a while, saw Travis Browne take on Andrei Arlovski. In one of the best rounds all year in MMA, Arlovski knocked out Browne for the biggest win of his career to date. This was a back-and-forth war for the near-five minutes it lasted, and while Arlovski earned the KO in devastating fashion, both men put on a show and deserved their “Fight of the Night” bonus. As for the prelims, there were some fun moments, for sure. Dong Hyun Kim proved the doubters wrong when he submitted Josh Burkman in the third round with an arm-triangle choke in one of his most-impressive performances in a long time. Islam Makhachev, a teammate of Nurmagomedov’s, also looked fantastic in his second-round submission win over Leo Kuntz. As well, top flyweight prospect Justin Scoggins also got back on track, defeating Josh Sampo via unanimous decision in the curtain jerker, a win that snapped Scoggins’ two-fight losing streak. All in all in was a very solid UFC card, and one of the better PPV cards in recent memory. I decided to give UFC 187 an 8/10 rating, although if the Weidman vs. Belfort fight was more competitive I would have given it an even higher rating. I don’t think it was the best UFC card of all time like I’ve seen some say (short-term memory alert), but it was definitely a solid card, one that was well worth the money to watch, and one can only hope the next PPV, UFC 188, is just as good, if not better.
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