Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back at it again, being the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world… It is set to stage the final event of the year. UFC 207 is set to go down tonight (Fri., Dec. 30, 2016) live from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, airing live on pay-per-view (PPV). Headlining the card will be Amanda Nunes defending her women’s bantamweight title for the first time against former division champion, Ronda Rousey. In the co-headliner, Dominick Cruz will defend his 135-pound strap against Cody Garbrandt in what has proven to be a fight with a lot of tension built in. Meanwhile, TJ Dillashaw and John Lineker will look to prove their worth as potential title contenders in main card action.
What UFC is on tonight? UFC 207: “Nunes vs. Rousey”
Who is fighting tonight at UFC 207? Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey is the headlining bout.
When does UFC 207 start? Tonight (Fri., Dec. 30, 2016) beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass.
Where will UFC 207 take place? T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
How can I watch UFC 207? Main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view. “Prelims” undercard start time at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, and UFC Fight Pass early “Prelims” start time at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Where can I get live UFC 207 updates and results: Get full play-by-play coverage and live updates here!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, this event is and always has been about the return of Rousey, who hasn’t stepped foot inside the Octagon since getting her block knocked off by Holly Holm at UFC 193 over a year ago. As a result, current champ Amanda Nunes has been left out in the cold, public relations-wise. Is normal. Ronda’s return, though highly-anticipated, has been questioned by many thanks to her well-documented request to shut out most of the media ahead of her return. It’s a move that was applauded by some, then questioned by many, as those that were once closest to her question her mental state after suffering his first-ever loss and teasing retirement. Will the time off be enough to scare away the ghosts that have haunted her over a year? Or will her perceived lack on mental strength send her into an early retirement?
Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt really do not like each other. After going at one another via the media for the past year, weeks, and days leading up to their title fight, the two talented bantamweights will finally get to settle their differences inside the cage. “No Love” is adamant he has the recipe no one has discovered over the last decade to defeat “The Dominator,” while Cruz is more than confident he still has plenty of pep in his step to rule the division. This fight is going to be bananas.
Original Card vs. Actual Card:
A highly-anticipated rematch between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum was set to round out a trio of exciting bouts, however, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) denied Cain a license to compete after they deemed him medically unfit to fight thanks to the fact he personally announced he was going through severe pain due to sciatic nerve issues and was set to go under the knife just a week after the fight.
Jessica Andrade was also set to welcome Angela Hill back to the cage at the event, however, due to USADA’s four-month window for a fighter to be tested before he or she is allowed to fight, the bout was scrapped and Andrade was removed from the event altogether. Matt Brown was supposed to take on Tarec Saffiedine before “Immortal” was pulled from the event to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 206, which he lost via knockout.
Sabah Homasi suffered an unfortunate injury that forced him out of his scheduled fight against Brandon Thatch, who was then booked to tango with Nico Price.
The aforementioned Nico Price will be the only newcomer at the event, as he will step into to face very tough Brandon Thatch in his Octagon debut.
How The Prelims Look:
Decent, but for a year-end event I expected a bit more. Call me greedy, but if the promotion was looking to end the year with a bang, they could have a beefed up the undercard a bit more. That said, what we do have is a nice welterweight scrap between Johny Hendricks (who missed weight, yet again) against Neil Magny in an interesting bout that will see both men trying to get back into the win column. Also, Alex Oliveira and Tim Means will open up the action on UFC Fight Pass in an intriguing 170-pound matchup, as both men are looking for their third straight win.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Let’s face it, “Rowdy” needs a win in the worst way. The Judoka was so used to dominating every fight since her amateur days, that losing to Holm sent her down a dark path that even had her contemplating suicide. Sure, she’s still one of the biggest stars in the sport today; however, a second consecutive loss could be disastrous for her fighting career moving forward, as in we may never get to see her compete again. She’s already teased an early retirement, so should she lose, it’s not too farfetched to believe she will hang up her gloves for good and move on to other ventures in her life such as acting.
Interest Level: 9/10
Admit it, whether you’re a Rousey fan or not, you want to see how she bounces back after suffering her first loss. And that whole media blackout, I highly doubt that will hurt pay-per-view (PPV) buys. Ronda’s name is synonymous with the sport of MMA and her missing out on a few press conferences isn’t going to stop people form tuning in. That’s because her elusiveness makes you that much more intrigued to see her return. I mean, when she finally appeared for both weigh-in ceremonies (see them here and here), the camera flashes were nonstop and people were taking it all in as if they were seeing something they have never seen before; like Bigfoot finally stepping out of the shadows, or the Loch Ness monster surfacing for everyone to see. You’re going to tune in, I guarantee it. Also, when you have such a bitter rivalry between Cruz and Garbrandt to serve as an appetizer — in what could be a show-stealing fight — it’s can’t miss television.
Full UFC 207 Fight Card:
UFC 207 PPV Main Event:
135 lbs.: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey
UFC 207 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt
265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum — CANCELED, DETAILS HERE
135 lbs.: T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
170 lbs.: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Dong Hyun Kim
125 lbs.: Ray Borg vs. Louis Smolka
UFC 207 “Prelims” Undercard on FOX Sports (8 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Johny Hendricks vs. Neil Magny
185 lbs.: Marvin Vettori vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.
170 lbs.: Mike Pyle vs. Alex Garcia
170 lbs.: Brandon Thatch vs. Niko Price
UFC 207 “Prelims” Undercard on UFC Fight Pass (7:30 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Tim Means vs. Alex Oliveira