UFC fans are probably still catching their breath from the events of UFC 202, which took place Saturday featuring the long-awaited rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor. While that fight was fantastic (and set both Diaz and McGregor up with multiple next opportunities), there was a whole lot more that took place at Las Vegas's T-Mobile Arena. Here are the three things we learned from the other matchups at UFC 202:
1) Some fighters do actually get along
What with the bottles being thrown at this week's press conference and the constant trash talk before seemingly every bout, casual MMA fans would be forgiven for assuming that all UFC fighters hate each other. Not so, as there were quite a few gentlemen fighting on Saturday night. Anthony Johnson and Glover Texeira got along just fine before their co-main event battle, and Johnson even gave due credit to Texeira and current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview (which you can watch by using the media player above). "We don't need to go out there talking to get knockouts done," Johnson said. Donald Cerrone and Rick Story were all smiles, too, before Cerrone dropped Story in spectacular fashion.
2) Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt needs to happen
Cody Garbrandt made two things clear with his win at UFC 202: he's a bantamweight contender, and he really, truly does not like current champion Dominick Cruz. Jay Glazer revealed on Fox Sports 1's pre-fight show that Garbrandt and Cruz had a run-in backstage at T-Mobile Arena, with Garbrandt giving Cruz some choice words before Cormier decided to pre-emptively separate them. Then after Garbrandt flattened Takeya Mizugaki, he called out Cruz. Cameras immediately cut back to Cruz, who'd turned around from the Fox broadcast table and could be seen replying in the affirmative, with at least one word we can't print. Garbrandt wants Cruz, and Cruz is happy to take Garbrandt, so eventually this fight needs to go down if only for the entertainment value.
3) A good position can go bad in a hurry
On the women's side of things, the preliminary card featured a fight between Randa Markos and Cortney Casey that took audiences by surprise. Markos was the favorite going into UFC 202 and had Casey in an advantageous position, seemingly getting ready for the finish. But Casey was able to turn her disadvantage into a path to victory. She persisted and flipped the position, allowing her to get an armbar on Markos and win the fight by submission. It was the worst of times becoming the best of times and proved that no matter what a fighter is up against, they're never truly out of the fight until the referee calls it. But isn't that unpredictability why we love MMA (or really, all sports) in the first place?
Next up for the UFC is UFC Fight Night Vancouver: Maia vs. Condit on Saturday, Aug. 27 from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Tickets for that event are on sale now here. For a look at all the upcoming live events on the UFC's calendar, visit their website.
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