The UFC is finally done with its roller-coaster 2020 season, concluding the year with a blockbuster Fight Night event that went down inside the promotion's APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.
UFC Vegas 17 was the promotion's final event of the year and thanks to some brilliant performances on the well-stacked card, fight fans were treated to another thoroughly entertaining fight night. Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson put on an absolute clinic to earn a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Geoff Neal in the main event. In the co-main event, Jose Aldo brought back past memories by picking up a dominant decision win against Marlon Vera.
Following UFC Vegas 17, the only thing that remains for fight fans to look forward to as 2020 goes into the books is the post-fight press conference. A lot of interesting details were revealed in the aftermath of tonight's Fight Night event.
Therefore, without further delay, let's look at the top-five takeaways from the UFC Vegas 17 post-fight press conference.
1) Jose Aldo explains why he called out TJ Dillashaw
Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo picked up a big unanimous decision win against Marlon Vera at UFC Vegas 17. This was Aldo's first win at bantamweight and he has managed to keep himself in the title conversation with it.
Following the fight, Aldo decided to call out former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who is set to return to the octagon after serving a two-year long USADA suspension for the usage of performance enhancing drugs. In the post-fight press conference, Aldo explained why he wants to fight Dillashaw next.
"I don't have anything personal with TJ. I just want to make a great fight for the fans. I think TJ is a great champion and that this fight makes sense for everybody involved."
Aldo, whose first fight in the 135lbs division was an unsuccessful title challenge against Petr Yan, will now be looking to work his way into earning another title shot. A win against a former champion like TJ Dillashaw will indeed make a good case for Aldo, who looked very much on song against Vera tonight.
2) Anthony Pettis explains why he lost to Tony Ferguson in their first fight
Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony 'Showtime' Pettis recovered brilliantly from an early setback to pick up a unanimous decision win over Alex Morono at UFC Vegas 17. This was apparently Pettis' last fight in the promotion's welterweight division. As Pettis plans on returning to the lightweight division, he has an opponent in his mind for his homecoming.
Pettis revealed that he would like to rematch Tony Ferguson in his next fight inside the Octagon. Ferguson and Pettis faced each other at the historic UFC 229 pay-per-view back in 2018 and 'El Cucuy' picked up a second round TKO finish in the fight. Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Pettis revealed why he thinks that he lost the first fight and why he believes he will win in a potential rematch.
"He got me early with those elbows. I think I've made some adjustments there and I actually had a full training camp for that. Not taking anything away from him, I took that fight on short notice, the weight cut was horrible and I just wasn't mentally there in that process. Now I'm making decisions outside the octagon to make these fights go easier."
3) Stephen Thompson reveals the extent of his leg injury
Stephen Thompson picked up a lopsided decision win over Geoff Neal in the main event of UFC Vegas 17. He dominated the fight over the five scheduled rounds, not allowing Neal to cause much damage. However, he did suffer a nasty cut over the right eye thanks to an inadvertent clash of heads during the fight. He also suffered injuries on his leg. Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Thompson revealed the extent of his injuries.
"Other than the cut over my eye, I think I might have torn a tendon or a muscle on my right thigh. If you saw me in the fourth round, I was holding my leg and I thought it was my knee cap bulging out but it was muscle that actually balled up around my thigh. I'm staying positive and hoping that it's not too bad."
4) Jorge Masvidal responds to Wonderboy's callout
In the aftermath of tonight's main event, Stephen Thompson called out Jorge Masvidal for a rematch of their 2017 clash which Wonderboy won. Thompson is known as one of the nicest fighters in the game while Masvidal is the 'BMF' belt holder. Wonderboy said that he wants an NMF vs. BMF fight against Masvidal.
Responding to Wonderboy's callout, Masvidal hinted that he accepts the challenge and would like to fight Thompson some time in 2021. Masvidal even stated that he has some unfinished business with Thompson, referring to his loss in the first fight.
Conversely, Masvidal could have also been referring to the unfinished business he has with Nate Diaz or another tilt at the title.
5) The big winners from UFC Vegas 17
Four fighters, including main event attraction Stephen Thompson bagged handsome $50,000 performance bonuses following tonight's UFC Vegas 17 event. Rob Font bagged a bonus for his highlight-reel knockout of Marlon Moraes in their main card scrap. Heavyweight Marcin Tybura bagged $50,000 for his stoppage win against surging contender Greg Hardy and finally, Jimmy Flick earned himself a bonus for his terrific flying-triangle submission finish against Cody Durden in their flyweight encounter at UFC Vegas 17.Published 20 Dec 2020, 14:20 IST