So another UFC – Fight Night 107, the first event in London since February 2016’s Bisping vs. Silva card – is in the books, and as per usual with UFC events in 2017, it was somewhat of a mixed bag.
The crowd certainly loved the event, despite what was a bit of a maligned main event on paper.
For me, Fight Pass is the perfect place for these cards and while it’s frustrating for the local fans to not see what you’d call are the UFC’s biggest stars, Manuwa vs. Anderson wasn’t that bad in a year when WME-IMG are offering us stuff like Swanson vs. Lobov as a main event.
At any rate, here are the Best and Worst moments from the show, starting with the best, because everyone likes positivity, right?
#1 Best: Manuwa’s knockout creates a contender at 205lbs
The finish to last night’s main event was definitely one of the highest points of the card.
With the main event hardly being a highly-anticipated fight by the fans not in attendance, a slow-paced fight would’ve been a real downer for the UFC. Instead, local favourite Jimi Manuwa delivered in spades, knocking out Corey Anderson in the first round with an unbelievably brutal left hook.
Manuwa had barely thrown a strike to that point, choosing to stay in the centre of the cage while Anderson moved around the outside. The big question was how Jimi would react to the former Division I wrestler’s takedown game, but one attempt was all that Anderson was allowed to try.
Jimi stuffed the takedown and then stunned Anderson with a sneaky shot to the temple. Anderson kept his best poker face, but evidently, Manuwa realised that he had his opponent hurt, and an incredible left hook then left the former TUF champion unconscious.
It was a walk-off knockout Mark Hunt would’ve been proud of.
The victory puts Manuwa on a two-fight win streak, with both wins coming by highlight-reel knockouts. Post-fight, he called out the winner of the upcoming Cormier/Johnson title fight and while it’d be tricky to give him a shot if Rumble were to win, he’d definitely be a fresh opponent for Cormier.
If a title shot isn’t in his immediate future – Jon Jones may be waiting in the wings. Then, the winner of the upcoming Gustafsson/Teixeira fight could be next. The UFC could also book the Shogun-Rua fight that was cancelled back in 2014 when Manuwa was injured.
Regardless of how he’s booked next, Manuwa’s win makes him a new, viable contender in a division that’s crying out for them right now. This makes his win last night a massive bonus for the UFC.