Connect with us


UFC 200: The Sober 21st Birthday

Brock Lesnar (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)

Brock Lesnar (Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)


As we go through our teen years, we envision what our 21st birthday will be like. The big 2-1 is marketed as a milestone in our many rites of passage. As it draws near, you wonder who will be there? How could you ever top this? (cause you’re going to the new, hottest bar of course). And you’ll finally have one of those hangovers you’ve always wanted to complain about but you won’t because the night was. So. Memorable.

Then you wake up the morning after. A bunch of your friends showed up but that go-to party friend that could make or break the fun, broke it so bad you could barely enjoy it. Everyone sipped on cheap vodka and ate so much pizza that they were losing steam by the time you entered that new, hot bar (whose DJ sucked and you could barely hear him, BTW). Oh, and that hangover? Nothing a shower and a Starbucks Americano can’t fix.

This my friends, sums up the hype and aftermath of UFC 200.

This was supposed to be the UFC milestone. The history making UFC fight card. The big 200. All the best fights. All the best match ups. Every fight fan would need days to recover from all the history making.

No, this isn’t how this went. This is how maybe half of this went.

Granted, beyond the UFC’s control we had Jon “Bones” Jones (aka the go-to party friend) do what we hoped wouldn’t happen and got himself pulled off the main event 48-hours prior. He took your birthday cake shot and left. BUT IT’S OKAY. Because the friend you haven’t seen in over a year just said he’s going to come and save your birthday (cue Anderson Silva’s arrival). It’s nice to see him, you guys have your fun but it’s just not the same.

Let’s call it what it is. UFC 200 was a stacked, name dropping main card. The UFC 200 prelims, including the early Fight Pass prelims, could have been their own UFC on Fox card. Genuine fight fans got a show from the first FP fight with Jim Miller to the FS1 prelim headliner with Cat Zingano.

All the bells and whistles came out for the affair (upgraded Reebok gear, gold on the UFC fight gloves, to name a few). The carefully edited promos, the trash talking press-conferences and the return of Brock Lesnar kept us invested in this weekend despite the JBJ drama. Minus that mustard-yellow canvas in the octagon (I don’t like ketchup on my mustard).

The pay-out for the main and co-main event alone was around half of the $10 million-dollar gate. Lesnar walked out of UFC 200 with a win over Mark Hunt and a record-breaking $2.5 million. Hunt in his defeat made $700,000 while main event women’s bantamweights former champion Meisha Tate and new champion Amanda Nunes each made over $500,000.

The co-main event between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt was expected to end in a traditional Hunt upper-cut early in the first and we’d call it a night. Instead, we saw an athletic and surprisingly on-point Lesnar take down the “Super Samoan” multiple times for the entire three-rounds. A win for Lesnar via unanimous decision as a result, though not exactly the stand-up war between two top UFC heavyweight’s fans wanted to see.

The only match up on the main card that gave gamblers the chance to make a chunk of change was the last minute addition of Anderson Silva to the Daniel Cormier bout, with Silva coming in as a +450 underdog.

Knowing that Silva was coming in just under 200-pounds for the 205-pound fight, with no training camp and recovering from his gall-bladder surgery two months ago, made the idea of him defeating the UFC light-heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier seemed like a crazy notion to dive into to. If this was Silva in his middleweight championship days, this would have been a hyped up super fight expected to be seen on the main card. Instead, you just clapped it up to see Silva back in the octagon and the fact that DC still got his 15-minutes on the card.

Not to push the last minute main event switch of Meisha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes aside, but this could have been the co-main event. The amount of people who turned off the fight or left after Lesnar/Hunt was unfortunate, but expected. For Nunes, this was like all your friends leaving the party and missing you finally get that hot guy’s phone number. You put in the work and it paid off, but your friends are fine hearing the spark notes version the next day.

UFC Fight Week in its entirety gave us memories to look back on and will absolutely go down as one of the most hectic fight weekends in combat sports history. UFC 200 alone drew in new fans and helped expand the sport I’m sure, but for those of us who have been around the block a couple times? It didn’t do it for us and we’re ready for the next party.

The following two tabs change content below.
Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in MMA