UFC 200 Report Card: How Brock Lesnar saved UFC from blushing

Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event. Photo / Getty
Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event. Photo / Getty

UFC 200 was billed as the Super Bowl of MMA and while there were plenty of highlights from the night, ultimately the UFC's grandest event failed to live up to the hype.

And it's not necessarily the UFC's fault after Jon Jones was pulled from the title bout against Daniel Cormier just days from the event taking place after he tested positive for a banned substance.

Without Jones the pay per view lacked that massive star power that a Ronda Rousey or Conor McGregor provide.

The homecoming of Brock Lesnar was a saving grace with his victorious return to the Octagon against Aussie Mark Hunt attracting the attention of the casual viewer.

But still it felt like they were missing something.

Meisha Tate's shock loss to Amanda Nunes was a highlight of the night but surely a rematch against Holly Holm would have been a fight more worthy of an event such as this.

From a die-hard point of view, it was a card stacked with superb fighters from Jose Aldo, to Cain Velasquez and TJ Dillashaw but the omission of Jones left a bad taste in the mouth.

We've run the rule over the top fights from UFC 200 and grading each fight on the entertainment value, finish and star power.

Amanda Nunes Def. Miesha Tate Via First-Round TKO

Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Photo / Getty
Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Photo / Getty

Analysis: For the third time in as many women's bantamweight championship fights, the title has changed hands. In what was one of the most exciting fights of the night, Amanda Nunes demolished Meisha Tate in the headline bout.

Was it main event-worthy? That's debatable but it sure was entertaining.

Nunes has become the first Brazilian female champion in the UFC's history and earned the victory with an impressive finish.

After landing multiple heavy blows, one of which broke Tate's nose, Nunes took Tate's back and finished her with a rear-naked choke.

The fight itself was fine but the hype was non-existent and if we're being honest, this could have been on the prelims and nobody would have batted an eye.

Instead it headlined the super-event.

The UFC has created a demand for genuine stars and with all due respect to both Tate and Nunes, they are not superstars.

Neither Tate nor Nunes is a Ronda Rousey-level main event level talent.

This fight would have been better billed as the headliner of a Fight Night event rather than the centrepiece of 200.

Brock Lesnar v Mark Hunt became the main event after the Jon Jones controversy, you only have to listen to the crowd to figure that out.

Fight grade: A

Brock Lesnar Def. Mark Hunt Via Unanimous Decision

Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Photo / Getty
Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Photo / Getty

Analysis: This could have been on Fight Pass and it would have still been the main event.
This is the money fight.

After five years away from the Octagon Brock Lesnar returned against knockout artist Mark Hunt and won in convincing fashion.

There has long been a belief amongst MMA experts that Lesnar can't take a punch but you only needed to look at the left side of his face after the fight to see he got tagged several times.

Lesnar's never been one for cutting promos but the hype which surrounds him, coupled with his star power and long awaited return meant this fight sold itself.

His game plan was simple - go to the ground.

He's bigger and stronger than Hunt and played to his strengths.

He took Hunt to the mat and smothered him.

The beauty is it looks like Lesnar has the fighting bug again. So this exhibition probably won't be a one-off.

For Hunt it was a cruel loss. He had little to gain from taking the fight outside of a handsome payday and the allure of being able to potentially boast a knockout of Lesnar on his CV.

But that KO never came and now he may never get another shot he craves at the heavyweight championship.

Fight grade: A

Daniel Cormier Def. Anderson Silva Via Unanimous Decision

Daniel Cormier and Anderson Silva at UFC 200. Photo / Getty
Daniel Cormier and Anderson Silva at UFC 200. Photo / Getty

Analysis: Yawn.

There's no denying Anderson Silva is a beast. He will go down as one of the greatest fighters of all-time and he should be commended for not only taking this fight on two days' notice but producing an admirable performance.

Sure, Cormier was originally supposed to headline for this event but when you consider what this fight means in the grand scene of things, it was lucky to be this high up on the card.

It was a boring fight. The crowd booed throughout it as Cormier wrestled and laid on top of Silva which resulted in his being stood up on more than one occasion.
But it's not Cormier's fault.

He won the fight but he's a loser in the grand scheme. Not only did he lose money after dropping from the top of the card but he was fighting a fan favourite.

By agreeing to fight Silva, he put the company first, but styles make fights and this isn't one which will be shown on the UFC highlight reel anytime soon.

Fight grade: C-

Jose Aldo Def. Frankie Edgar Via Unanimous Decision

Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. Photo / Getty
Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. Photo / Getty

Fight analysis: Having Conor McGregor cageside for this bout set the tone for just how important this fight was.

It was Jose Aldo's return to the Octagon after his humiliating 13-second knockout at the hands of McGregor.

Sure, his bout with Frankie Edgar was for the interim featherweight belt but the bigger picture was setting up the rematch against McGregor.

First McGregor will fight Nate Diaz at UFC 202 and then he's expected to again do battle with Aldo.

Aldo beat Edgar by unanimous decision in what was a control and measured performance by the Brazilian.

The match was technical and very exciting at times.

Edgar ate a lot of punishment courtesy of Aldo's right hand but he also copped a bit of treatment too, especially in the first round.

Ultimately Aldo's class shone through to set up a bout that fight fans are already talking about.

Fight grade: B+

- news.com.au

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