UFC 217. Pierre
UFC 217 poster. Credit:

In an event of epic proportions, headlined by Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, it was TJ Dillashaw and Rose Namajunas who stole the show with major upsets. “Rush” however, made history by becoming the fourth ever two-weight champion.

In the co-main event of the evening, a heated rivalry ensued between reigning champion Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.

The champion looked impeccable in the first round, landing numerous eye-catching shots whilst evading any attack TJ attempted.

However, in the second round, TJ used all the tools in the box and landed a crunching left high kick to the head of Garbrandt, stunning him and sending him to the floor.

Dillashaw followed up with a perfectly timed counter right-hook to knock Garbrandt down again and finish the Ohian, reclaiming the bantamweight title he once held.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk was posed with arguably the toughest test of her career in Rose Namajunas. Whilst Joanna had faced plenty of fighters with great ability, all were beaten mentally.

In Rose, Joanna had someone that wasn’t afraid of her. That wouldn’t let the champion get into her head. This showed once they entered the Octagon.

From the opening bell, Rose showcased excellent striking, evading Joanna’s attacks, but walking her down and landing shots of her own in the process. Rose dropped Joanna before the Pole got back to her feet.

Just a minute later, Rose dropped Joanna heavily before landing unanswered ground and pound, with the 30-year-old tapping out to strikes, crowning Rose as champion of the world.

St-Pierre tops incredible night at Madison Square Garden

In the main event, GSP looked better than ever when he claimed the middleweight championship title.

After a four year hiatus, “Rush” looked sharp early on, happy to trade. He finally had his opening when in the third round, Pierre rocked Bisping with a punch.

St-Pierre followed this up by landing a barrage after. He then took Bisping’s back and sunk in the rear-naked choke, rendering the Brit unconscious and crowning himself the new middleweight champion.

St-Pierre became the fourth ever two-weight champion in the process.

Stephen Thompson was back to winning ways and showed why he deserves to be the number one contender for the welterweight belt held by Tyron Woodley.

“Wonderboy’s”  style had Jorge Masvidal bamboozled from round one with his unique, unorthodox style. Masvidal never really got into the fight, leading to Thompson cruising to a unanimous decision victory.

Top Prospect Paulo Costa again impressed with a ruthless stoppage of former welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks.

“Bigg Rigg” looked hurt from the opening body shots and this proved to be the case.

Whilst valiantly fighting back towards the end of round one, the referee intervened as the crisp, meaningful striking of Costa was deemed too much punishment for Hendricks.

Englishman Mark Godbeer was involved in controversy when opponent Walt Harris landed an illegal high kick despite warnings from the referee to stop fighting.

Godbeer, despite being troubled in the fight, was awarded the victory by disqualification.

Other impressive victories included a devastating knockout from James Vick, a classy performance from Curtis Blaydes and a stunning spinning-back elbow knockout from Ricardo Ramos, the second ever finish of its type.

UFC 217 Main Card results

Middleweight title contest – Georges St. Pierre def. Michael Bisping via submission (Rear-naked choke) – (Round 3 – 4:23)

Bantamweight title contest – TJ Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via TKO (Strikes) – (Round 2 – 2:41)

Strawweight title contest – Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO (Punches) – (Round 1 – 3:03)

Welterweight contest – Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal via decision (Unanimous) – (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Middleweight contest – Paulo Costa def. Johnny Hendricks via TKO (Punches) – (Round 2 – 1:26)

UFC 217 Preliminary results

Lightweight contest – James Vick def. Joe Duffy via TKO (Punches) – (Round 2 – 4:59)

Heavyweight contest – Mark Godbeer def. Walt Harris via Disqualification (Illegal kick) – (Round 1 – 4:29)

Light Heavyweight contest – Ovince St. Preux def. Corey Anderson via KO (Head Kick) – (Round 3 – 1:25)

Welterweight contest – Randy Brown def. Mickey Gall via decision (Unanimous) – (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Heavyweight contest – Curtis Blaydes def. Oleksiy Oleinik via TKO (Doctor’s stoppage) – (Round 2 – 1:56)

Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi via KO (Spinning back elbow) – (Round 3 – 1:58)