UFC 217 delivered on its billing as the biggest MMA fight card of the year on Saturday night with stunning finishes sprinkled across the event.
In the main event, Georges Saint-Pierre made an historic return after taking four years out of the sport when he defeated Michael Bisping via third-round rear-name-choke to be crowned champion of the middleweight division. Having been such a dominant king in the welterweight division with nine consecutive successful title defences before announcing his sabbatical from the sport in 2013, GSP merely cemented his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all-time with his performance at Madison Square Garden.
Where to now for the legendary Canadian?
Dana White is adamant that his next bout will be a 185 lbs title defence against interim champ Robert Whittaker.
In the co-main event, TJ Dillashaw came out on top against Cody Garbrandt in their grudge match. The former teammates turned bitter rivals put on a show until Dillashaw clipped Garbrandt and finished him off with some vicious ground and pound in the second round.
TJ now has his eyes on emulating Conor McGregor and becoming the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts from different weight-classes simultaneously with a conquering of the flyweight division. Demetrious Johnson is yet to confirm his willingness to put his belt on the line against the new 135 lbs champ, but that is a fight that Dana really wants to get done.
In the women’s straweight championship bout came perhaps the surprise of the night when Rose Namajunas dethroned one of the most dominant champions in UFC history in Joanna Jędrzejczyk via stunning knockout in the very first round.
Check out the UFC president’s thoughts on how it all unfolded: