July 9, 2018

UFC 226: Storylines Emerging From This Historic PPV Event

By Adam Martin

UFC 226 went down Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the card turned out to be as good as everyone had hoped, as it featured some of the most incredible finishes we've ever seen in the Octagon, and the outlooks of a few divisions in the UFC changed overnight. So instead of just focusing on one, I'll talk about a number of the storylines that emerged Saturday night.

Cormier Makes History, Becomes Two-Division Champ

The most important fight of the night was the main event, where UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier added a UFC Heavyweight Championship belt to his mantel with an a historic knockout over Stipe Miocic. Cormier is now the only active two-division champion in MMA, and only the fifth in history. After the fight, Brock Lesnar entered the cage, and Cormier will fight him early next year.

Lewis Upsets Ngannou In Stinker

The biggest upset of the night occurred in the co-main event, when Derrick Lewis won a decision over top heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou, but the fight was a disaster, as neither fighter threw much in the way of strikes. It was a staring contest, and no one could have expected that. However, Lewis did get the win, and it should keep him ranked among the top five contenders in the division.

Perry Fights Smart Against Felder

Mike Perry moved to Team Jackson-Wink following a pair of losses, and so far the results look good, as he picked up the first decision win of his career over Paul Felder. The fight was a war and both men should be commended for their performances, but it was Perry who emerged with the split decision nod, and this smart version of Perry is someone to watch out for at 170 lbs.

Pettis Saves UFC Career Against Chiesa

Anthony Pettis needed a win to save his UFC job, and he did just that when he tapped Michael Chiesa in one of his most-impressive performances inside the Octagon to date. Pettis might not be the championship-level fighter he once was, but the win over Chiesa proved that he is still a top-10 guy, and it will be interesting to see who the UFC matches him up with next.

Rountree Shocks The World With KO Over Saki

Light heavyweight Khalil Rountree opened up the pay-per-view main card with a ridiculous knockout over kickboxing star Gokhan Saki that stamped his name as a new contender at 205 lbs. Rountree is now undefeated in his last four bouts with three knockouts in that span, and in a shallow division like light heavyweight, he has to be close to getting a top-10 opponent after this crazy, unexpected, knockout win over Saki.

Costa Shines With Knockout Of Hall

Brazilian slugger Paulo Costa moved to 4-0 in the UFC with four finishes when he brutally finished Uriah Hall in an excellent fight. Costa is one of the most powerful punchers in the middleweight division, and he looks like someone the UFC can promote as a star when it goes to Brazil. Costa should absolutely be in consideration to headline a Fight Night event.

Assuncao Calls For Title Shot With Win Over Font

Arguably the most underrated fighter on the UFC roster is Raphael Assuncao, who moved to 11-1 as a bantamweight in the UFC with a dominant decision win over Rob Font on the preliminary card. Assuncao is riding a four-fight win streak, and he called for a title shot against TJ Dillashaw, who he is 1-1 against in his career. He absolutely deserves it, though he may be passed over once again by a bigger name.

Hooker Continues Lightweight Run With Finish Of Burns

In the "main event" of the Fight Pass prelims, Dan Hooker continued his solid run at 155 lbs with a vicious knockout over Gilbert Burns. Hooker has now gone 4-0 since moving up to lightweight and is quickly emerging as a dark horse contender. He called out for a top-10 opponent after the fight, and the UFC should oblige him with an opponent who has at least a top-15 ranking.

UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier takes place July 7, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click HERE for more UFC 226 Pre-Fight Analysis

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