If you decided to not pony up $54.99 for UFC 177 this past Saturday I can’t say that I don’t blame you.
The main card featured a last minute main event between a dominant champion and a UFC debutant, a co-main event featuring two good but not extremely high profile fighters, and a supporting cast that included zero top ten fighters. It was a recipe for disaster. But somehow, some way, UFC 177 provided an action packed pay-per-view card that was by far the UFC’s most worthy of your hard earned cash this year.
The card opened with a lightweight bout between unheralded Yancy Medeiros and Damon Jackson who is a natural featherweight and was making his UFC debut on just nine days notice. The bout featured back and forth action with Medeiros slightly edging Jackson in the first round before submitting his foe with an absolutely brutal bulldog choke in the second round.
The main card opener was a glimmer of hope for those who shelled out the money for the pay-per-view, but they weren’t out of the woods yet. There was still four bouts left that could possibly disappoint.
The next two bouts on the card were more of the same. Ramsey Nijem and Carlos Diego Ferreira put on a “Fight of the Night” bonus winning performance with their action packed brawl. The bout was completely even before Ferreira landed a blistering counter punch that separated Nijem from his senses. The night’s swing bout between Bethe Correira and Shayna Baszler resulted in one of the most vicious beatings in a 135 pound women’s bout in the UFC. After losing the first round, Correira powered back in the second round, trapped Baszler against the cage, and absolutely whaled on her opponent with 30 plus unanswered strikes before referee John McCarthy stepped in to stop the bout.
After three impressive fights, it was up to the night’s headliners and co-headliners to seal UFC 177 as a pay-per-view worthy card. Co-headliners Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo continued the streak of quality matches with a more methodical, but technically sound and entertaining bout. After three hard fought rounds, Ferguson took home the split decision win over the hometown favorite Castillo.
With four out of four solid bouts in the books it was time to see if one of the worst pay-per-view headliners in terms of name value could deliver. To keep a long story short, the bout more than delivered and was one of the best of the night. Entering the fifth round Dillashaw was likely up four rounds to nothing but Soto had kept each round close enough that it was easy to see how a judge could have possibly scored a few rounds for the unknown challenger. Instead of taking the risk of going to the judges scorecards, Dillashaw slammed Soto with a head kick that put his opponent on wobbly legs before sealing the deal with a straight right hand. It was the violent finish that Dillashaw needed, but it was also the competitive bout that the UFC was praying for.
What can MMA fans take away from the event that was UFC 177? Well it’s a cliche answer, but it couldn’t be more true: Never judge a book by its cover. The cover for UFC 177 was an absolute wreck, but at the end of the day it was the UFC’s strongest pay-per-view of the year in terms of action.
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