Sunday Column: UFC 227, Return Of The Mac And Full Steam Ahead Dallas

Jim Edwards takes a look back at UFC 227, Conor McGregor's return and UFC 228 Darren Till vs Tyron Woodley.

It’s been another breathless week covering this sport but who would want it any other way.

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov a done deal, Nate Diaz vs Dustin Poirier, that UFC 25th Anniversary press conference, and the small matter of two title fights at UFC 227 kept us all entertained this week.

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Here are my thoughts on it all:

UFC 227

Let’s start with the event last night at the Staples Centre which in my opinion at least surpassed all expectations.

The show started a little slow, but by the time we’d seen Alex Perez and Jose Torres slug it out and then Pedro Munhoz and Brett Johns leave it all in the Octagon the tone had been set and the main feature bouts didn’t disappoint.

Two fellow journalists, Gareth A. Davies and Adam Hill told me this week that Henry Cejudo was going to pull off an upset and boy did he deserve his victory last evening. After being frankly destroyed in the first fight, las night showed he’d made some incredible improvements and for my money at least did enough to sneak three out of the five rounds of the scorecards.

The obvious choice now is to run it back but who knows what will happen now given Johnson looks to have suffered some injuries in the bout. Whatever the case, “Mighty Mouse” deserves a rematch given his dominance over the last few years. He was an amazing champion.

Moving on to the main event, it only lasted a single round, but what a fight it was. Garbrandt looked to have Dillashaw in a spot of bother early, but his eagerness to finish the contest led to his ultimate downfall and it was almost a similar story to their first fight where Dillashaw’s composure under pressure was the difference. I’m not sure where either go from here to be honest, but I’m glad we can finally see these two go their separate ways for the time being.

The event lacked buzz heading in, but credit where credit is due, it was one of those fight nights that if you missed, you ultimately missed out.

Return of the Mac

The world worst kept secret was made official this week with McGregor returning on Oct. 6 to take on UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.

It’s the fight we all wanted and it should be an amazing spectacle, but let’s forget the circumstances from which this has all been derived.

The fact the UFC is not punishing McGregor for his actions in Brooklyn is frankly ridiculous and whilst I’m over the moon as a reporter to see his return, there’s something about him getting away with what he did that sits a little uneasy with me. Perhaps it’s because I knew people on the bus that he threw a dolly at, or maybe it’s just the fact it was a totally ridiculous and criminal act.

Whatever, as the UFC featherweight champion would say, it is, what it is.

I can’t deny I’m looking forward to being in Vegas to witness his return and the actual fight is going to be epic.

In the words of Mark Morrison:

Return of the Mack, here it is
Return of the Mack, hold on
Return of the Mack, don’t you know
You know that I’ll be back, here I go

Personal notes

I’m sitting here in the airport reflecting on a pretty epic 10 days for me personally.

Putting the fact my Airbnb flooded to one side, I had an incredible ten days in Los Angeles and even took the time to give myself a little break before heading into fight week.

I’m still learning my craft on all fronts of this media game but I felt this week I took some big steps forward in my development and my aim to become a valuable voice in the MMA media.

From having my first article published in the historic Fighters Only magazine (See HERE), to stepping up to the plate at the 25th Anniversary press conference and coming up with half decent questions when put under pressure, and then having the awareness to point a camera at the stage to capture a video of Nate Diaz bolting out the theatre when they played the McGregor vs Nurmagomedov promo (See HERE), these are all really small things, but for me at least they are minor victories.

But that wasn’t everything I did last week. Coming out in the next few days you should be seeing a very cool bit of content we shot on Saturday prior to UFC 227.

All I will say is UFC 228 is just around the corner and I took a stroll through Beverly Hills with a certain Scouser talking everything about life.

(Photo: Bran Holloway)

Keep your eyes peeled. If you read this, thank you and I appreciate you.

JIM

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