New York, November 5: The UFC arrived in New York with a stacked card as three titles changed hands in the UFC 217: Bisping Vs St-Pierre which included an incredible 8 off 11 stoppages at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (November 4).
Former welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre returned to the octagon after four year absence to headline the event in a middleweight title bout against Michael Bisping.
St-Pierre choked out middleweight champion Bisping in the third frame to become the new titleholder and just the fourth two-division champion in the promotion's history.
In the co-main event, bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt defended his belt against his former best friend turned foe, T.J. Dillashaw.
We witnessed the second title change of the night as Dillashaw stunned Garbrandt with a head kick, then moments later connected with a right hand and eventually finished the champ with a series of punches on the ground.
In the first title fight of the night, we crowned a new strawweight champion as the biggest underdog on night's card, Rose Namajunas ended Joanna Jedrzejczyk's undefeated streak via knockout in the first round by a massive left hook.
A middleweight bout kicked off the main card as unbeaten Paulo Costa took out former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks with a second-round TKO.
Next up in a welterweight bout, Stephen Thompson locked horns with Jorge Masvidal where the former earned points accross the board to earn a unanimous decision victory to get back to the win column after the majority draw against the division's champ, Tyron Woodley.
To kick off UFC 217, Ricardo Ramos brutally knocked out Aiemann Zahabi with a spinning back elbow at the 1:58 mark of the third round in a very closely fought battle in a bantamweight bout. Ramos made up for his earlier miss for a highlight reel finish.
Followed it was confusion in a heavyweight bout as Curtis Blaydes stopped Aleksei Oleynik at the 1:56 mark of the second round after an illegal kick that just grazed Oleinik's ear. The confusion arose when it looked like the fight was stopped for a disqualification, as the kick is termed illegal by the rules, but Blaydes was awarded the win via technical knock out.
In the welterweight bout that followed, Randy Brown earned the score in the first and third rounds, but had to survive an equally dominant second round from Gall to get the decision in a bloody ground fight.
Ovince Saint Preux was slow off the blocks as he struggled to overcome Corey Anderson in two and a half rounds of a light heavyweight bout, but somehow managed to stop Anderson as he him with a wicked head-kick for the knockout at the 1:25 mark of the final round.
It turned out ugly in the heavyweight bout that followed when Mark Godbeer beat Walt Harris via disqualification after the latter landed a low knee and a kick to the face which led to the fight being stopped at the 4:29 mark of the first round due to the illegal kick.
To wind up the prelims, James Vick stopped Joseph Duffy via TKO with one second left in the second round after planting him with a big right uppercut. That was four off six knockouts in the preliminary card for the highly anticiapted UFC 217.
Here are the final results of the night:
1. Middleweight title bout: Georges St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping by submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 3, 4:23
2. Bantamweight title bout: T.J. Dillashaw defeated Cody Garbrandt by KO (punches) - Round 2, 2:41
3. Women's Strawweight title bout: Rose Namajunas defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk by KO (punches) - Round 1, 3:03
4. Welterweight bout: Stephen Thompson defeated Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
5. Middleweight bout: Paulo Costa defeated Johny Hendricks by TKO (punches) - Round 2, 1:23
1. Lightweight bout: James Vick defeated Joe Duffy by TKO (punches) - Round 2, 4:59
2. Heavyweight bout: Mark Godbeer defeated Walt Harris by disqualification (illegal kick) - Round 2, 4:29
3. Light Heavyweight bout: Ovince Saint Preux defeated Corey Anderson by KO (high kick) - Round 3, 1:25
4. Welterweight bout: Randy Brown defeated Mickey Gall by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
5. Heavyweight bout: Curtis Blaydes defeated Aleksei Oleynik by TKO (doctor stoppage) - Round 2, 1:56
6. Bantamweight bout: Ricardo Ramos defeated Aiemann Zahabi by KO (spinning elbow) - Round 3, 1:58