The main event of UFC 227 produced fireworks as bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw stopped Cody Garbrandt in the first round to retain his title. The fight was a rematch from November, when Dillashaw knocked out Garbrandt in the second round to take the belt.
It was a wild affair for as long as it lasted, with both fighters coming out aggressively. They both connected with right hands at the same time and were rocked. But Garbrandt got too excited and rushed in with winging punches, whereas Dillashaw stayed technical with straight shots. He floored Garbrandt and jumped on him for the finish, but Garbrandt worked back to the feet and tried to recover. Dillashaw didn't give him the chance and landed another combination that sent Garbrandt staggering to the cage. Dillashaw took his back and rained down some ground-and-pound, but Garbrandt managed to get back up even though he was clearly on auto-pilot at that point. Dillashaw remained composed and landed more shots against the fence, including a huge knee that had Garbrandt out on his feet before the referee stepped in.
This result puts an end to a bitter rivalry between these two, who are former teammates and training partners. With Dillashaw winning back-to-back fights in spectacular fashion, Garbrandt has a lot of work to do if he wants to receive another title shot. For the champion, a rematch against former bantamweight king Dominick Cruz seems to be on the horizon. Cruz beat Dillashaw for the title in 2016. But another intriguing matchup is on the table thanks to the co-main event.
It was a shocking result as Henry Cejudo defeated Demetrious Johnson by split decision to take the flyweight championship. This ends Johnson's streak of 11 straight title defenses and makes Cejudo just the second flyweight champion in UFC history. Cejudo used his world-class wrestling to take Johnson down multiple times and control the fight. He also remained composed after twisting his ankle early in the fight. Johnson utilized a lot of leg kicks to score points and he didn't take much damage on the ground. But the judges saw enough from Cejudo to give him the nod. In his post-fight interview, Cejudo said he wants to move up to face the bantamweight champion in a superfight to attempt to become a two-weight world champion. If anyone deserves an immediate rematch, it's Johnson, who suffered his first loss in seven years. But in the post-fight press conference, Johnson revealed he tore his LCL during the fight and also believes he broke his foot after repeatedly throwing leg kicks. It's not clear how long he will be sidelined, but what is clear is that it's a new era in the flyweight division. Cejudo becoming the champion opens the door for a lot of contenders, most of whom were beaten by Johnson. Also, Dillashaw said he would welcome a challenge from Cejudo, so the superfight is a possibility as well.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- T.J. Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via TKO (strikes) at 4:10 of Round 1 to defend bantamweight title
- Henry Cejudo def. Demetrious Johnson via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) to win flyweight title
- Renato Moicano def. Cub Swanson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:15 of Round 1
- J.J. Aldrich def. Polyana Viana via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Thiago "Marreta" Santos def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)
- Pedro Munhoz def. Brett Johns via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)
- Ricky Simon def. Montel Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Ricardo Ramos def. Kyung Ho Kang via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sheymon Moraes def. Matt Sayles via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Alex Perez def. Jose Torres via TKO (punches) at 3:36 of Round 1
- Weili Zhang def. Danielle Taylor via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marlon Vera def. Wuliji Buren via TKO (punches) at 4:53 of Round 2