Alex Chambers’ UFC 210 Review: Cormier Comes Out On Top In Buffalo Rumble

Wow! Thank you Buffalo. UFC 210 was one of those nights that you wake up from and you ask yourself "did that really happen?"! 

Whether you caught it or missed it, let’s relive that feeling and talk about the standouts of the night.

Ladies first: In the bantamweight division, we have two true gems of the roster.

The recently awarded fight of the night recipient and crowd favourite Irena Aldana versus the decorated mixed martial artist, Golden Gloves (boxing) champ and Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Katlyn "Blonde fighter" Chookagian (pictured above).

With Blonde fighter entering as the slight favourite, would she be able to hand Aldana a consecutive loss?

It was pure stand-up as the ladies exchanged on their feet with Aldana impressing on her striking, clearly evolving since her last war with Leslie Smith.

Almost resistant to Chookagian's relentless attack, peppering with leg kicks and body blows, Aldana maintained a non-stop pace enough for the both of them to go a full three rounds.

What a non-stop and exciting fight for all to watch.

Although these ladies did well for WMMA (women's mixed martial arts) there could only be one hand raised and in the end, it came down to a decision nod favouring Chookagian.

Stunner of the night goes to Gregor Gillespie (pictured above), in one of the most dramatic and violent finishes I've ever seen.

Gillespie, New York's hometown fighter, was ready to put on a show, and he made his walk to the Octagon looking like a serial killer, with a walk that took longer for him than it did to finish the fight.

It wasn’t a surprise he received a $50k fight of the night bonus.

Gillespie squared off against a very durable Andrew Holbrook (who stunned in his last performance with a decision win over Aussie Jake Matthews).

As soon as they touched gloves, no-one expected what was about to happen, Holbrook got dropped violently and the fight ended, handing Hollbrook only his second loss of his career.

With the quickest finish of the night, Gillespie remains undefeated and well poised to be a contender in the lightweight division.

I'm excited to see what's to come from this fighter.

Congratulations on the performance of the night, winning via left hand at 21 seconds of the first round.  

In more main card action, we see the return of Thiago "Pitbull" Alves (pictured above) in his home of welterweight. 

After the challenging change to 155 (lightweight), it was nice to see Pitbull in full form inside the Octagon again.

This time around, he met the very durable Patrick Cote, coming off wins in three of his last four.

The fight was back and forth action with Thiago expressing his Muay Thai striking and keeping and respecting the range of Cote who was planted to throw a heavy bomb on Thiago.

Alves peppered Cote with leg kicks, and he undoubtedly answered any questions about his return back into the Octagon by showing his dominance with his clinch work and ground over Cote.

He was also dominant on his feet over Cote, who is one of the divisions’ best fighters.

After a three-round exchange 15 minutes later, Thiago Alves gets the decision win and we have Patrick Cote in a very honourable retirement exit out of the Octagon, leaving Buffalo in a standing ovation.

Congratulations to a great career and all the best for your future.

The co-main of the night featured former middleweight champ Chris Weidman against no.5 contender Gegard Mousasi (pictured above), and boy did it deliver a show, but not in a way we could have imagined. 

With a lot riding of the line for these two middleweights, it was a high stakes fight in Buffalo.

The first round displayed finesse from Weidman with his controlled striking and successful takedowns.

With Mousasi active in the scrambles, the fight began to build as a promising match up for all tuned in. It was a close back and forth round, but Weidman likely up on the scorecards due to his control. 

Enter the second round where the real stunner of the evening for these two fighters occurred.

At 3 mins 13 seconds of round 2, the fight was called to a halt by the referee because of a potential illegal knee to the head.

Without the power of instant replay in the state of New York, literally everyone was left at a standstill about the proceedings of the fight.

It was clear Mousasi and Weidman just wanted to pick-up and continue where they left off, but when the state doctors entered the Octagon and waived the fight off it was pure heartbreak.

Mousasi was granted a TKO stoppage win, but his post-fight speech showed no satisfaction with the proceedings.

The same sentiment was followed in Weidman's post fight speech with Joe Rogan. My thoughts? This co-main will definitely be continued.

I saved the best for last, the main event, Daniel Cormier versus Rumble. Wow. What a fight!

The opening seconds of the fight had me questioning my pick of the champ taking a sub in the early rounds. Why? Rumble began the round with some of the deadliest and sharpest strikes I've seen him throw.

DC did well to evade them but it had us all wondering if it would just be a matter of time until the challenger connected.

The fight went on a back and forth exchange with time in the clinch against the cage where DC was at home and clearly shined.

With Big John (the ref) separating the two, forcing both fighters to "keep working", it was foreign for everyone to digest why Rumble, who is a deadly striker from a distance, would choose to wrestle with arguably the best wrestler in the organisation.

We all ended the first round with a scary prognosis for the champ who was served a broken nose courtesy of one of Rumble's kicks.

Many thought this was blood in the water for Rumble and he would make this an obvious target entering the second round.

Not if the champ had something to do with it. DC kept his composure, stuck to his game plan, weathered Rumble's early aggression, then capitalised on the Giants' waning offence.

It was the beginning of the end for Rumble when DC capitalised on a takedown attempt by Rumble, turning a scramble into a sequence of events that eventuated into a rear naked choke at 3 mins 37 seconds of round 2. 

What unfolded in the cage after he was awarded his belt was almost as dramatic as how DC finished Rumble and it's one of those things you could never have scripted.

After Cormier was crowned his belt, Rumble dropped a bomb in his post speech that still feels unreal.

The top contender in the division announced his retirement from the sport and apparently not even UFC President Dana White was informed of it.

I still can't believe it myself, I feel he still has a tonne of fights left in him. All the best to you Rumble. 

Anthony Johnson's exit out of the Octagon was followed by the champ's flawless post speech.

DC began by acknowledging the elephant in the room, Jon Jones (who sat cage side), not being shy of holding eye contact with him as Dana White crowned him.

The next order of business was a message to emerging contender Jimi Manuwa, basically expressing respectfully how unimpressed he is with him.

The champ wasn't done, it’s obvious that even with this win, he knows no-one will be content until he meets Jones in the Octagon again.

He capped off his speech full of wit, grace and confidence that left Jon Jones (and all of Buffalo) with very little to say.

The next morning the champ’s first order of business surfaced on social media, he was with his two children. DC you are all class sir.

Read More From Alex Chambers