UFC 208 Was All About Favorites... Well, Almost

Anderson Silva during UFC 208

Sunday, February 12, 2017 6:45 PM GMT

The favorites took firm control of the UFC odds board Saturday night in Las Vegas – except for one very interesting fight involving Anderson “The Spider” Silva.

It was back to business as usual Saturday night at UFC 208. The favorites won most of the fights on the main card – and yes, Germaine de Randamie was the –125 favorite in her Women's Featherweight title victory over Holly Holm. But not everything went smoothly for the chalkeaters. The co-main event had a surprise ending: Anderson Silva (+100) had his hand raised for the first time since 2012.

This was an enjoyable card up until the last two fights. Dustin Poirier and Jim Miller stole the show in the opening match of the main card; both men laid in some heavy lumber, but it was Poirier landing more strikes and hanging on for a well-earned majority decision, cashing in as a –425 chalk on the MMA odds board. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (–550) also scooped up a performance bonus by making Tim Boetsch tap out to a kimura in the first round. That’s the third time Boetsch has lost via kimura in his career – keep that in the memory banks if you’re ever in the Octagon with “The Barbarian.”
 

Eight Arms to Hit You
Then things got a little hairy. Silva was matched up against Derek Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler, and as far as most media outlets were concerned, Brunson had won the fight. The three judges didn’t see it that way; they all had Silva winning. Controversial? Yes, but all three rounds were close, and Silva definitely had his moments. Brunson’s strikes were more pepper than steak.
 

30-27 Silva is a bad scorecard, but honestly, Brunson did so little that I'm not exactly foaming at the mouth about the decision. #UFC208

— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) February 12, 2017


The main event had its own issues. Holm was the feature attraction, a familiar name after her landmark upset of Ronda Rousey for the Women’s Bantamweight belt in 2015. But Holm was in tough against de Randamie at 145 pounds. She tried to neutralize “The Iron Lady” with takedowns, something we’re not used to seeing from the former champ, but de Randamie stuffed all nine attempts. Ho-hum.

In the end, de Randamie landed enough strikes to win a close fight by unanimous decision, but it’s the two strikes she landed after the bell in the second and third rounds that had fans in Brooklyn up in arms. Suffice to say, a lot of those fans will have Cris “Cyborg” Justino in their UFC picks when she challenges de Randamie for the title later on down the road. The Women’s Featherweight division was pretty much created for her, after all.