The UFC will close out 2016 with UFC 207 this Friday. The show is headlined by the return of Ronda Rousey, but there are several stories hidden beneath the surface of this event. With Ronda refusing to do media leading up to her return, UFC 207 has a sort of ominous feel to it.
The biggest story that will be answered is whether or not Rousey is committed to continuing her fight career. Rousey has largely disappeared after her loss in Australia last year, and has continued to protect her privacy in the weeks leading up to the fight. Many believe she has one foot out the door of her fight career already, and that is a dangerous position to be in heading into a fight with Amanda Nunes.
Rousey aside, there are several other questions that might be answered Friday night.
Here are six crazy predictions for UFC 207…
6. Johny Hendricks Loses to Magny, Retires
Johny Hendricks was once the UFC welterweight champion. That was before USADA testing began however. Since then he has become a shell of his former self. It doesn’t even appear as though he has enough testosterone left in his system to maintain his once-trademark long beard.
Hendricks has become the poster-child for fighters whose career skyrocketed downwards with the new advanced drug testing. This is even more significant in the case of Hendricks, considering he famously refused GSP’s offer to pay for advanced drug-testing for both fighters ahead of their welterweight title bout.
While Hendricks won his first fight in the USADA-era, a decision win over Matt Brown, he has since lost his last two. He was KO’d by Stephen Thompson in February, and soundly defeated by Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 200.
Hendricks has said that if he can’t beat Neil Magny at UFC 207 that maybe he should retire. Well, should Magny defeat Hendricks, that might be exactly what happens.
5. Dillashaw/Lineker Winner Calls Out Dana White
TJ Dillashaw and John Lineker are the #1 and #2 ranked bantamweights respectively. It then stands to reason the winner of their fight at UFC 207 should get the next title shot at 135lbs. Only the UFC has specifically said that the winner is not guaranteed the next title shot.
This should not come as welcome news to TJ Dillashaw, the former bantamweight champion who lost to Cruz via split-decision a little under a year ago. Dillashaw had already been openly critical of the UFC’s decision to give Cody Garbrandt a title shot.
Expect Dillashaw, who was announced as a member of the new fighter’s association recently, to have plenty to say about this should he get the chance in a post-fight interview.