Sense prevails after UFC loses absolutely massive title fight 5 years ago

Sense prevails after UFC loses absolutely massive title fight

The UFC men's bantamweight division will have to wait for its marquee title fight but there is finally some movement in the middleweight division.

2017 is not exactly going to plan for the UFC or its new owners.

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While 2016 was the promotion's best ever year, in terms of publicity, mainstream media attention and pay-per-view numbers, little has gone right since Ronda Rousey was convincingly beaten on her December 30 comeback.

Jon Jones returns to the Octagon later this summer, at UFC 214, but Rousey could well be done with the sport, McGregor is on hiatus and Georges St-Pierre may not fight until October, if he fights again at all.

The UFC was pinning much of its hopes on Cody Garbrandt this year. Having dismantled former champion Dominick Cruz on the same night as Rousey's loss to Amanda Nunes, Garbrandt's star was on the rise.

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'No Love' was set to co-headline UFC 213 with his first title defence against former Team Alpha Male stablemate TJ Dillashaw but surgery on his back has seen that bout binned. The news was expected following two weeks of rumours but was officially confirmed last night.

Dillashaw is actively campaigning for a flyweight title shot against Demetrious Johnson but Garbrandt does not understand the rush.

With Garbrandt-Dillashaw on ice, the UFC have tied up an interim fight deal that should please most fans.

With middleweight champion Michael Bisping not due to face GSP until later this year, No.1 contender Yoel Romero [12-1] will now face Australian Robert Whittaker [18-4] for the interim belt.

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Romero has been primed for a title shot since he brutally knocked out former champ Chris Weidman, late last year, while Whittaker is also streaking and last defeated 'Jacare' Souza.

The interim bout will serve as co-main event for the newly confirmed headliner between women's bantamweight champion Nunes and challenger Valentina Shevchenko.