Fight day has finally arrived as the UFC rolls into Madison Square Garden, New York for the most eagerly-anticipated MMA event of 2017.
What a show there is in store with three title fights heading the card, each too close to call as the other.
In the women’s strawweight division, which Joanna Jedrzejczyk has been so dominant in since announcing her arrival on the scene, the cool, calm and collected Rose Namajunas challenges for the gold.
Joanna is aiming to create history by drawing level with the record held by Ronda Rousey for most women’s title defences in a row in the UFC (six). Rose has portrayed an eerie persona in the build-up to the fight and appears ready to clinch the 115lb belt at the second time of asking.
You must seek out the Joanna-Rose staredown that just happened. Joanna got up in Rose’s grill while Rose was calmly whispering a prayer to her in her usual stoic demeanor. It was incredible. That was different level stuff.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 3, 2017
In the below Embedded Episode 7, the Polish champ makes her ill feelings towards Namajunas and her camp abundantly clear in a backstage altercation as a result of Rose’s fiancé labelling a teammate of Joanna “a bitch” in the build-up to this weekend.
The co-main event of the evening is as tense a grudge match as you are ever likely to see in the UFC with former teammates Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw squaring off for the former’s first defence of his bantamweight strap. The animosity between these two has reached boiling point during the past week and now all the talking is done, leaving us with what is certain to be a barnstormer.
The UFC 217 main event is one that has been four years in the making. Georges St-Pierre makes his keenly-awaited return to the octagon having taken an indefinite sabbatical from the sport in shady circumstances back in 2013 after successfully defending his welterweight crown nine times in a row. He is now back for glory in the middleweight division.
Fighting at 185lbs for the first time in his career, GSP has the small matter of Michael Bisping in front of him. ‘The Count’ has been relentless with his trash talk in the direction of his legendary opponent ever since the official announcement of this fight. This week saw the intensity of the rivalry increase and while there is a deep-lying mutual respect between the pair, when the cage door shuts behind them in MSG, nobody really knows what to expect.
Check out the final episode of Embedded where the fighters face off for the final time before fight night: