Maybe UFC 223 didn't feature Tony Ferguson or Max Holloway vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov in the night's main event.
Maybe Conor McGregor wasn't in attendance.
Maybe Paul Felder, Anthony Pettis, Michael Chiesa, Ray Borg, and Brandon Moreno didn't fight as originally planned, either.
Despite all the changes, shifts, and replacements, the card still delivered in full Saturday, April 7, from Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Several Fight of the Night contenders took place, including Karolina Kowalkiewicz winning a split decision over a game Felice Herrig and uber prospect Zabit Magomedsharipov and Kyle Bochniak appeasing the "Just Bleed" gods to the max.
But everybody was there for gold, and the two title fights on tap didn't disappoint.
In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas proved her UFC 217 knockout of Joanna Jedrzejczyk wasn't a fluke. The UFC strawweight champion notched a unanimous decision victory against Jedrzejczyk, utilizing her superior movement and timing to frustrate the former queen on the feet.
While Jedrzejczyk was certainly in the fight—and the stats show she landed more strikes than Namajunas at a more efficient clip—the American Top Team product just couldn't quite pull the trigger at her usual rate. Namajunas constantly countered with speed and power, keeping Jedrzejczyk from ever getting into the rhythm she needed.
Following Namajunas' performance, it was #KhabibTime, and the undefeated Dagestini smashing machine did what he does.
Facing Al Iaquinta after the dust settled, Nurmagomedov took the fight to the Long Islander strong early, notching takedown after takedown and bloodying his foe's face.
Iaquinta, though, never backed down.
He kept throwing back with bad intentions, and he showcased his signature swagger and style throughout the bout.
Yet, Nurmagomedov is just too damn good. The scorecards were lopsided with plenty 10-8 rounds throughout, and the result was a golden belt wrapped around his waist as he exited the cage.
Following the win, Nurmagomedov made his next wish clear: "Now, I want to fight Georges St-Pierre in New York," he told Joe Rogan after the fight.
Full UFC 223 Results:
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision
Rose Namajunas (c) def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (retains strawweight title)
Renato Moicano def. Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision
Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision
Chris Gruetzemacher def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (corner stoppage), Round 2
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig via split-decision
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Evan Dunham via TKO, Round 1
Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision
Devin Clark def. Mike Rodriguez via unanimous decision