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Amanda Nunes and the Actual Winners and Losers from UFC 277

Amanda Nunes and the Actual Winners and Losers from UFC 277

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IIIJuly 31, 2022

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

    Hey, have not we met?

    That was definitely the vibe between the principals within the high two fights on Saturday’s UFC card on the American Airways Middle in Dallas, the place the blended martial arts large produced its second pay-per-view occasion of the month.

    UFC 277 was headlined by a rematch in the principle occasion, the place Julianna Pena risked the bantamweight title she’d received from Amanda Nunes in one of many sport’s best upsets final December. Within the co-main struggle, flyweights Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France ran again a 2019 bout that Moreno had received by shut resolution.

    The flyweight bout was for the promotion’s so-called interim title belt at 125 kilos, whereas the division’s full-fledged champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, recovers from a myriad of accidents and decides whether or not to remain on the weight full time or transfer as much as bantamweight.

    Figueiredo and Moreno have fought thrice, with every man going 1-1-1.

    The Dallas present included 13 bouts from backside to high, and the B/R fight sports activities staff was in place for the period to compile a definitive record of the occasion’s winners and losers.

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    Scroll by means of to see what we got here up with, and be happy to drop a thought or two of your individual within the feedback.

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    Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs

    It was why individuals who love preventing love preventing.

    Seven months after their paradigm-shifting two-rounder in Las Vegas, Nunes and Pena engaged in 25 minutes of comprehensively violent competitors that left each ladies swollen and bloody and allowed the consensus GOAT to regain her dual-championship standing.

    “We’re right here making historical past once more,” Nunes mentioned. “Double champ once more. Let’s go.”

    Nunes earned a shutout unanimous resolution on all three official scorecards, profitable by margins of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43 and turning into simply the third girl to regain a title.

    Nevertheless it wasn’t straightforward.

    Nunes appeared in full management of the bout’s early portion, preventing from a southpaw stance and regularly catching Pena with proper hooks as she pressed ahead. She turned the primary girl to attain at the least three knockdowns in a UFC struggle, however Pena rose each time and continued to be aggressive into the struggle’s again half.

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    The motion went primarily to the mat within the last two rounds as Nunes went with a number of takedown makes an attempt and opened cuts on Pena’s hairline with thudding ground-strike elbows.

    Nonetheless, the now-ex-champ remained harmful and continued going for submission makes an attempt from her again, together with an armbar try within the fourth by which she had Nunes’ left arm locked however couldn’t maintain the place lengthy sufficient to attract a give up.

    The script remained comparable within the fifth because the end line drew nearer and Nunes really ended the struggle on her toes whereas Pena stayed susceptible, and the Brazilian punctuated her win with an impromptu salsa dance within the seconds earlier than the ultimate horn.

    Within the aftermath, she praised the choice to regulate her nook staff to once more embrace veteran coach Roger Krahl, who’d been along with her for her preliminary title-fight wins over Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

    “The perfect factor I did was make my fitness center comfortable. I really feel like I can develop much more,” she mentioned. “I am actually evolving much more. That is the most effective day ever in my life.”

    She deflected questions on her aggressive future within the aftermath, as an alternative suggesting a protracted hiatus could also be so as earlier than she returns.

    “I am going dwelling to Brazil to see my household,” she mentioned. “Let the lioness relaxation just a little bit, and we’ll come again as quickly as attainable.”

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

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    It regarded like an old-school confrontation was brewing.

    As Moreno was celebrating a sudden third-round end of Kara-France and smiling broadly because the interim title belt was strapped round his waist, Figueiredo stood up at cage-side, held his full-fledged belt aloft and strode towards the Octagon stairs.

    And because the two males stood nose to nose within the middle of the cage, a confrontation or worse appeared imminent.

    However one thing shocking occurred on the best way to the rumble.

    Slightly than brashly difficult his interloping nemesis to a fourth battle, Moreno as an alternative instructed he’d set an instance for his household and easily categorical his need for one more rematch.

    And quite than pushing the problem with aggression, Figueiredo shook palms together with his three-time foe and instructed they might certainly get along with the belts on the road.

    “Tonight is his evening, and he’s the champion tonight,” Figueiredo mentioned.

    Moreno and Kara-France had battled evenly for higher than two-and-a-half rounds earlier than Moreno flicked a jab after which landed a roundhouse left kick to Kara-France’s proper facet. It landed solidly and instantly dropped him to the ground, the place Moreno pounced and launched 17 straight strike makes an attempt earlier than referee Herb Dean pulled the 2 aside.

    Figueiredo mentioned a fourth struggle ought to happen in his dwelling nation of Brazil, a proposition that Moreno instantly accepted as the 2 males raised one another’s arms.

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    “OK, let’s go,” he mentioned. “I wish to struggle you in December.”

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

    The evening’s largest crowd pop wasn’t a optimistic one.

    Followers in Dallas loudly expressed their displeasure with the end result when the main-card heavyweight duel between Texas resident Derrick Lewis and Russian export Sergei Pavlovich was stopped within the customer’s favor after simply 55 seconds.

    Pavlovich was ranked eleventh in comparison with Lewis’ fifth to begin the struggle, however the former shortly asserted management when he landed a brief proper hook on the within as Lewis pressed ahead aggressively.

    The American was clearly harm and wobbled backward as Pavlovich adopted up with many extra photographs, some touchdown and a few not. He did join on one other proper hand because the barrage continued and dropped Lewis to his knees.

    A number of fast hammer-fist strikes adopted and prompted a rescue from referee Dan Miragliotta simply as Lewis tried to regain his toes.

    Lewis instantly protested the stoppage, and the group backed him. The din solely grew louder throughout Joe Rogan’s subsequent interview when he instructed to Pavlovich that he’d thought it was stopped prematurely.

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    Pavlovich, unsurprisingly, disagreed.

    “I used to be able to punch him for 5 rounds or three rounds, it did not matter to me,” he mentioned. “I did my job. I am very pleased with my efficiency.”

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

    Alexandre Pantoja was within the temper to make a press release.

    The Brazilian was the world’s fourth-ranked flyweight as he arrived on the constructing on Saturday evening and had advised anybody who’d hear all week that he was deserving of a title shot.

    He was solely within the cage for 91 seconds, nevertheless it was a press release nicely made.

    Pantoja instantly attacked sixth-ranked opponent Alex Perez with a flurry of punches, adeptly tripped him to the mat and shortly seized his again to lock in what turned the decisive rear-naked choke that prompted Perez’s tap-out to referee Jacob Montalvo.

    Pantoja by no means obtained his left arm below Perez’s chin and onto his throat, however the pressure with which he squeezed Perez’s jaw and the torque with which he turned his neck was an excessive amount of to endure as soon as he was capable of cinch the maintain together with his proper hand.

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    It was his tenth first-round end and gave him the fourth-most wins in UFC flyweight historical past and the second-most finishes within the weight class as nicely.

    It was Perez’s first struggle in almost two years since a title loss to then-champ Figueiredo in 2020. He’d had a number of fights scrubbed within the meantime as a consequence of weight issues and different points.

    “I am prepared for the title,” Pantoja mentioned. “I am able to do it with [Moreno or Kara-France].

    “I am the champion. Proper right here.”

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    Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs

    It has been a tricky run for the UFC medical division.

    After two straight Battle Evening important occasions have been lower quick by abrupt accidents in non-submission conditions, the opening bout on Saturday’s pay-per-view present was additionally lower quick due to an obvious damaged left ankle sustained by fifth-ranked gentle heavyweight Anthony Smith.

    The previous title challenger limped again to his nook after the primary spherical with Magomed Ankalaev citing an issue within the ankle, then appeared to mouth “my ankle is damaged” towards the printed desk after Montalvo waved issues off at 3:09 of the second.

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    It was troublesome to inform whether or not Smith suffered the harm by touchdown or receiving a kick, however he was rendered largely motionless to start the second spherical and instantly tried to tug Ankalaev to the bottom. The Dagestani did not take the bait, nevertheless, and as an alternative started battering his foe with floor photographs that left Smith overlaying with no offensive reply.

    A sustained barrage with Smith on his knees finally prompted the intervention.

    Smith was carried down an aisle upon leaving the cage, and Jon Anik mentioned on the printed that he was headed to an area hospital. Ankalaev, who arrived because the No. 4 contender at 205 kilos, mentioned he hadn’t been conscious that Smith was injured and as an alternative referred to as for a title shot..

    He is received 9 straight since dropping his UFC debut, the second-longest streak at gentle heavyweight behind Jon Jones’ 13.

    “I did not know,” he mentioned. “Who do you assume broke it? He was hitting me. This struggle was crucial to me, however what number of extra fights do I’ve to win earlier than I struggle for a championship?”

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    Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

    Rogan was his ordinary self on Saturday’s broadcast.

    The UFC’s high-profile veteran was enthusiastic in his reactions, insightful in his evaluation and respectful in his post-fight interviews.

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    However when it got here to a few of the present’s officiating, he wasn’t so comfortable.

    Fast-acting referees obtained below Rogan’s pores and skin with selections in a pair of fights to separate combatants due to a perceived lack of motion or exercise.

    Rafa Garcia was atop Drakkar Klose within the middle of the mat throughout Spherical 2 of their light-weight struggle when Montalvo stood them up as a result of Garcia hadn’t been efficient in transferring Klose into harmful positions, although he was throwing and touchdown strikes.

    Then within the subsequent struggle, heavyweight Hamdy Abdelwahab had his arms wrapped round Don’Story Mayes whereas pushing him into the fence from a standing place. Nonetheless, he was pulled off by referee Kerry Hatley to return to a impartial place for comparable causes.

    Hatley intervened once more within the third spherical when Abdelwahab took Mayes to the bottom and had briefly stagnated there, prompting boos from the group.

    “It truly is fascinating if you watch some referees reply to boos,” Rogan mentioned.

    “Clearly, they begin transferring once they hear the boos. I really feel like if a man can hold a man down for 5 minutes and provides him noogies, let it go. Be taught to rise up. It is significantly egregious to me once they’re on the bottom, and one man’s on high, and so they let the opposite man rise up. He is earned that place, and you have taken it away from him.”

    Abdelwahab wound up profitable a break up resolution by which all three judges scored the struggle 29-28, although one gave the ultimate spherical to Mayes despite the fact that he’d been taken down and punished for a lot of the session.

    “That man wants a speaking to,” Rogan mentioned. “Somebody must verify to see who he guess on.”

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    Michael Morales completed the target.

    He arrived Saturday evening as an unbeaten commodity and left it the identical approach, nevertheless it was not at all a straightforward highway in coping with UFC newcomer Adam Fugitt.

    Certainly, Morales was taken to the mat within the first spherical and clipped with a number of one-off strikes within the second however endured and ultimately landed the types of highly effective photographs that led to a TKO stoppage 69 seconds into the ultimate session.

    “I at all times need the toughest fighters,” he mentioned. “I did not have the longest time to investigate this struggle, however I used to be able to struggle anyway.”

    A veteran of a number of years with smaller promotions, Fugitt drew into the match final week and offered himself nicely with a takedown halfway by means of the primary. He was unable to safe full management, nevertheless, and noticed Morales again on his toes in lower than two minutes.

    From there, the 23-year-old was the quicker and sharper fighter, and he proved it decisively within the third, touchdown a fast and exact one-two mixture as Fugitt pressed ahead.

    The stricken fighter was despatched to the ground and by no means totally recovered earlier than Morales landed a number of floor strikes earlier than one other crunching proper that drew an intervention from referee Herb Dean.

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    It was Morales’ 14th straight win as a professional, his eleventh by KO/TKO and his second straight by that methodology within the UFC after he’d debuted with a first-round cease of Trevin Giles in January after showing on Dana White’s Contender Collection final yr.

    A few fights in a while the preliminary card, Egyptian-born heavyweight Abdelwahab additionally stayed unbeaten with a break up resolution over Mayes. He and Morales have been the one two unbeaten fighters on your complete 13-bout present.

    “[Morales is] an fascinating man to observe. No query,” analyst Daniel Cormier mentioned on the ESPN broadcast. “He is obtained an incredible future, and it is laborious to imagine he is solely 23.”

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    Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs

    Blood Diamond definitely retains the precise firm.

    The Zimbabwe-born welterweight has been based mostly in New Zealand since transferring from his dwelling nation as a toddler and started making inroads in blended martial arts after taking place upon the Metropolis Kickboxing facility in Auckland.

    He turned a coaching accomplice and good friend of UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and shares high-profile fitness center house with different octagonal elites like featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski and aforementioned flyweight title contender Kara-France.

    Nevertheless it hasn’t translated simply but.

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    Diamond made his second straight early prelim look on a pay-per-view present and was overwhelmed for the second straight time, dropping a slender however unanimous resolution to American grappler Orion Cosce in Saturday’s opener.

    All three judges scored it 29-28 for Cosce, every giving him a decisive third spherical by which he shortly obtained Diamond to the mat and chased submission makes an attempt whereas working his general management time for the match to just about nine-and-a-half minutes.

    Diamond had been submitted by choke in his UFC debut beneath Adesanya’s rematch with Robert Whittaker final February in Houston. He’d been unbeaten in his preliminary three bouts, profitable by TKO, submission and resolution in three separate promotions.

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

    Important Card

    Amanda Nunes def. Julianna Pena by unanimous resolution (50-43, 50-44, 50-45)

    Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France by TKO (kick), 4:34, Spherical 3

    Sergei Pavlovich def. Derrick Lewis by TKO (punches), 0:55, Spherical 1

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    Alexandre Pantoja def. Alex Perez by submission (rear-naked choke), 1:31, Spherical 1

    Magomed Ankalaev def. Anthony Smith by TKO (punches), 3:09, Spherical 2


    Preliminary Card

    Alex Morono def. Matthew Semelsberger by unanimous resolution (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves by KO (punch), 1:30, Spherical 3

    Hamdy Abdelwahab def. Don’Story Mayes by break up resolution (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Drakkar Klose def. Rafa Garcia by unanimous resolution (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)


    Early Preliminary Card

    Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt by TKO (punches), 1:09, Spherical 3

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    Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim by break up resolution (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)

    Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria by TKO (knees), 3:33, Spherical 2

    Orion Cosce def. Blood Diamond by unanimous resolution (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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