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UFC 277: Fights to make

UFC 277: Fights to make

All issues thought of, UFC 277 was a extremely enjoyable PPV occasion. Amanda Nunes returned to her double-champ standing in dominating type, Brandon Moreno left completely little question about who the subsequent flyweight title contender could be, and Alexandre Pantoja staked his personal declare to a future shot at gold.

So, is there a superb argument for a Peña/Nunes trilogy bout? Ought to the UFC contemplate working Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich again? And did Magomed Ankalaev do sufficient to place him on the entrance of the sunshine heavyweight contender’s record?

To reply these questions—and much extra—I’ll be utilizing the basic Silva/Shelby struggle reserving methodology from the UFC of years previous. Meaning pitting winners in opposition to winners, losers in opposition to losers, and equally tenured expertise up in opposition to each other. Hopefully, by following that mannequin, a number of of those bout concepts will really make it off the web page and into the Octagon. Now, let’s get to the fights!

AMANDA NUNES

For one temporary shining second in time, the UFC had a transparent reply as to only what the hell to do with Amanda Nunes within the midst of her prolonged run of bantamweight dominance. She had lastly run up in opposition to a challenger that would push her to her bodily limits, and even break her. Within the wake of UFC 277, nonetheless, we’re again to asking loads of the identical outdated questions. Is it time to lastly run again Valentina Shevchenko vs. Amanda Nunes once more… once more? Or does Julianna Pena deserve an instantaneous rematch, regardless of being totally dominated for nearly each minute of a 5 spherical struggle? Has Ketlen Vieira achieved sufficient to earn herself a title shot? Would a win over Macy Chiasson be sufficient to get Irene Aldana within the hunt?

I can’t imagine I’m going to say this, as a result of I by no means thought I’d discover motive to say it, however it would possibly simply lastly be time to e-book Shevchenko vs. Nunes 3. The second struggle was abysmal, however Nunes has been by way of sufficient tribulations currently to really feel extra beatable than ever, and Shevchenko isn’t precisely going through any upcoming challengers which have followers clamoring. Shevchenko vs. Nunes 3 is value reserving whereas each girls are nonetheless champions.

JULIANNA PEÑA

If the chance was lingering, out within the ether, that Julianna Peña would possibly simply be too robust and decided for Amanda Nunes to deal with after their first assembly, then it additionally needs to be acknowledged that there was a definite probability that Nunes may additionally be means too good for Peña to beat twice. Technical craft has by no means been the spine of the ‘Venezuela Vixen’’s success, and a extra composed, higher ready Nunes was capable of exploit that reality for a completely crushing 25 minutes. To Peña’s credit score, she by no means gave up, even for a second. And her dogged toughness and aggression gave the struggle a wierd precariousness, the place it felt just like the now-former bantamweight champ may swing the entire thing her means—given simply the best punch or submission menace. However that by no means got here, and as an alternative Peña merely received trounced.

That leaves me quite a bit much less within the concept of a trilogy, though I may completely see the UFC reserving one. As an alternative, Holly Holm is coming off a reasonably disappointing loss that had her actually riled up about judging. And she or he’s nonetheless one of many division’s most notable athletes. The ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ looks like an awesome struggle to see if the 32-year-old could make a fast return to the title and maintain her place among the many bantamweight elite. Julianna Pena vs. Holly Holm seems to be like a high quality bounce again reserving.

BRANDON MORENO

A really, very managed efficiency for Brandon Moreno. He picked his spots early, working behind his jab, did a stable job pressuring and touchdown over Kara-France’s low kicks, after which even battled by way of some adversity to rally for the stoppage win. In consequence, there’s just one struggle left to make and it’s a fourth bout in opposition to Deiveson Figueiredo. The Brazilian was cageside to see this interim title bout, and after the struggle the 2 males met within the cage and agreed to a doable showdown in December, in Brazil. Is that PPV card really on the UFC schedule? I do not know. However whether it is, and if each males can proceed the type of shared drive and fervour they confirmed within the cage Saturday, getting that quadrilogy booked shouldn’t be an issue. Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo 4 is the flyweight title struggle to make, no query.

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KAI KARA-FRANCE

Kai Kara-France made the climb to the highest of the mountain, and sadly discovered Brandon Moreno standing on the prime, ready to kick him proper again down. To his credit score, slightly than slowing down because the struggle went on (as many suspected would possibly occur) the third spherical gave the impression to be Kara-France’s greatest—proper up-to-the-minute that it wasn’t, not less than. Happily, there are extra fighters trying to stand up the ranks at flyweight. Loads of bouts for the Metropolis Kickboxing expertise to make use of to reassert his spot as a prime contender. Alex Perez misplaced earlier within the night time, he may make an honest subsequent choice. Or there’s fights with Matt Schnell, Matheus Nicolau or a rematch with Brandon Royval as nicely. I particularly like the concept of working again that Royval struggle. ‘Uncooked Dawg’ isn’t boring enterprise contained in the Octagon, Royval vs. Kara-France 2 could be an absolute thriller.

SERGEI PAVLOVICH

Can’t blame Sergei Pavlovich for the short end on this one. He put critical palms on Derrick Lewis and had him in every kind of hassle from the bounce. If the ref stepped in earlier than Lewis was out, that doesn’t change something concerning the punches the Russian was touchdown main as much as that second. The outcome pushes Pavlovich proper into the midst of an already overcrowded heavyweight title image. It’s by no means clear when any of the highest contenders of this division are going to be competing once more, and till they do, guys like him are simply going to have to seek out methods to tread water.

Fights with Alexander Volkov, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, or Curtis Blaydes would all be superb choices. Assuming there’s no coaching/friendship problems getting in the best way, I’d say the Volkov struggle is the clear first choice. A struggle with Blaydes is nice if Pavlovich can get it, however Blaydes ought to most likely be ready to see if he can get a transparent title eliminator bout, and Pavlovich isn’t essentially that. Pavlovich vs. Volkov looks like a great way for each males to remain within the dialog of the heavyweight elite.

ALEXANDRE PANTOJA

Alexandre Pantoja was a person on a mission at UFC 277. He walked straight into the tooth of Alex Perez’s offense off the opening bell, set the tone with some winging, wild energy photographs, then compelled a scramble to again take, straight right into a face crank submission. An excellent efficiency for the Brazilian and a tough return to motion for Perez. After the bout, Pantoja was unequivocal in his calls for for a flyweight title shot. Sadly for him, nonetheless, the interim title on the road within the co-main roughly assured the subsequent challenger—and it received’t be Pantoja (although he’s beat each Moreno and Kara-France earlier than).

Contemplating all that, and contemplating Figueiredo’s damage and doable bantamweight needs, that also doubtless implies that ready is the most suitable choice Pantoja has. He has a transparent motive to say a struggle with anybody holding gold on the finish of the yr. If, for some motive he doesn’t wish to wait—and assuming Figueiredo returns quickly—then the one different choice is a bout in opposition to Askar Askarov. At that time, Pantoja ought to simply sit tight for his probability at gold.

MAGOMED ANKALAEV

It could not have been precisely the type of thrilling efficiency folks maintain hoping to see Ankalaev develop his sport into, however his affected person, technical method was simply the best factor for Anthony Smith to interrupt himself in opposition to with a checked low kick. That pushed Ankalaev on to the TKO victory, and the seeming place of no. 1 contender. Sadly for him, Jiri Prochazka needs to struggle Jan Blachowicz, and there’s loads of discuss a Glover Teixeira rematch for the belt as nicely. And that would imply an entire lot of time between fights if Ankalaev received’t take different fights.

I’m gonna go forward and assume that an Ankalaev title shot isn’t the highest precedence for the UFC, and that the Dagestani might want to get within the Octagon not less than as soon as extra. If Rakic wasn’t recovering from a knee damage, that’d be an apparent reserving. As an alternative, if the UFC actually goes to do a rematch for Teixeira, I’ll say e-book Ankalaev vs. Blachowicz. If it’s a Blachowicz title shot as an alternative, go together with Ankalaev/Texieira. However, Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz is strictly the type of bout to make a no. 1 contender.

DREW DOBER

There should still be gaps in Dober’s takedown protection, submission protection, and punching protection, however Drew Dober has used his time within the UFC to mildew himself into one of many promotion’s most completely thrilling motion abilities. Rafael Alves regarded like he had all of the solutions in spherical 1 behind his blinding pace, critical energy, and even a nifty journey takedown. Dober weathered the storm, saved the stress excessive and began breaking down Alves’ physique on the best way to a one punch liver shot KO in spherical 3. A good looking win for the Elevation Battle Group product.

Given Dober’s self said predilection for under selecting thrilling motion fights, bouts with Jim Miller, Michael Johnson, Renato Moicano, or Jalin Turner would all be stable choices. Turner is making some critical waves at 155 proper now, and is at all times a thrill to look at, how about Turner vs. Dober simply to see if Dober can discover a means into the rankings?

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MICHAEL MORALES

It wasn’t the best bout of Morales’ profession, however in the end he got here away with precisely the type of win followers would hope to see from an awesome prospect in opposition to an opponent with only a few days discover. Fugitt has a artful, damaged rhythm, kick-heavy sport and—coupled with a pair takedowns—it gave Morales some critical hassle. However, Morales discovered his energy strikes in each spherical and made Fugitt pay for his willingness to maintain the struggle standing, to the tune of a third spherical TKO. That ought to go away the 23-year-old poised for a stable step up subsequent time. Bookings in opposition to Jack Della Maddalena, Mounir Lazzez, and even Mike Mallott would all be enjoyable thrillers. However I like the concept of giving Morales somebody with some stable expertise to check his consistency. Sergey Khandozhko might not have an enormous identify within the UFC, however he’s a particularly battle-tested veteran with a rock stable putting sport. Morales vs. Khandozhko looks like simply the type of robust struggle Morales wants subsequent.

OTHER BOUTS: Derrick Lewis vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Alex Perez vs. Askar Aksarov, Anthony Smith vs. Paul Craig, Alex Morono vs. Jake Matthews, Matthew Semelsberger vs. Gabriel Inexperienced, Rafael Alves vs. Mike Davis, Hamdy Abdelwahab vs. Jarjis Danho, Don’Story Mayes vs. Parker Porter, Drakkar Klose vs. Thiago Moises, Rafa Garcia vs. Omar Morales, Adam Fugitt vs. Yohan Lainesse, Joselyne Edwards vs. Julia Avila, Ji Yeon Kim vs. Jessy-Rose Clark, Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Alonzo Menifield, Ihor Potieria vs. Mingyang Zhang, Orion Cosce vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov, Mike Diamond vs. Pete Rodriguez

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