In some ways, UFC 277 set the MMA world straight as soon as once more. Thought-about to be the ladies’s GOAT, Amanda Nunes regained the ladies’s bantamweight title, avenging her surprising loss to Julianna Pena from final winter in completely brutal trend. Nunes beat Pena from pillar to submit in each facet of the combat. The standup. The wrestling. The grappling. You identify it, Nunes was superior. Some could argue Pena was the higher grappler given she threw up submission try after submission try, however Nunes simply prevented the vast majority of these efforts and even had the closest profitable submission try when she had a deep RNC late within the combat. Making extra proper with the MMA world was Brandon Moreno getting Deiveson Figueiredo to comply with a fourth combat between the 2, settling their rivalry as soon as and for all. In fact, it took him profitable the interim flyweight title to do – did we actually must create that? — however all feels proper with that. In fact, these are solely the most important tales to return out of an impactful occasion. Let’s get to the remainder of the vital happenings with my Unofficial Awards….
Greatest Bounce in Inventory: It got here right down to Alexandre Pantoja and Sergei Pavlovich. Finally, I needed to go together with Pavlovich given he was lesser identified of the 2, getting into the combat with Derrick Lewis as a largely unknown product amongst the vast majority of viewers. These within the know knew Pavlovich had the facility to place Lewis away if the chance introduced itself, however doing it and figuring out he can do it are two various things. Now, with 4 straight first spherical KO’s, it’s onerous to disregard the present run that he’s on. Securing the latest win over not simply a longtime identify in Lewis, however an enormous fan favourite, is a giant feather in his cap.
Greatest Fall in Inventory: Lewis obtained somewhat little bit of consideration, however not lots. It needs to be Alex Perez. Perez’s 6-3 report inside the UFC is greater than respectable. The issue is, solely a kind of six wins came to visit an opponent who left the UFC with a profitable UFC report. Hell, not one of the guys he has a win over are on the roster anymore. Each time he’s had a possibility in opposition to one of many prime contenders within the division, Perez has not solely fallen brief, he’s been completed within the first spherical each time. Perez might be going to wish a prolonged win streak earlier than he will get one other crack at the perfect the division has to supply once more.
Finest Newcomer: Hamdy Abdelwahad was the one one of many three newcomers who discovered success of their debuts, however credit score goes to Abdelwahad for additionally making it a memorable debut. It appeared like a protracted shot anybody would bear in mind it given Don’story Mayes hasn’t precisely been a memorable fighter, however the two large boys threw down for one of many extra entertaining scraps of the night. Abdelwahad proved he can’t solely throw with power, however he can take a hell of a shot too. Plus, his wrestling made an look as properly. There’s loads of polish that may be utilized to the Egyptian, however there’s greater than sufficient expertise to work with for him to be price keeping track of.
Saved Their Job(s): Given he missed weight, I’ve little doubt Orion Cosce wanted the win to maintain his job with the group. It wasn’t the cleanest efficiency – I anticipated him to be extra dominant on the mat than what he was – but it surely was sufficient for him to safe a win over Blood Diamond. I’m nonetheless cautious about his UFC future – except he will get one other low-level opponent like Diamond, I battle so see Cosce choosing up one other win – however on the very least, he’ll get the chance to show me incorrect.
Begin Typing a Resume: It’s believable the load miss from Joselyne Edwards will give Ji Yeon Kim yet one more alternative to show she belongs within the UFC. Not solely was the load miss an element, however Kim being prepared to maneuver up a weight class so she may keep on the cardboard was an actual gamer transfer. However 4 losses in a row is an unpleasant quantity, particularly once they aren’t all in opposition to prime competitors. Kim’s all the time enjoyable to observe, however outcomes need to comply with… except you’re Sam Alvey.
I wasn’t a fan of the UFC signing Diamond within the first place. With simply three wins in opposition to a low degree of competitors, Diamond didn’t appear like he was prepared for the UFC within the least. I perceive he has a kickboxing background, but it surely’s not like he was a longtime kickboxing champion within the vein of Alex Pereira. Diamond has potential, however extra seasoning was wanted earlier than he made the soar. Slightly than give him a 3rd combat, I’d fairly see the UFC reduce him free and provides him a possibility to achieve extra expertise.
Greatest WOW Second: There have been a LOT of moments that had me desirous to leap out of my seat. Lewis faceplanting. Rafael Alves dancing in the midst of his combat with Drew Dober. Moreno’s liver kick to Kara-France. Nevertheless, I’m going with the third knockdown Nunes delivered to Pena. I’ll admit it wasn’t probably the most visually interesting of all three of them, however given all of the knockdowns got here in the identical spherical, it simply cemented how significantly better Nunes was than Pena on the toes. One knockdown can occur by probability. Two knockdowns is difficult to argue in opposition to as regards to who the higher striker is. Three knockdowns are unattainable. In different phrases, we all know for a reality the primary combat was a fluke at this level. The sequence additionally proved how robust Pena is. She was shortly ready of protection after hitting the mat as soon as once more, refusing to offer in when 99.99% of the world would settle for they weren’t going to win at that time. It’s uncommon each dominance and toughness are solidified so strongly in a single second.
By no means Seen That Earlier than: There’s a very good probability someplace deep within the recesses of my thoughts that I’ve seen a double spinning back fist earlier than, but it surely isn’t coming to thoughts. To open the cardboard, Cosce and Diamond did simply that in the direction of the top of the second spherical. Diamond appeared to get the higher of the alternate as Cosce stumbled midway throughout the cage, however the sequence additionally gave Cosce sufficient distance that he had the time to regain his composure. Even when it didn’t produce the spotlight end result, it was nonetheless a hell of a visible sequence.
Can’t Catch a Break: For Anthony Smith, it turned out to be excellent news he didn’t catch a break. The previous title challenger thought he broke his leg within the midst of his combat with Magomed Ankalaev. That wasn’t the case, however he did jack up his leg badly sufficient that it took him out of the combat, finally resulting in his downfall. Nevertheless, it additionally took away the chance for Ankalaev to safe a spotlight reel second that may have been so useful for him in his quest to safe a title shot. Sure, he acquired a stoppage, but it surely was about as anticlimactic as a stoppage will get. Clearly, there’s no assure Ankalaev would have picked up that second, however I get the sensation he would have fairly not have Smith endure the harm and be allowed the chance to ship a extra impactful end to the combat. In spite of everything, he was firmly in management even earlier than Smith’s harm occurred.
Most Fan-Pleasant Division: MMA followers have lengthy lamented the shortage of affection the flyweight division has obtained from the UFC brass. For no matter cause, the UFC couldn’t work out the right way to promote Demetrious Johnson correctly to make one of the crucial dominant champions the game has ever seen a star. Once they couldn’t get that to fly, they needed to get rid of the division, reducing away at practically the whole thing of the division – together with Brandon Moreno — earlier than lastly being satisfied in any other case. Even once they determined to not eliminate the division, they’d proceed to have a look at the division as an afterthought. Bear in mind when the UFC put a heavyweight contest between Chase Sherman and Jake Collier because the co-main occasion forward of prime ten flyweights Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin? That was simply in January. Nicely, the UFC has lastly been exhibiting the division some love and so they’re being rewarded. Pantoja, Moreno, and Kara-France nabbed three of the 4 Efficiency bonuses from the occasion. It wasn’t prefer it was a fluke both. It was Pantoja’s fourth efficiency in his final six appearances, the fourth in a row for Moreno, and fourth within the final 5 for Kara-France. Right here’s hoping the love the UFC is exhibiting the division isn’t an aberration; the division has routinely been probably the most fan-friendly within the group.
Most Controversial Stoppage: Lots of people – together with Uncle Dana – weren’t pleased with the stoppage of the Pavlovich-Lewis combat. Lewis did pop proper up instantly after the referee pulled Pavlovich off him in spite of everything. Nevertheless, I’m of the opinion it was justified. Lewis fell headfirst to the mat after Pavlovich unloaded a deadly flurry of punches on the large man. Plus, Pavlovich was nonetheless touchdown punches when Dan Miragliotta stepped in. Given the risks all of us acknowledge include the game, I might assume it’s uncontroversial to say I’d fairly see the referee’s soar in somewhat bit early versus somewhat bit late. That isn’t to say I don’t perceive the argument, however given all the angles through which the stoppage was proven, I’m prepared to offer Miragliotta the leeway many others don’t wish to.
Finest Underdog: In six out of his eleven UFC victories, Alex Morono entered the competition because the betting underdog. You’d assume we’d all be taught our lesson, however MMA prognosticators might be cussed about their reads. Morono isn’t an awesome athlete, doesn’t hit with an distinctive quantity of energy, and barely wrestles. And but, he continues to discover a strategy to outwork opponents who’re higher athletes, are likely to hit more durable, and have a greater historical past of dictating the place the combat takes place. That was the case with Matt Semelsberger… and Morono walked out with one other win. Morono is aware of what the judges are searching for and he is aware of the holes in his opponent’s defenses. Maybe sometime myself and my fellow prognosticators will be taught. Then once more, maybe not….
Most Disrespected: You’d assume three consecutive wins within the UFC would maintain a fighter from welcoming a newcomer to the group. Positive, accidents occur and a short-notice opponent will get the decision, however I’m speaking about when that’s the scheduled combat from the very starting. That was the case with Nicolae Negumereanu. I’m not saying Negumereanu beat a bunch of world-beaters coming into his combat with Ihor Potieria, however they had been adequate to be on the UFC roster. If Potieria had been some hyped signing, it might make some sense, however he was a regular DWCS signing. Negumereanu simply bowled over him. With 4 consecutive wins – the second longest profitable streak within the division – maybe the UFC will start to indicate Negumereanu some respect and provides him a step up in competitors.
Most Gnarly Damage: The gash in Pena’s brow was one thing else. I’ve little doubt about her needing some beauty surgical procedure for it as Uncle Dana said. Maybe the leg harm suffered by Smith deserves some consideration. Nevertheless, the style through which the human eye can swell shut all the time amazes me. Thus, I’ve to go together with Semelsberger having his left eye fully swollen shut. Credit score to him as he continued to combat and even got here thisshut to profitable with a flying knee. On the very least, he’ll all the time have that visible related to him at this level. In spite of everything, can anybody consider Marvin Eastman with out remembering the gash Vitor Belfort opened on him? I received’t say received’t Joe Rogan thought it appeared like, however we’ll simply say it was one of many extra colourful descriptions I’ve ever heard….