Julianna Pena’s reign as UFC ladies’s bantamweight champion started with an emphatic win in December. It led to resounding defeat on Saturday evening when the girl she submitted to win that crown, Amanda Nunes, put her by way of the wringer in the principle occasion of UFC 277.
Pena lasted the total 25 minutes, however she left the octagon bloodied, crushed and in need of surgery. The matchup was one-sided and left no query as to Nunes’ declare as the very best fighter within the UFC’s ladies’s bantamweight division.
Within the co-main occasion, Brandon Moreno shocked everybody — particularly his opponent — Kai Kara-France when he landed a wonderfully timed and positioned liver kick to finish their UFC interim flyweight title battle within the third-round.
Earlier than the headlining bouts, Derrick Lewis’ dropping skid in his house state of Texas stretched to a few straight compliments of Sergei Pavlovich, Alexandre Pantoja ran over Alex Perez and Magomed Ankalaev added one other win to his prolonged unbeaten streak.
Learn on for the total checklist of winners and losers from UFC 277, which came about at American Airways Heart in Dallas, Texas. The primary card streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ABC and early prelims on ESPN+.
Amanda Nunes: From the second she tapped to Julianna Pena’s rear-naked choke and misplaced the UFC bantamweight title in December, Amanda Nunes was subjected to questions on her previous, current and future.
There have been inquiries about what went flawed, her future prospects and her standing as the very best ladies fighter the UFC had ever seen. Whereas Nunes won’t have addressed all these issues together with her win over Pena of their rematch in the principle occasion of UFC 277, she answered a very powerful one — and that was her standing within the current. Nunes is as soon as once more a two-division UFC champion and she or he regained that standing the identical means she claimed that place, by way of a dominant beatdown.
Sure, Nunes took some pointless dangers in her rematch towards Pena, however after she confronted the extent of scrutiny that adopted her loss to Pena at UFC 269, it was nearly as if Nunes took these dangers simply so she had extra moments to level to after her win. That’s, if any of her current detractors have been to be query her about her standing because the two-division queen.
The one factor lacking from Nunes’ win at UFC 277 was a end. Following her 4 earlier losses, Nunes returned to win her subsequent outing by way of first-round stoppage.
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France: The co-main occasion was unbelievable. The primary two rounds of the interim flyweight contest have been extremely tense. All through the primary 10 minutes, it felt just like the winner would emerge after he capitalized on a mistake from his foe. That thought glided by the wayside when Kara-France discovered his vary and timing within the third stanza. Kara-France bloodied Moreno and it appeared as if he was getting the previous champ off of his sport by way of his efficient hanging. The extra success Kara-France had, the extra it appeared as if Moreno grew to become much less technical and extra focused on getting some again from his opponent. Because the third spherical progressed, Moreno achieved that aim, touchdown a well-timed and even higher positioned liver kick that crumpled Kara-France to the mat and introduced the battle to an in depth.
There have been no questions in regards to the end. Moreno earned the title and with that his likelihood to face Deiveson Figueiredo in an unprecedented fourth title battle.
Deiveson Figueiredo: In what might have been an unpleasant second of trash speak and chest-thumping, UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo entered the octagon throughout Moreno’s post-fight chat with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. As an alternative, the 2 had a reasonably respectful face-to-face assembly and appeared to agree on a title unification bout in Brazil earlier than the tip of 2022.
Sergei Pavlovich: Sergei Pavlovich knocked out Derrick Lewis within the first spherical. He know has 4 straight first-round KO wins and with that he’s more likely to climb into the top-10 of the division. He was No. 11 within the official UFC heavyweight rankings forward of UFC 277, whereas Lewis checked in at No. 5.
Alexandre Pantoja: Alexandre Pantoja ended an almost one-year absence from the octagon on Saturday and he made a statement. The No. 4 fighter within the official UFC flyweight rankings took the battle proper to the No. 6 ranked Alex Perez and dominated the battle in each means, ending issues 91 seconds into the competition with a nasty neck crank following a formidable again take. Issues couldn’t have gone any higher for Pantoja at UFC 277 and relying on how lengthy UFC flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo goes to be on the shelf, Pantoja would possibly get his requested matchup towards the winner of UFC 277 co-main occasion.
Magomed Ankalaev: Magomed Ankalaev was the No. 4 ranked fighter within the UFC’s official gentle heavyweight rankings forward of UFC 277. I’m undecided if his TKO win over Anthony Smith on Saturday will transfer him up these rankings, however the second-round stoppage gained’t harm him.
The 30-year-old Ankalaev is now on a nine-fight successful streak. I nonetheless have questions about how Ankalaev will react to a fighter who pushes him out of his consolation zone, however I even have questions on one other fighter’s capability to check Ankalaev in that method.
Except one thing occurs, Ankalaev’s subsequent battle might be going to be a title eliminator. He’s earned the chance.
Alex Morono: Earlier than UFC 277 I used to be of the thoughts that the UFC matchmakers had determined that Alex Morono was going to be a fighter who they used to check rising fighters towards. If that was his position at UFC 277, Morono succeeded in turning again the rising Matthew Semelsberger, however he didn’t do this with ease, as Semelsberger proved he his toughness in grit in preventing a lot of the contest with a badly broken left eye. Morono is on a four-fight successful streak, the lengthiest run of victories of his UFC profession, which started with a split-decision win over Kyle Noke in 2016.
Matthew Semelsberger: Matthew Semelsberger dropped a call to Alex Morono, however he confirmed loads of coronary heart and toughness in competing with a left eye that was primarily closed for almost all of the battle.
Drew Dober: Whereas Rafael Alves seemed to entertain followers by being a complete lot of additional, Drew Dober did the identical by way of toughness and approach. Dober’s method was simpler as he stopped the light-weight battle with a nasty physique punch within the third stanza.
Dober seemed glorious on this matchup. He was affected person and didn’t let Alves’ antics get in his head. What he did was management the battle on the toes within the second and third rounds and earn himself a second straight knockout win.
The win ought to get Dober one other powerful check within the 155-pound division.
Rafael Alves: Rafael Alves is a wild man, however is he too wild? The 31-year-old appeared to tax his cardio a bit earlier than his battle towards Drew Dober started. He then spent an excessive amount of power through the first spherical. Alves’ second spherical was a bit slower and he spent most of that spherical preventing together with his again to the cage till an eyepoke paused the bout. After his imaginative and prescient cleared, Alves was extremely aggressive — and entertaining.
If Alves paces himself higher and fights with rather less recklessness, he’ll nonetheless be entertaining and he would possibly discover some success. Nevertheless, I’m undecided that’s in his nature.
Hamdy Abdelwahab: Nobody needs to be offered on Hamdy Abdelwahab as a heavyweight contender, however the 29-year-old put collectively a pleasant debut towards Don’Story Mayes.
Abdelwahab had below two weeks to prepare for this quick discover matchup and he was prepared. He used his superior wrestling, highly effective hanging and heavy high sport to get the win. With lower than a 12 months of MMA expertise to his identify this was the primary time Abdelwahab went the gap.
Drakkar Klose: Within the lead as much as this battle, I felt Klose was going to want a press release win if he was going to make use of a victory over late alternative Rafa Garcia to make a transfer within the light-weight division. Klose bought a call win (29-28 x 3) that was not dominant. With that, Klose will in all probability keep proper the place he was earlier than the battle.
Klose requested a matchup with Tony Ferguson after his win at UFC 277. That battle doesn’t make sense. Nevertheless, rebooking Klose reverse Diego Ferreira, who was his preliminary UFC 277 opponent, looks as if a very good transfer.
Michael Morales: Michael Morales is a proficient younger fighter. The 23-year-old moved to 14-0 on Saturday with a third-round knockout win over Adam Fugitt. The win at UFC 277 needs to be a turning level within the profession within the younger fighter.
Morales was one of many largest favorites on the cardboard, however there have been some factors the place Fugitt gave him issues. Morales is extraordinarily assured in his abilities — and he needs to be — nonetheless, as he strikes up the ranks and faces extra gifted opponents, he’s going to want to shut the gaps in his sport. Fugitt uncovered a few of these gaps on Saturday. I hope to see a a lot improved Morales in his subsequent outing and I stay up for that battle taking place as quickly as potential.
Nicolae Negumereanu: Nicolae Negumereanu has earned himself a step up in competitors. After a KO win over Ike Villanueva and a cut up determination victory over Kennedy Nzechukwu, Negumereanu destroyed Ihor Potieria on the early prelims of UFC 277. Negumereanu took benefit of a positive matchup towards an opponent with a blown-up report and lit him up. Now 13-1 with eight knockout wins, the 27-year-old Negumereanu wants to maneuver up in competitors.
Julianna Pena: Julianna Pena and her crew appeared to assume they might make use of the identical sport plan they did for UFC 269 and it could have success at UFC 277 and when that didn’t work, they’d no backup plan.
I’ll give Pena credit score for toughness and her refusal to give up, however she was outmatched for the whole 25 minutes of the battle and
Derrick Lewis: Derrick Lewis fell to 1-3 in his previous 4 outings together with his knockout loss to Sergei Pavlovich. If there’s a vibrant spot for the defeat for Lewis it’s that the UFC matchmakers would possibly agree with him that the stoppage was early. If that’s the case, Lewis might keep away from relegation to heavyweight gatekeeper standing.
Alex Perez: Alex Perez had not fought since Deiveson Figueiredo submitted him in a UFC flyweight title battle in November 2020. That battle lasted 1:57. Perez returned to motion at UFC 277 and Alexandre Pantoja by no means gave him an opportunity to get into the battle. Pantoja overwhelmed Perez from the beginning of the bout and earned the submission win at 1:31 of the primary spherical. The loss is a gigantic setback for Perez’s hopes of getting again to the UFC flyweight title image.
Anthony Smith: Anthony Smith complained of an injured leg between the primary and second rounds. That damage left Smith compromised and appeared to maintain Smith from mounting a lot protection as soon as the battle went to the bottom.
Don’Story Mayes: I do know this was a heavyweight battle, however dealing with a short-notice opponent with lower than a 12 months of MMA expertise and dropping below the UFC banner is just not a very good look. That’s what occurred within the Don’Story Mayes vs. Hamdy Abdelwahab matchup. Any momentum Mayes had generated together with his two earlier UFC wins disappeared on Saturday evening.
Ihor Potieria: Within the lead as much as the sunshine heavyweight bout between Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ihor Potieria, I famous that Potieria’s report seemed inflated. Seems that may have been true, as he had nothing in any respect to supply Nicolae Negumereanu, who ran over Potieria.
Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha: Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha fell to 0-2 within the UFC with a loss to Orion Cosce within the opening battle of the UFC 277 battle card. Mathetha is a wonderful striker, nonetheless he’s not a very good wrestler and that hole in his ability set is the principle motive his report is 0-2 with the UFC.
Mathetha ought to have spent extra time exterior the UFC getting wrestling and grappling reps, however his affiliation with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and the Metropolis Kickboxing health club bought him moved to the UFC earlier than he was able to compete at an elite stage. The UFC is just not purported to be the MMA group the place you be taught on the job – not in 2022.
Referee Dan Miragliotta and Texas Athletic Fee Physician: At first of the third spherical of the battle between Alex Morono and Matthew Semelsberger, referee Dan Miragliotta referred to as the physician in to take a look at the left eye of Semelsberger, which was badly swollen shortly closing. Earlier than the physician might get shut, Miragliotta supplied his ideas on the harm, “it doesn’t look dangerous.” In the meantime, UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier questioned if the harm was value a stoppage — they agreed that it was. Nevertheless, the physician, maybe selecting up on Miragliotta’s language, supplied solely a cursory verify on the fighter earlier than permitting the competition to proceed.
UFC commentary crew throughout important occasion: I can’t say that I anticipate biased commentary from the UFC’s asserting crew, however when it occurs — and it occurs rather more than the UFC and its followers needs to be snug with — I have a tendency to just accept it with a shrug, or at most, a raised eyebrow.
Throughout tonight’s important occasion, Julianna Pena bought beat up for 5 rounds and misplaced decisively. In case you hearken to the UFC commentary crew, Pena was only a millisecond away from turning issues round and ending the battle. So far as incorrect commentary throughout a UFC battle goes, the principle occasion of UFC 277 misrepresented the truth of what was taking place within the cage on an nearly comical stage.
Joe Rogan: I do know individuals love Joe Rogan on UFC commentary. I additionally know the times of Rogan even making an attempt to seem within the job exterior of battle evening are up to now. In the course of the co-main occasion, Rogan requested if Kai Kara-France had ever fought in a five-round battle earlier than. Figuring out the reply to that query beforehand looks as if the bottom bar of pre-fight preparation.
The above is simply one other instance of why I feel somebody who truly prepares and takes the job critically — as greater than a one-night a month, eight hour, part-time gig — ought to change Rogan. Rogan had his time and he served an necessary position. That point has handed.
Orion Cosce: Orion Cosce missed weight for his scheduled welterweight bout reverse Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha. That weight miss is the principle motive he ended up as a “neither” and never a winner.
Cosce fought nicely towards Mathetha. He examined his hanging towards his opponent, who was superior in that side of MMA, and when that failed he went to his wrestling, the place he held the benefit, and battled to a call win. This was a very good bounce again victory for Cosce, who suffered his first skilled loss in his UFC debut reverse Phil Rowe in July 2021.