Whereas it doesn’t appear to be informal followers give an excessive amount of of a rattling about UFC 277, the highest of the cardboard affords a pair of rematches that can have hardcore followers entrenched to their tv screens. On the tip prime, we now have Amanda Nunes, the consensus ladies’s GOAT, seeking to avenge her stunning loss to Julianna Pena. The query is whether or not Nunes will go the route of Georges St-Pierre and avenge her loss or if she begins to fade out of relevance the best way Renan Barao did after he was dethroned. Earlier than Pena and Nunes throw down, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France combat for interim flyweight gold. Moreno gained their first contest, however most would agree each fighters are improved variations of themselves from that combat. Regardless, it doesn’t really feel like we’re going to get boring fights in both title combat.
Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes, Girls’s Bantamweight
There’s a lot to unpack for this contest. Was Nunes really damage going into their first combat as she claims? Was she overconfident attributable to everybody telling her how nice she was? Will a camp change be helpful for her? Will Pena are available with the very same technique? Would that be sensible to do if she does? May overconfidence get the very best of her?
Even when she loses within the rematch, Nunes’ popularity as the feminine GOAT is probably going secure. With wins over the likes of Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate, Germaine de Randamie, and Valentina Shevchenko – all present or former UFC champions – nobody else can come near sporting an analogous resume. In a few of these circumstances, she has a number of wins. That would assist clarify why Nunes was anticipating to trounce over Pena of their first contest because it had been years since she was critically examined. Hell, it had been years since she had made the minimize to 135….
Couple elements like that with all of the retirement discuss surrounding Nunes for the final couple of years and the upset shouldn’t have been as stunning to us all because it ended up being. If you’ve achieved all of it, it’s arduous to get labored up. For Nunes, it was simply one other combat. That additionally might clarify why many imagine the hearth is again for Nunes. The loss to Pena offers her motivation as soon as once more now that she was humiliated. However is she approaching the combat appropriately for that to occur?
Few are placing inventory into her claims of being damage going into their first combat. Fighters usually have to inform themselves one thing to elucidate why they misplaced the primary time and it seems like that’s what Nunes is doing. Even when she was damage, it’s uncertain Pena entered the combat at 100% both. The combat recreation is a brutal enterprise and it’s uncommon when fighters enter a combat fully wholesome. What’s extra regarding is Pena up and leaving ATT, her residence camp for the final a number of years. Many have identified she has taken a number of of their previous coaches together with her, which does assist. However she is the one answerable for establishing her camp. There gained’t be a coach to push her if she doesn’t wish to be pushed. That works for some fighters, however not many. Given Nunes’ greatest downside when she was working her approach up was self-discipline – she had a foul behavior of draining her fuel tank early – there’s purpose to be involved.
As for Pena, there’s causes to be involved for her as properly. Pena has been residing up the lifetime of a champion, making all kinds of public appearances that wouldn’t have been afforded her with out profitable the belt. There’s part of me that claims good on her for doing that. However there’s one other a part of me that wonders if she isn’t having fun with all of it an excessive amount of, not placing within the work to ensure she retains the belt. Many would say Miesha Tate fell sufferer to that. Given Tate and Pena are good pals, it’s seemingly Tate has warned Pena of the potential pitfalls, however warnings are solely helpful if heeded. Human beings have a foul tendency to imagine they’re the exception to the rule. Granted, when you turn into champion, you’ve already turn into the exception in a single regard. However it’s additionally simple to lose sight of what acquired Pena to the highest when there may be way more glitz round her than there has beforehand been round her.
I’m focusing a lot on the psychological on this preview as that’s what will matter on this contest. Pena isn’t a foul athlete by bantamweight requirements, however she isn’t on Nunes’ degree. Nunes isn’t solely the higher athlete, she’s the extra technical striker and grappler. Hell, she’s extra diverse and dynamic too. She ought to have gained their first contest. As a substitute, quite than seeking to take Pena down and regaining her composure after Pena initially damage her, she selected to remain standing and commerce issues out. My thought is that it needed to be ego. Nunes thought she was the higher striker and rattling it if she wasn’t going to show it. Ultimately, Pena needed the win extra.
Ultimately, it was Nunes who broke on the psychological finish of issues of their first combat. It doesn’t imply it is going to occur once more this time, particularly if she will be able to preserve her composure. What scares me is the strikes that reek of desperation. Modifications camps isn’t an indication of confidence. Neither is blaming damage for her earlier loss. Her final a number of fights noticed her coming into them will a nonchalant perspective that signaled she knew how the combat was going to finish. She’s coming into the rematch offended. There’s a LOT that indicators she’s going to fail in her bid to regain the belt. However ultimately, she is best than Pena all over the place. Nicely, higher than Pena all over the place within the bodily sense. The bodily can outweigh the psychological if the scales are heavy sufficient in that route. The query is whether or not Nunes has fastened extra of the psychological than has been damaged from their final combat. I actually can’t even start to reply that. Thus, whereas I’m choosing her, it’s based mostly on what I do know: she’s the bodily and technically superior fighter. Now it’s a matter of maintaining her head and proving it. Nunes through TKO of RD4
Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France, Flyweight
I can’t assist really feel considerably dangerous for whoever Moreno fights. The previous champion is so likeable, he’s at all times going to have a house area benefit. He may even have that if this combat befell in Australia. Nevertheless, not solely is that this not in Australia, this combat is in Texas. No, that isn’t his native Mexico, however you higher imagine he’s going to have the group behind him.
Quick intangibles apart, Moreno is a little bit of a singular case within the fashionable period. Most champions – or latest champions within the case of Moreno — have an elite ability set or bodily attribute that have to be overcome. Israel Adesanya is an exceptionally technical striker. Francis Ngannou is essentially the most highly effective puncher on the planet. Kamaru Usman is the premier wrestler in his division. Moreno is the very best… scrambler? Morono isn’t a masterful grappler, neither is he an overwhelming wrestler. He isn’t a lights out striker both. And but, the scrapper discovered a strategy to turn into champion….
Moreno’s intelligence is essentially the most underrated facet of his. Whereas he isn’t elite in anyone space, he mixes his assault expertly to maintain his opponents guessing. His boxing is soundly established round his jab, however he does decide his spots to place collectively slick combos. For the longest time, Moreno attacked nearly completely along with his fists, however he has successfully begun to combine in low kicks in his most up-to-date contests with Deiveson Figueiredo. After all, Moreno is really at his greatest when he’s in a position to get his wrestling and grappling rolling. It isn’t essentially the most technical floor recreation, however Moreno has a pure really feel for the mat that usually permits him to get the higher of his opponent on the mat.
The humorous factor is, he didn’t want to make use of his floor recreation in opposition to Kara-France of their first contest. Moreno outstruck the Kiwi. To be truthful to Kara-France, he has taken his hanging to a different degree in that point. Thought of to be a brawler when he first stepped into UFC, that has by no means been a very correct description of him. Whereas he has grown extra comfy leading the dance, he has been extra comfy as a counter striker. Nevertheless, it’s his energy that has been the actual distinction maker for him. No, he isn’t on the extent of Figueiredo when it comes to pure energy, however Kara-France has secured two first spherical finishes in his present three-fight win streak.
Nevertheless, the turning level for Kara-France has been his improved takedown protection. Kara-France isn’t the helpless wretch on the mat as many have portrayed him to be, however there’s little doubt his offensive assault is proscribed on the mat. Actually, Kara-France’s major goal when the combat goes to the bottom is to get proper again up. Regardless, the much less the combat is on the mat, the higher likelihood Kara-France has to win.
Regardless of all of the enhancements of Kara-France, there’s nonetheless one thing that I wrestle to get previous: he misplaced the primary combat with Moreno with out Moreno having tried a takedown, a lot much less securing one. Some could level out that Kara-France has made nice strides to efficiently deliver out his energy, however the odds are lengthy for him to place down Moreno if Figueiredo couldn’t do it. Plus, this can be a five-round combat, one thing Kara-France doesn’t have expertise with. Moreno has loads of expertise in that area. I’ve little doubt Kara-France will make this a aggressive combat, most likely stealing a spherical on the idea of his energy. However the one factor Kara-France’s opposition didn’t have was the flexibility to their assault that Moreno possesses. That, together with the arduous tempo Moreno is more likely to set, ought to be sufficient to have Moreno regain the gold, not less than on the interim foundation. Moreno through determination