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UFC 277 takeaways: The time for Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko 3 is now

UFC 277 takeaways: The time for Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko 3 is now

The MMA world has regained its pure order. Amanda Nunes avenged her loss to Julianna Peña in dominant style on Saturday evening, reclaiming her bantamweight title and standing as a two-division champion with an amazing choice win in UFC 277’s fundamental occasion. Her efficiency capped off a busy card that additionally noticed Brandon Moreno seize the interim flyweight title, a brand new title emerge within the heavyweight contender combine, and extra. With a lot to debate, let’s hit our 5 greatest takeaways from UFC 277.

1. Julianna Peña could also be one of many hardest people alive, however Amanda Nunes continues to be the best unarmed feminine combatant to ever do it. That more true now than it’s ever been.

Nunes had the form of efficiency on Saturday many anticipated to see this previous December. She torched Peña on the ft, mauled her on the bottom, slapped collectively a number of 10-8 scorecards, and relegated Peña into little greater than her personal private Matt Serra. Peña’s doggedness must be recommended — it was essentially the most tense blowout I can ever bear in mind seeing; she by no means give up and practically secured a couple of Hail Mary submissions that would’ve modified historical past endlessly — however in the end it’s the previous axiom of, if the post-fight chatter is essentially crediting your toughness, it doubtless wasn’t a very good evening on the workplace.

The changes have been sensible. Numes’ counter proper hook had Peña on ice stakes each time Peña bum-rushed inside, main Nunes to change into the primary girl in UFC historical past to attain three knockdowns in a battle — a feat she completed in a single spherical. Her fixed stance switching and southpaw work had Peña off rhythm from bounce, and at one level — in a very grisly sequence — she basically juiced the blood out of Peña’s brow on the mat. The latter rounds have been a recipe we’ve seen earlier than — as soon as Nunes figures out she will be able to outwrestle you, she’s very happy to do precisely that — however the general execution from pillar to put up was elegant. The queen has returned; lengthy dwell the queen.

Now that we’ve circled again to the established order, although, there’s only one lingering query — what’s subsequent? It’s a considerably weird crossroads with out an apparent reply. Nunes’ overpowering dominance on Saturday makes the Peña trilogy battle an unimaginable promote.

However there’s nonetheless one subsequent step that trumps the remaining: Valentina Shevchenko.

The time is now for the trilogy, partly as a result of this previous 12 months has proven us that you need to capitalize on traditionally necessary fights like Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3 whenever you even have the possibility, and partly as a result of there’s legitimately no higher choice. Give it some thought. Who’s a greater choice for Nunes? Ketlen Vieira at 135 kilos? Macy Chiasson at 145 kilos? I imply no disrespect once I write this, however we don’t know what number of bouts we have now left from Nunes, who’s clearly probably the most outstanding fighters we’ve ever seen, full cease. Neither of these humdrum divisional choices conjures up pleasure for the time we have now left with the ladies’s GOAT. The identical applies for Shevchenko — who’s on the market for her proper now? Taila Santos goes to want time to heal her damaged face, and “The Bullet” has demolished everybody else inside sniffing distance of the belt.

Seems like Amanda determine to completely copy my rise up sport

Nice battle each women! #UFC277

— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) July 31, 2022

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It makes an excessive amount of sense.

Whatever the consequence of Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3, the Santos rematch will nonetheless be sitting there on the desk for Shevchenko. Nunes even mentioned on Saturday that she desires Shevchenko subsequent. We have to see the dialog settled between the 2 preeminent girls of this period sooner or later. This can be our final probability to get it carried out. Let’s not fiddle anymore and miss the window like we’ve missed so many home windows prior to now. Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre, Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture — MMA’s historical past is plagued by forgotten superfights we misplaced by assuming there shall be one other alternative to revisit them proper across the nook.

Shevchenko expressed hesitance to leap as much as 135 kilos after the Santos battle, however cash has a manner of adjusting minds. Pony up, UFC, and let’s not take any extra unnecessarily dangers that’ll result in Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3 being added to that accursed checklist.

2. The flyweight division is formally on fireplace.

This isn’t breaking information, after all. When you’ve been paying consideration, each leg of the Figueiredo vs. Moreno trilogy has been totally superb, and hell, Matt Schnell simply lit the world aflame two weeks in the past. The 125-pounders have been doing work for awhile now. UFC 277 was merely a pure extension of what we’ve been seeing, but the principle card turned a bona fide flyweight showcase. Brandon Moreno continues to be a delight each inside and outdoors of the cage. His transfer to Glory MMA to work underneath head coach James Krause appears like a match made in heaven, and his liver-kick melting of Kai Kara-France was real nightmare gasoline. Someplace on the market, Bas Rutten shed a single tear watching that end.

I even loved the heartfelt post-fight trade Moreno shared with Deiveson Figueiredo, regardless of UFC president Dana White not loving it. It capped off the second completely — a present of real respect between two warriors who’ve examined one another for greater than an hour of cage time. The Figueiredo vs. Moreno tetralogy goes to be sensational.

You then add in Alexandre Pantoja — aka the person who’s a mixed 3-0 over Saturday’s co-headliners and seemed like a wrecking ball in his 91-second romp over Alex Perez — and the vibes at 125 kilos are immaculate proper now. How will you not find it irresistible?

Thank the blood gods this glorious division of Lilliputian berserkers nonetheless exists.

3. Talking of flyweight, the disrespect of this division’s precise champion has gotten out of hand.

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When you have been a model new fan who tuned into the beginning of UFC 277’s broadcast, right here’s the very first thing you’ll’ve discovered concerning the reigning flyweight king, courtesy of one of the UFC’s most publicly recognized voices: Deiveson Figueiredo is the proprietor of a paper belt who isn’t coming again to 125 kilos, and actually, he misplaced his final battle anyway. So Saturday’s interim title bout? Yeah, that’s the *actual* championship battle of the division. Screw this different man.

This, even supposing Figueiredo spent everything of UFC 277 battle week promising to any microphone that would listen that his subsequent battle will, in actual fact, be towards the Moreno vs. Kara-France winner. And you realize what? Joe Rogan’s foolish rhetoric labored. The net dialog was awash with sheep parroting Rogan’s claims that Figueiredo isn’t ever combating at 125 kilos once more and isn’t the reputable champ due to…causes?

Right here’s the precise fact: Accidents saved “Figgy Smalls” out of UFC 277. He’ll be able to return earlier than the tip of 2022. Whether or not the vocal minority likes it or not, he won the belt fair and square towards Moreno in January’s trilogy match. He’s by no means been in a boring battle in his complete life and, sure, his gripes about pay are based contemplating he earned less for his sixth consecutive UFC title bout than the money wad Dana White handed out to one of many Nelk Boys. And once more, it’s not even a dialogue — Figueiredo’s subsequent battle shall be a flyweight title protection! All of that is baffling. Moreno could also be beloved by the MMA world, however that doesn’t excuse straight up delegitimatizing the champ’s title on the official UFC broadcast.

4. It sucks that Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich ended the way it did.

That is positively an early stoppage

— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) July 31, 2022

That was weak as hell. Let em battle ref!!

— Kevin Lee MTP (@MoTownPhenom) July 31, 2022

Early stoppage !!! Have to provide the fighter an opportunity to get again within the battle #UFC277

— Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili (@MerabDvalishvil) July 31, 2022

Look, refereeing is a difficult gig. I perceive that. You’re making split-second choices within the blink of an eye fixed that immediately get critiqued by individuals who have ample use of immediate replay and no precise pores and skin within the sport. However Derrick Lewis deserved a second or two greater than what Dan Miragliotta gave him on Saturday evening. The truth that 99 percent of Lewis’ fellow fighters agreed spoke volumes. To place it one other manner: Miragliotta’s choice was iffy sufficient that Sergei Pavlovich didn’t even get a $50,000 bonus for a 55-second knockout of the UFC’s all-time knockout king. On a pay-per-view fundamental card, no much less!

Nearly all of MMA’s biggest comebacks are predicated on a second when it seemed like the tip had come. Hell, we’ve seen Lewis win fights the place he’s seemingly been in additional hassle than Saturday. Brock Lesnar would’ve misplaced to Shane Carwin 10 occasions over with the set off Miragliotta gave Lewis at UFC 277. It’s fully doable that battle was a second away from being over, however when the prevailing narrative popping out of a outcome like UFC 277’s is dialogue concerning the stoppage, it does a disservice not solely to the shedding fighter, but in addition to a winner like Pavlovich, who as an alternative of reveling in the most effective second of his profession, was left with zero bonus {dollars} and a barrage of unfair questions concerning the legitimacy of his win.

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Only a crappy scenario general, however Pavlovich actually looks like one other hyper-intriguing younger bruiser so as to add to a heavyweight combine already quickly reloading for its subsequent period. With the highest guys already booked, I don’t hate the concept of giving him subsequent month’s Alexandr Romanov vs. Marcin Tybura winner and retaining this goliath Russian as lively as doable.

5. Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira 2 must occur first. However then? Yeah, Magomed Ankalaev might be profitable that UFC gentle heavyweight title.

And he’ll doubtless be at the least a 2-to-1 betting favourite by the point it’s booked.

His pay-per-view opener towards Anthony Smith might not have led to fireworks, however Dagestan’s newest UFC terror continues to cruise via the 205-pound division with nary a scratch on him. Regardless of Smith’s leg damage, UFC 277 was sufficient for Ankalaev to clean the stink off him nonetheless lingering from his dalliance with Thiago Santos. He’s formally in title competition now, he may be essentially the most gifted technician alive at 205, and the division is ready up completely for what’s subsequent: Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 and Jan Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev.

Throw all 4 of ‘em on the identical card and we’re within the cash. I find it irresistible when a plan comes collectively.

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