After The Fights: UFC 277

It was a great day (or night, depending on what part of the world you’re in) of fights. Two new Champions have been crowned, a premature stoppage, and just some excellent fights.

Here is what happened:

Amanda Nunes def Julianna Peña

Amanda Nunes regained the Bantamweight title, battering Peña for five rounds. It was a case of Peña being too tough for her own good, as she was knocked down, cut open, and outclassed.

Nunes made the proper adjustments; she was sharp in the stand-up and controlled things on the ground. There was one moment when it looked like Peña had an armbar, but Nunes could escape the submission.

What will be next for both of these fighters? For Nunes, it’s hard to say where she goes next. There isn’t a Featherweight division, so to speak. Maybe another Fight with Shevchenko (even if that’s pushing it) is on the cards. As for Peña, besides recovering and recouping, perhaps a fight between Holly Holm or Ketlan Vieira.

Brendon Moreno def Kai Kara-France

‘The Assasin Baby’ can once again call himself a champion. It was a beautiful liver kick and followed barrage that sealed the win.

It was a close fight early, and it seemed that Kara-France had done just enough to edge ahead in the third round, but as people say, anything can happen in MMA. People love these two fighters, so seeing one of them lose sucked.

Moreno now has a date with Deiveson Figueiredo for the undisputed Flyweight championship. For Kara-France, he will be hoping that Figueiredo will be able to unseat Moreno so he can get a shot at the title. In the meantime, avenging his loss to Brendon Royval should be next.

Sergi Pavlovich def Derrick Lewis

Pavlovich scored a big win; however, many in the MMA community believe that the stoppage was premature.

Lewis is getting to a stage of his fight career where he can’t just stand and trade anymore. His chin is starting to go, but he still has power.

Pavlovich looks like a good prospect, and he took the booing crowd well. What’s next? Honestly, these two must run it back due to that ordinary stoppage.

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Alexandre Pantoja def Alex Perez

Pantoja said he wanted to make a statement, which is what he did. He picked up the win and looked to have secured another title shot.

Like only the Flyweights can do, the fight started at a breakneck pace. Pantoja stung Perez early, with Perez going for a takedown. The Brazilian took his opponent’s back and sank in the fight-ending rear-naked choke (it was more of a neck crank).

Pantoja will no doubt get the winner of Figueiredo/Moreno. A fighter doesn’t follow a loss by fighting a higher-ranked opponent, but a fight between Perez and Kara-France could be fun.

Magomed Ankalaev def Anthony Smith

Ankalaev won his ninth fight in a row, but an injury to Anthony Smith saw an unusual ending to the battle.

After a close first round, when Smith returned to his corner, he was limping. It obviously hampered him, as it wasn’t done at pace when he shot for a takedown. Smith tried to pull guard, and that’s where ‘Lionheart’ found trouble. Ankalaev is a good wrestler, so he could stay out of Smith’s guard and not get swept by him. Ankalaev finished him off with some heavy punches for the win.

Unlike the other injuries that happened over the last couple of weeks, there is no need for a rematch here. Ankalaev looked very good, and should Aleksander Raakić. For Smith, besides recovering, a fight with Scotsmen Paul Craig would be suitable for his return.

Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the fights.

UFC 277 Main Card Preview

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Two of the baddest women in MMA will fight for the second time when Julianna Peña defends her Bantamweight title against the former champion Amanda Nunes in the main event.

The co-main event sees Kiwi Kai Kara-France looking to add a Flyweight title to City Kickboxing’s trophy cabinet when he takes on Brendon Moreno. Moreno is one of only two fighters who have beaten Kara-France.

Let’s have a look at the main card:

Julianna ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ Peña vs Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes

Hopefully, this fight lives up to the original. Though Nunes knocked her down a couple of times, Peña weathered the storm, and she tested Nunes like she hadn’t been tested before. She wasn’t afraid to take damage and stand and trade with the ‘Lioness’.

While Nunes was patient early in the last fight, she will need to do it again. I’m sure she would have worked on her conditioning and be ready to go into the ‘championship’ rounds, as she may be unable to put Peña away.

Peña needs to do what she did last time and make the fight a brawl, and she must be prepared to get down and dirty again and make the fight ugly.

It has been long believed that you are not a true champion in MMA until you defend for the first time. Peña will be desperate not to join that club (though it does include fighters like Matt Serra and Rashad Evans).

Regardless, both women have shown they are true competitors and worthy champions.

 

Betting Odds on Neds:  Amanda Nunes $1.36 Julianna Peña $3.20

Brendon ‘The Assasin Baby’ Moreno vs Kai ‘Don’t Blink’ Kara-France

Like the main event, the co-main is also a rematch. The last time that Moreno and Kara-France, ‘The Assasin Baby’ was victorious.

Flyweights fight at an unbelievable pace; sometimes, combinations are like blurs. This fight will be no different, especially with the interim title on the line.

Kara-France has shown that he has power; he picked up the only KO on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. The only other person to beat the Kiwi, Brendon Royval, once said that Kara-France’s stand-up was ‘basic’. It may not be flashy like Royval’s stand-up in that fight was, but it certainly isn’t basic.

While both men have much to fight for, Moreno would like to settle the score with Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo. They have fought three times; however, the first was scored a draw, sitting at one a piece.

Can Moreno again call himself the champ, or is it Kara-France’s time? The world will find out tomorrow.

Betting Odds on Neds Brendon Moreno $1.46 Kai Kara-France $2.70

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Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich

Before we see the Flyweight’s throwdown, which will be at a breakneck pace, We get to see a Heavyweight slobberknocker.

There is nothing better than seeing two Heavyweight fighters slug it out. And these two men have numerous KOs on their records. So, fans should not expect anything less than two big meaty men trading leather.

Lewis is coming off a loss to Aussie Tai Tuivasa, and while it’s not panic stations yet for Lewis, a loss here won’t help. He still has destructive power in his fists, and the beauty of MMA is that anything can happen.

Pavlovich is currently running a three-fight win streak, and they have all been first-round stoppages. A win over Lewis will catapult him up the rankings, especially now that Tom Aspinall may be out for a little while; the Russian may find himself near the top of some more fight cards.

Betting Odds on Neds: Derrick Lewis $2.25 Sergei Pavlovich $1.64

Alexandre ‘The Cannibal” Pantoja vs Alex Perez

Before the co-main event, fans will be treated to another Flyweight spectacle between two very experienced fighters.

Pantoja holds a win over Brendon Moreno and the man that beat Kai Kara-France, Brendon Royval. He has faced Flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo and lost. And a win over Perez may see him get a rematch, depending on how the title picture pans out.

Perez is also a former title challenger, so it’s undeniable that he wants another shot at the gold. A win will see him take a step closer to facing Figueifedo, but it may be some time due to an interim title being on the card.

Betting Odds on Neds: Alexandre Pantoja $1.52 Alex Perez $2.55

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith

Kicking off the main card is a Light Heavyweight bout between a former title challenger and a hungry Russian.

Anthony Smith has been there before and fought the best in the division. He wants to get back to the top and win the gold. After a two-fight skid, he is working himself back up the ladder. A win here, and by doing so dominantly, the man known as ‘Lionheart’ can get back there.

Beating Ankalaev is easier said than done, though. The Russian is riding an eight-fight win streak, and he only started his pro career in 2014 and has racked up quite a record. His only loss came in his UFC debut against submission specialist Paul Craig (yes, it was by triangle choke). A win against Smith in the opening bout will see him move into the division’s upper echelon.

Betting Odds on Neds: Magomed Ankalaev $1.16 Anthony Smith $5.40

For Australia Viewers, the card starts at 8 am AEST. The preliminary card will be shown on UFC Fight Pass; ESPN will only show the prelims from Klose vs Garcia. The main card can be purchased on Main Event through Foxtel or Kayo. Or you can also buy it on Fight Pass.

Enjoy the fights!

 

UFC 277 Fight Card

Picture Credit: Magpies Waitara

Another weekend, another fight week! This week UFC 277 takes place in the Lone Star state, Dallas, Texas.

In the main event, former women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes takes on the woman that took the title from her, Julianna Peña.

In the co-main event, Kiwi fighter Kai Kara-France looks to avenge his loss to former Flyweight champion Brend0n Moreno.

Here is the fight card:

UFC 277

Main Card

Julianna ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ Peña vs Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes

Brendon ‘The Assasin Baby’ Moreno vs Kai ‘Don’t Blink’ Kara-France

Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis vs Sergi Pavlovich

Alexandre ‘The Cannibal’ Pantoja vs Alex Perez

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith

Preliminary Card

Alex ‘The Great White’ Morono vs Matthew ‘Semi The Jedi’ Semelsberger

Drew Dober vs Rafael ‘The Turn’ Alves

Don’tale ‘King Kong’ Mayes vs Hamdy ‘The Hammer’ Abdelwahab

Drakkar Klose vs Rafa ‘Gifted’ Garcia

Michael Morales vs Adam Fugitt

Joselyn ‘El Pantera’ Edwards vs Ji Yeon ‘Firefist’ Kim

Nicolae Negumereanu vs Ihor The Duelist’ Potieria

Orion ‘Galaxy’ Cosce vs Mike ‘Blood’ Diamond

The preliminary card starts at 7:30 am ASET.