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.
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.