UFC 277 Julianna Peña vs. Amanda Nunes

DALLAS — Julianna Peña shocked the MMA world when she upset Amanda Nunes to win the UFC girls’s bantamweight title at UFC 269 final December. Nunes is the best girls’s MMA fighter on the planet and had regarded almost unbeatable earlier than Peña dethroned her.

Peña and Nunes will meet once more Saturday night time in the primary occasion of UFC 277 at American Airways Middle with the UFC girls’s bantamweight title on the road. ESPN has Nunes ranked No. 2 and Peña ranked No. 4 on its pound-for-pound girls’s MMA checklist. Nunes has mentioned she went into the primary bout with accidents to each her knees and with COVID-19. After getting wholesome and shifting into her new, non-public health club, Lioness Studio, Nunes mentioned she will probably be a distinct fighter this time round.

Peña (11-4) has received two straight and 7 of her final 9 fights general. The fighter from Washington, who trains out of Chicago, beat Nunes by way of second-round submission seven months in the past as a heavy underdog. Peña, 32, was the primary feminine Final Fighter event winner in 2013 and had been calling for a title shot for years prior to truly getting one.

Nunes (21-5) was on a 12-fight profitable streak earlier than dropping to Peña, with wins throughout that stretch over the likes of Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. The Brazilian slugger, who trains out of South Florida, stays the UFC girls’s featherweight champion. Nunes, 34, is the primary UFC fighter to defend two titles in separate weight lessons concurrently — and has seven title defenses throughout two divisions, probably the most for a girl in UFC historical past.

Within the co-main occasion, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will compete for the UFC flyweight title with undisputed champ Deiveson Figueiredo out with an harm. ESPN has Moreno ranked No. 2 and Kara-France at No. 3 on the planet at flyweight. Moreno (19-6-2), a 28-year-old Mexican fighter, had a seven-fight unbeaten streak snapped by Figueiredo in a title combat at UFC 270 in January. This was his first coaching camp out of Entram Gymnasium in Tijuana. Moreno now trains below James Krause at Glory MMA in Missouri.

Kara-France (24-9, 1 NC), a 29-year-old from New Zealand, has received three in a row and is making an attempt to develop into the third member of his workforce to win a UFC title, following middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski.

Additionally on the cardboard, fan favourite Derrick Lewis meets Sergei Pavlovich in a heavyweight bout, flyweight contenders Alexandre Pantoja and Alex Perez face off and rising mild heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev meets wily veteran Anthony Smith.

Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap all of the motion from Dallas. Comply with alongside or watch the fights on ESPN+ PPV.


Struggle in progress: Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis (26-9, 17-7 UFC, +120) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (15-1, 3-1 UFC, -140)


UFC 277 outcomes

Males’s flyweight: Alexandre Pantoja (25-5, 9-3 UFC) def. Alex Perez (24-7, 6-3 UFC) by submission

Alexandre Pantoja rushed Alex Perez to get a first-round end by way of submission. Extra to come back from Dallas in a bit.


Mild heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev (18-1, 9-1 UFC) def. Anthony Smith (36-17, 11-7 UFC) by TKO

Ankalaev’s rise to a budding title contender remains to be full pace forward, following a completely dominant efficiency towards Smith.

The combat was stopped at 3:09 of the second spherical, when Smith turtled alongside the Octagon and lined up from Ankalaev’s floor and pound. The stoppage regarded odd, in that Smith pulled guard towards Ankalaev and appeared to wilt rapidly from the pictures. After the bout was stopped, it was revealed Smith probably broke his left leg when he threw a kick on the very finish of the opening spherical. He required help on his method out of the Octagon.

Ankalaev, of Russia, mentioned he was unaware of the harm however took credit score for the win, citing it was him who triggered the harm. It appeared to occur when Ankalaev checked the kick.

One factor is for sure, Ankalaev has made issues look simple throughout his UFC profession. He improved to 9-1, with an energetic nine-fight win streak. His solely loss got here by way of submission towards Paul Craig in 2018, within the last second of a combat Ankalaev was profitable on the scorecards. He has 5 finishes in his present win streak.

Smith, who signed a brand new contract with the UFC this week, stood with Ankalaev within the opening spherical, however the pace distinction was obvious. In line with UFC Stats, Ankalaev out-landed him in whole strikes on the combat 64 to 21. Smith aggressively moved ahead in the beginning of the second spherical, which is superb contemplating the leg harm. His determination to drag guard was considerably of a puzzling one at first, till the character of his harm was revealed. He suffers his first loss in 4 appearances.


Welterweight: Alex Morono (21-8 1 NC, 10-5 1 NC UFC) def. Matthew Semelsberger (10-4, 4-2 UFC) by unanimous determination

When referee Dan Miragliotta referred to as the physician into the cage simply as Spherical 3 was to start, it regarded just like the combat could possibly be over. Semelsberger’s left eye was virtually closed, the world round it swollen and purple.

However, the physician allowed the combat to proceed — then it almost ended anyway.

Semelsberger, sensing the urgency to do one thing massive whereas he nonetheless may see out of the attention, got here charging out of his nook to start out the spherical and landed a flying knee that damage Morono. Semelsberger continued to swarm his compromised opponent, however Morono hung in there and survived the onslaught. He then maintained his distance for a lot of the ultimate spherical to stitch up the choice. Two judges scoured the bout 29-28 and the opposite had it 30-27.

Morono, who’s 31 and from Houston, did injury to Semelsberger’s eye by precisely focusing on it all through Spherical 2. There have been stretches throughout which his each punch was aimed that method. Morono has received 4 in a row.

Semelsberger, a 29-year-old from Frederick, Maryland, confirmed toughness in preventing via the unhealthy bruising, however ultimately he noticed a two-fight profitable streak come to an finish.


Light-weight: Drew Dober (25-11 1 NC, 11-7 1 NC UFC) def. Rafael Alves (20-11, 1-2 UFC) by KO

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After enduring a pleasant assault from Rafael Alves, Drew Dober bounces again to crumble Alves with a crushing blow to the chest in Spherical 3 for the TKO.

A extremely entertaining light-weight scrap obtained an equally entertaining end at 1:30 of the third spherical, when Dober crumpled Alves to the ground with a left hand physique shot.

It was a resilient win for Dober, who absorbed a number of heavy pictures from Alves, primarily the left hook. Dober walked Alves again to the fence and went after him with left physique kicks and boxing combos, however Alves was harmful in slipping pictures and firing again counters. Alves rocked Dober with a left hook counter within the second spherical that despatched him staggering to the aspect. He additionally slipped a full mixture along with his arms down, which introduced a roar from the gang.

Dober, who’s from Omaha and fights out of Denver, confirmed quite a lot of guts in persevering with to strain Alves, and it will definitely paid off massive within the third spherical. Alves began to put on down from the fixed strain and quantity, and folded up from the left hand to the physique. An ecstatic Dober thanked him for the combat afterwards.

“I want those fights, hat’s off to Rafael Alves,” Dober mentioned. “The fights I say yes to are the fights I know are going to be exciting. That’s another man who is exciting every time he’s in there. I’ve got a chin, a jaw and a left hand. And, I bring them in here every time.”

Dober has now completed two light-weight contender hopefuls in a row, in Alves and Terrance McKinney. Alves drops to 1-2 within the UFC.


Heavyweight: Hamdy Abdelwahab (6-0, 1-0 UFC) def. Don’Story Mayes (9-5, 2-3 UFC) by break up determination

These two massive males had every damage the opposite through the first two rounds, which have been primarily competed on the ft. However, late in Spherical 2, Abdelwahab scored a takedown and simply maintained floor management till the horn sounded. That gave him a wise technique to make use of once more within the last spherical and stay unbeaten in his UFC debut.

Abdelwahab, a 29-year-old who represented Egypt within the 2016 Olympic wrestling competitors, unleashed highly effective punches all through however had issue finding the elusive Mayes. He remained affected person, although. Consequently, Abdelwahab, who now’s primarily based in New York Metropolis, was taken the space for the primary time in his younger profession.

Mayes, who’s 30 and from Louisville, Kentucky, had an opportunity on the finish, after referee Kerry Healy stood up the fighters with just below a minute to go. Mayes related with some massive pictures on a drained Abdelwahab, however ran out of time with out touchdown a decisive blow and noticed a two-fight profitable streak come to an finish.


Light-weight: Drakkar Klose (13-2-1, 7-2 UFC) def. Rafa Garcia (14-3, 2-3 UFC)

Klose, of Michigan, edged out a unanimous determination over Garcia, after which referred to as for his subsequent opponent to be former interim champion Tony Ferguson.

It was Klose’s second win since he missed two years as a consequence of harm between 2020 and 2022. It was a carefully contested bout, as each lightweights had their moments and Garcia held a small edge in takedowns and floor management. Finally, Klose’s work on the ft was superior. In line with UFC Stats, he out-landed Garica in whole strikes 114 to 55, and damage him with a proper uppercut on the finish of the second spherical.

Garcia, of Mexico, got here in on a two-fight win streak, and regarded upset with the scorecards. He did seem to fatigue a bit because the combat wore on, nevertheless, and Klose’s forward-moving model probably made a distinction. Klose, 34, is quietly 5-1 in his final six, with the one loss coming towards a prime contender in Beneil Dariush.


Welterweight: Michael Morales (14-0, 2-0 UFC) def. Adam Fugitt (8-3, 0-1 UFC) by TKO

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Michael Morales delivers a robust blow to Adam Fugitt within the third spherical to drop him to the canvas and decide up the TKO win.

Morales had simply fended off an prolonged takedown try and had stored the combat standing, the place he’s most snug. Then he instantly confirmed why, dropping Fugitt with a brief proper hand and ending him with a flurry to stay undefeated.

The top got here at 1:09 of Spherical 3 with Fugitt sagging towards the cage. Previous to that, the 33-year-old from Eugene, Oregon, had been totally within the combat, regardless of coming in on late discover and being one of many largest underdogs on the cardboard. In the long run, Fugitt noticed a four-fight profitable streak snapped in his UFC debut.

Morales, 23, used his crisp hanging and footwork to maintain his opponent at a distance for a lot of the combat, although Fugitt was relentlessly in pursuit. Morales, an Ecuadorian preventing out of Mexico, lastly related with a ending punch to win his second straight within the UFC.


Girls’s flyweight: Joselyne Edwards (12-4, 3-2 UFC) def. Ji Yeon Kim (9-6-2, 3-6 UFC)

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Joselyne Edwards and Ji Yeon Kim let the fists fly in an thrilling trade within the last moments of their bout.

It was a textbook instance of a fighter utilizing her size and attain benefit with nice success.

Edwards outpointed Kim by way of break up determination (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) with a gentle weight loss program of kicks to the legs and physique, conserving Kim at bay. Kim did properly when she obtained inside and landed together with her boxing. However these occurrences have been few and much between.

Kim’s nostril was bloodied within the second spherical as a consequence of an Edwards punch. That was really Kim’s finest spherical, although, as she snapped Edwards’ head again with a pair of proper arms. Edwards went to her clinch recreation within the third, touchdown knees to the physique.

Edwards, 26, has now received two in a row. She beat Ramona Pascual by unanimous determination at UFC 275 in June at featherweight. The Panamanian fighter, who got here in on brief discover, missed weight by 1.5 kilos Friday, coming in at 137.5. Kim, a 32-year-old from South Korea, has misplaced 4 in a row.


Mild heavyweight: Nicolae Negumereanu (13-1, 4-1 UFC) def. Ihor Potieria (19-3, 0-1 UFC) by TKO

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Nicolae Negumereanu sends Ihor Potieria’s mouthpiece flying throughout this aggressive assault as he picks up the TKO win.

Negumereanu, of Romania, produced an indignant, violent end at 3:33 of the second spherical with a sustained flurry alongside the fence. The end started with a number of exhausting knees within the clinch, which backed Potieria up towards the cage. Potieria refused to go down and would often throw out a punch, however Negumereanu stayed good and located his openings. He damage him additional with a left uppercut, proper arms and extra knees.

Ultimately, referee Kerry Hatley could not let it proceed, though Potieria by no means went down from the pictures. The end greater than made up for a sluggish first spherical, by which the gang grew stressed as Negumereanu held Potieria on the bottom however did little or no when it comes to offense.

It’s Negumereanu’s fourth consecutive win within the UFC and second end.


Welterweight: Orion Cosce (8-1, 1-1 UFC) def. Mike Mathetha (3-2, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous determination

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A wild sequence of occasions happens as Mike Mathetha and Orion Cosce stun one another with spinning backfists.

The night started with a matchup of two fighters who have been stylistic opposites however mired in the identical circumstance. Each got here in with only one profession loss — suffered of their UFC debuts. This was the second Octagon look for every, and Cosce received by making it predominantly a grappling contest. The 28-year-old seized management of a good combat early within the last spherical, utilizing a lateral drop to place Mathetha on his again. Cosce instantly gained a dominant place and threatened with submissions the remainder of the way in which to safe the choice. All three judges scored the bout 29-28.

Mathetha, a 34-year-old who competes below the nickname “Blood Diamond,” was submitted in his UFC debut however defended properly this time in clinching and grappling exchanges. However, Mathetha solely often created the house to unleash his inventive kicks and punches. He damage Cosce with a spinning assault in Spherical 2 however quickly fell right into a clinch, dropping his benefit.


Nonetheless to come back:

(c) = defending champion