UFC 277 takeaways — Amanda Nunes leaves little doubt who the GOAT is, Moreno-Figueiredo 4 is once more, should see

In an evening the place two fighters reclaimed championship gold and rising stars made their case for title pictures, what had been the most important moments at UFC 277? Jeff Wagenheim, Marc Raimondi and Brett Okamoto provide up their takeaways from a highlight-packed occasion in Dallas.

The world is as soon as once more regular on its axis, gravity has regained its pull and oxygen has returned to the ambiance. All is regular on this planet. The beforehand declawed GOAT of ladies’s MMA is again to being The Best of Proper Now.

Amanda Nunes battered and bloodied Julianna Peña for 5 brutally one-sided rounds on Saturday night time to regain her ladies’s bantamweight championship in the principle occasion of UFC 277 at American Airways Middle in Dallas. Thus Nunes, who is also a featherweight champ, is again to her standing as a uncommon champion reigning concurrently in two weight lessons.

Nunes, who left American Prime Workforce after her December loss to Peña and began her personal gymnasium, confirmed off a brand new wrinkle in her recreation and displayed her well-established Octagon smarts. Paired along with her bodily expertise and toughness, Nunes’ poise and command contained in the cage made her the perfect within the recreation.

The brand new look was Nunes combating virtually completely as a southpaw, and it efficiently made Peña hesitant along with her advances. That allowed Nunes to function from a distance the place she may harm her opponent — which she did on a number of events, together with three knockdowns in Spherical 2 — whereas not placing herself in pointless hazard.

Nunes obtained into such a movement that after utilizing Peña for goal follow throughout a number of stretches, she switched issues up by taking the combat to the canvas, the place Nunes landed massive elbows from prime place to make Peña a bloody mess.

Peña stored combating just like the champion that she was. She regularly tried submissions, and he or she gave the impression to be near locking one thing in on a couple of events. However Nunes defended effectively every time, and after each escape, she landed a punishing elbow or punch as payback. It was a virtuosic efficiency, gritty and swish.

At age 34, Nunes nonetheless is a fearsome power. And after 26 professional fights, she nonetheless is motivated.

“I feel like I can grow even more,” Nunes stated within the Octagon after the win.

Be careful, prime 135-pound ladies. And also you, too, 145-pounders.

Amongst Nunes’ accomplishments on this night time, she did one thing few former UFC champions have. She was the thirteenth to lose a title and get a direct rematch, and ten have did not regain the belt. Earlier than Nunes climbed again on prime of the world this weekend, solely Deiveson Figueiredo and Randy Couture had seen that success.

“Making history again!” Nunes stated afterward. “Double champ again, baby. Let’s go!” — Jeff Wagenheim


Figueiredo vs. Moreno rising as considered one of UFC’s greatest rivalries

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Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France maintain nothing again as they go at one another of their UFC 277 bout.

Kai Kara-France is a wonderful fighter. A championship-quality fighter. He has all of the instruments to succeed, together with some stunning hanging and one of many world’s greatest gyms behind him in Metropolis Kickboxing. However he could not get in the way in which of future: Figueiredo vs. Moreno 4 was meant to occur.

It ought to have all alongside, if not for Figueiredo’s hand accidents after their third combat in January. And now it can, in earnest, probably on the finish of this yr or the start of subsequent yr. Moreno even stated he’d do it in Figueiredo’s dwelling nation of Brazil.

Let’s speak about that third combat for a second. Figueiredo gained a detailed choice, and it may have gone both manner. Many thought Moreno gained. However almost everybody agreed they need to run it again. What number of occasions has that ever occurred? After a trilogy, there was a lot enterprise left unfinished that it was almost unanimous that they needed to get again on the market for an additional potential 25 minutes.

It is insanity. And it is official. Figueiredo and Moreno are the 2 greatest flyweights on this planet, and each combat they’ve had has been action-packed. From their 2020 draw that sparked all of it, to Moreno choking out Figueiredo in 2021 to change into the primary Mexican-born champion in UFC historical past, or Figueiredo getting his revenge within the tightly contested bout at UFC 270 in January.

This rivalry is not the most important attract UFC historical past, certainly. Flyweights have struggled to promote traditionally. Trash discuss has been uttered, largely from Figueiredo’s aspect. However the two appeared to make peace within the Octagon on Saturday night time.

None of that issues, although. This collection of fights spotlight the abilities each possess and can be checked out fondly for years to come back. Figueiredo and Moreno can be inked collectively within the annals of UFC historical past. There’s one thing cool about not only a quadrilogy or a grudge match; this can be a true generational rivalry.

Heck, allow them to do a better of seven collection. Why not? — Marc Raimondi


Who’s subsequent for the standout fighters after UFC 277?

So who’s up subsequent for the title holders and prime contenders? How does the UFC e book Magomed Ankalaev shifting ahead? Brett Okamoto performs matchmaker.

Amanda Nunes, bantamweight champion

Who needs to be subsequent? Ketlen Vieira

You are able to do a 3rd Nunes vs. Julianna Peña combat instantly. Completely you’ll be able to. The collection is 1-1. Each fights had been tremendous entertaining. So, why am I suggesting we transfer on? I am suggesting we transfer on for proper now. Throughout her bantamweight and featherweight title runs, we waited lengthy to seek out somebody who may come near being Nunes’ equal. Now, after we lastly discover one, we will make the identical combat thrice in a single yr? I believe it might be a rush to take action.

Full credit score to Peña for successful the primary combat and full credit score to her for making the second aggressive, however Nunes clearly gained the rematch. There is no controversy right here. Let this story breathe for a minute. Construct up anticipation for a 3rd combat, moderately than probably feed fatigue of the matchup by reserving it instantly. The champ now appears human and has realized she’s not invincible. Let’s give the following girl up an opportunity.

Wild card: Julianna Peña

As I stated, you’ll be able to completely do the trilogy subsequent and I will not complain. However personally, it is not what I might do. I believe there’s a 100% likelihood we are going to see this combat a 3rd time. It makes an excessive amount of sense for it by no means to occur once more. I believe it might profit from a little bit of time to construct up.


Brandon Moreno, interim flyweight champion

Who needs to be subsequent? Deiveson Figueiredo

You hardly ever see a scenario the place the game desires to see the identical two fighters sq. off 4 occasions in lower than three years, however that is the scenario we discover ourselves in at 125 kilos. This was the combat to make even earlier than Saturday. Nearly as good and as deserving as Kai Kara-France was of that chance, the premier matchup of this weight class is Figueiredo vs. Moreno. And although they’ve fought thrice, unfinished enterprise remains to be right here. The final combat was shut. I would not say it was a theft in any respect. I scored it for Figueiredo. Nevertheless it left unanswered questions. It left us unhappy as to the place the rivalry stood. Run it again. And January in Brazil sounds phenomenal.

Wild card: Alexandre Pantoja

If one thing surprising occurs with Figueiredo’s damage or contract, there’s a good (terrific really) backup choice in Pantoja. In fact, this can be a distant second concerning what ought to occur. It must be Figueiredo vs. Moreno to unify the belts. However once more, if one thing had been to occur, Pantoja is coming off a first-round win over Alex Perez on Saturday, he is obtained a previous win towards Moreno from 2018 and he is gained three in a row.


Magomed Ankalaev, mild heavyweight

Who needs to be subsequent? Glover Teixeira

All of it is determined by what route the UFC takes with its champion, Jiri Prochazka. Prochazka has requested to run a combat towards Teixeira again instantly.

I might moderately see him combat Jan Blachowicz subsequent. If that occurs, you’d probably be one other combat for Teixeira, and I like this matchup. Some may accuse me of throwing Teixeira to the wolves, as Ankalaev appears to be like like a troublesome matchup for anybody. However I am executed underestimating Teixeira simply because he is in his early 40s. The person has repeatedly confirmed that he is nonetheless obtained it, and he is at present ranked No. 2 within the division behind the champ. This can be a truthful combat for each.

Wild card: Jan Blachowicz

If the UFC opts to e book Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2, then Ankalaev vs. Blachowicz as a No. 1 contender combat makes excellent sense.