By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 269 was yesterday and it featured a massive upset in one title
fight and a really good fight in the other title fight. Let’s get to
GOOD- Sean O’Malley stops Raulian Paiva
It starts a little slow as O’Malley tests the water. Paiva does land
some leg kicks that O’Malley doesn’t seem concerned with. When he
steps up in opponent class I assume he’ll start checking those. The
fight ends when O’Malley drops Paiva then batters him after he stands
up for the stoppage with less than twenty seconds to go in the first
round. This was one of those Bellator-type fights where you knew that
O’Malley would win and it would be a huge upset if he lost. Still,
even with this loss, Paiva is still 21-4 while O’Malley improves to
15-1. I’m not going to hate on O’Malley for mainly only fighting guys
he can beat but I’m also not going to give him the effusive praise
some others do for these wins. They’re nice wins but let’s pump the
brakes, they don’t make him a “transcendent striker” as I’ve seen some
call him. He’s a good striker but he’s the UFC’s version of Michael
“Venom” Page. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. I’d switch
places with O’Malley in a heartbeat, though I wouldn’t do the
multi-colored hair thing he does. That’s just a personal choice,
though. Anyway, good win for O’Malley.
GOOD- Kai Kara-France stops Cody Garbrandt
Kara-France drops Garbrandt with a right-handed counter punch. He then
puts an exclamation point on things with a flurry of overhands and
uppercuts that end the fight almost three and a half minutes into the
first round. Kara-France improves to 23-9 with 1 No Contest. This was
Garbrandt’s flyweight debut but he falls to 12-5, with all five of
those losses coming in his last six fights. He’s provided fireworks
but four of those losses have come by knockout. To be fair, ten of his
wins have come by knockout as well. Honestly, Garbrandt is just the
bantamweight, now flyweight, version of Donald Cerrone as being a
fighter who just wants to stand and bang. Again, nothing wrong with
that, those guys always have lots of fans who want to watch their
fights. I know I do. Anyway, good win for Kara-France.
GOOD- Geoff Neal vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
They traded strikes throughout the first round, I think Neal won the
round. Ponzinibbio got a takedown in the second round but nothing came
of it. Ponzinibbio also threw more volume and took the round for me.
So it’s tied 1-1 going into the third. Neal staggered Ponzinibbio for
a second but Ponzinibbio was throwing more. However, Neal fired up in
the latter part of the round and landed some hard strikes. That was
enough for Neal to take the split decision. Neal snaps his two-fight
losing streak to move to 14-4 as Ponzinibbio falls to 28-5. Good win
GOOD- Julianna Pena submits Amanda Nunes
Nunes was defending his UFC Bantamweight Championship here. An early
kick drops Pena for a moment but Nunes lets her up. She gets dropped
again and they go to the ground. Pena’s trying for submissions but
can’t lock any in and the first round ends. The second round sees Pena
stun Nunes during an exchange but the champ fires back and they both
start swinging. They’re both throwing and absorbing big-time shots.
Pena pushes Nunes to the cage and gets a takedown. Pena takes her back
and locks in a rear-naked choke for the submission win and massive
upset almost three and a half minutes into the second round. Nunes had
won twelve fights in a row and won titles in both the bantamweight and
featherweight divisions. She’s considered the G.O.A.T. so it’ll be
really interesting to see how she responds to this loss. She’s still
the featherweight champion so she’ll be thrown right back into the
fire fairly quickly. Nunes drops to 21-5 while Pena improves to 11-4.
She brought the fight to Nunes in this one and outstruck her, both in
volume and percentage. Great win for Pena.
GOOD- Charles Oliveira submits Dustin Poirier
Oliveira successfully defended his UFC Lightweight Championship here.
Poirier quickly dropped Oliveira with a right hook but he got back up
immediately. Poirier was hitting Oliveira hard but the champ returned
fire with some knees to the body. Oliveira was unsuccessful with his
takedown attempts in this fight but he nailed Poirier with some really
good strikes. Poirier his Oliveira with some powerful strikes of his
own and the first round ends. The second round saw more hard strikes
and fighting in the clinch. They went to the ground and Oliveira got
on top and worked a little ground-and-pound and he did some damage
before the second round ended. The third round opened with Oliveira
jumping on Poirier’s back and locking in a standing rear-naked choke
to force the tap from Poirier just over a minute into the third round
to retain his UFC Lightweight Championship. Poirer falls to 28-7 with
1 No Contest while Oliveira improves to 32-8 with 1 No Contest.
Oliveira also extended his UFC records for most submission wins with
15 and most finishes with 18. Fantastic accomplishments from Oliveira,
good win for him.
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Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at
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Thanks for reading and have a good day.
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