What were the most memorable moments at UFC 277, a night in which two competitors recaptured their gold and rising stars made their case for title shots? After attending a jam-packed event in Dallas, Jeff Wagenheim, Marc Raimondi, and Brett Okamoto share their thoughts on what they learned.
The axis of the Earth has been reestablished, gravity has restored, and oxygen has returned to the air. In other words, everything is fine. As of right now, the previously declawed GOAT of female mixed martial arts is no longer The Greatest of All Time.
In the main event of UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night, Amanda Nunes pummeled and bloodied Julianna Pea for five brutally one-sided rounds. To put it another way, Nunes has returned to her status as a rare champion who reigns in two weight divisions concurrently.
After losing to Pea in December, Nunes decided to leave American Top Team and open her own gym. In this fight, she showed off a new twist in her game as well as her well-known Octagon smarts. Nunes’ ability to command the ring, coupled with her physical prowess and toughness, made her the finest in the game.
Pea was put off by Nunes’ new style, which saw her fight nearly entirely as a southpaw. With that, Nunes was able to keep a safe distance from her opponent while still inflicting damage, which she did numerous times, including three knockdowns in Round 2.
In the midst of her flow, Nunes took the fight to the canvas, where she landed massive elbows from the top position to leave Pea a bloody mess after numerous stretches of target practice.
Pea fought on like a champion, as she always did. On several occasions, she appeared to be on the verge of completing a submission. Nunes, on the other hand, was always able to get the better of her opponents and then retaliate with a punishing elbow or punch. Gritty and elegant, it was an impressive display of virtuosity.
Nunes is still a dangerous force at the age of 34. After 26 professional battles, she’s still going.
Nunes remarked in the Octagon after the win, “I feel like I can grow even more.”
Women who weigh more than 135 pounds better be on the lookout. 145-pounders, you’re not exempt from this rule.
Nunes achieved something very few former UFC champions have done on this night. She was the 13th champion to lose a championship and be given a rematch right afterwards; however, 10 of those champions had failed to win it back. Only Deiveson Figueiredo and Randy Couture had before achieved that kind of success.
“We’re doing it again!” said the crowd. After the fact, Nunes said. “Baby, you’re back to back as a double champ. All aboard!” Jeff Wagenheim, the author.