UFC 269 went down last night (Sat., Dec. 11, 2021) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Charles Oliveira defended his Lightweight title after submitting Dustin Poirier in round three (see it again here). In the co-main event, Julianna Pena shocked the world by knocking Amanda Nunes from pillar to post and then submitting her in the second round to win the women’s Bantamweight title (relive it here).
Biggest Winner: Julianna Pena
The G.O.A.T. has been defeated. Julianna Pena turned the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on its head last night, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, submitting the now former “champ-champ” to become the new 135-pound queenpin. Things didn’t start off too hot for “The Venezuelan Vixen,” with Nunes winning the first round rather handily. In round two, though, Pena turned into “The Terminator,” staying in the pocket and going strike-for-strike against “Lioness,” taking her best punches while delivering her own. And every time it seemed Nunes may have had the upper hand, Pena put her foot on gas pedal and cranked it into overdrive, pushing through to win the striking exchanges before ultimately taking her down and submitting her. No one (except maybe this guy) gave Pena much of a chance to dethrone Nunes, but all of the naysayers had to eat crow afterward because Pena is now the new ruler of the 135-pound weight class, backing up all the fire she was spitting prior to the fight. Take down the G.O.A.T., get a new belt, win an extra $50,000 ... it was a very good night for Pena.
Runner Up (s): Charles Oliveira and Kai Kara France
They say you’re not the champion until you defend your belt for the first time, and now “Do Bronx” has that distinction after submitting Poirier to earn his first defense of his 155-pound title. And it was a clean as can be, taking some of “The Diamond’s” best shots — which dropped him on a couple of occasions — before utilizing his world-class jiu-jitsu to put an end to the fight. Before that, however, “Do Bronx” once again showed that he is more than capable of standing with the best Lightweights around. Whether or not he decides to play that game against Justin Gaethje in his next title defense remains to be seen. But, that’s further down the road. And for now, Oliveira can enjoy his huge win and his post-fight cash.
Coming into his fight against France, Cody Garbrandt was adamant there was no other Flyweight who could match his power. After all, he was coming down from Bantamweight where he once ruled supreme. France quickly shot down that theory, blasting “No Love” early in round one, dropping him and forcing him to retreat once on his feet. Not one to let up, France put on the pressure and proceeded to deliver a nice three-punch combination before laying out the former champion with one final, perfectly-placed bomb. With the win, France can expect to crack the Top 5, inching closer to his first-ever shot at the title.
Biggest Loser: Amanda Nunes
All good things must come to an end, and Nunes’ run as UFC’s first-ever female “champ-champ” came crashing down in “Sin City” after she was forced to tap to Pena’s rear-naked choke. Before that, what really caught people off guard was that Nunes was losing the striking battle against someone who, let’s face it, didn’t exactly have a reputation as a dangerous stand up fighter. But Nunes was rocked multiple times by the relentless contender who is now a champion. Nunes seemed to be in cruise control after the first five minutes, but she simply didn’t have an answer for Pena’s non-stop, aggressive attack which, again, threw everyone off since she was able to take Cris Cyborg's best shots. In the end, Nunes was exhausted and broken — which is tough to grasp seeing as how she had her way with pretty much everyone during her dominant run. While she still has the title at 145 pounds, there is no telling how much longer that division will keep on going with the talent pool dwindling. As far as that Kayla Harrison super fight, you can throw that out the window, too.
For complete UFC 269 play-by-play updates and results click here.