Happy Sunday brothers! UFC 269 was an epic event of mixed martial-arts featuring good matchups, good performances and plenty to talk about for some time. In the last of the UFC's PPV lineup for 2021 three of the night's fights either featured or indirectly effected a "GOAT" - a fighter who could be reasonably considered "the greatest of all time".
The biggest story is the upset of the year in this writer's opinion, that happened last night in Las Vegas when in the co-main event bantamweight Julianna Pena submitted a GOAT in Amanda Nunes in the second round to claim her women's bantamweight title. Very very few people believed Pena when she told the world she would become champion, especially here versus the formidable Amanda Nunes. Nunes found success with her strikes in round one, but appeared genuinely surprised by Pena's hard punches in round two. When the fight hit the floor, it was not long until Nunes tapped out to Pena's rear-naked choke.
Any notions of Nunes fighting undefeated lightweight free agent Kayla Harrison will have to wait. As for Pena, after such a incredible win, it feels like anything is possible with Pena. I think it's likely we see these two share the cage again.
Another GOAT fought Saturday night: Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who turned back the clock once again to take a hard fought decision over contender Pedro Munoz, who was ranked higher than Cruz before the fight.
It was before the opening bell when I muted Daniel Cormier's commentary (respectfully of course) and decided to score Cruz's fight myself. Munoz won round one in my opinion, because he landed some strong punches, particularly with his left. He dropped Cruz two times but Cruz came back with fury in the second round, landing a terrific flurry of punches and knees in the round. He continued evading Munoz strikes in round three with strong footwork and fast 1-2 combinations to take the fight on my card 29-28. Cruz was the busier, fresher fighter in the end.
It was an inspiring performance and a reminder of how classy Dominick Cruz is. He fought back even harder when the going got tough, and that's why he has many fans who would enjoy seeing him fight someone like former featherweight champion and fellow GOAT Jose Aldo, who won a decision over Rob Font last weekend.
There was another GOAT who did not fight at UFC 269 but he did say some things about the main event that was lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated former champion of this same weight class just two years ago said this:
"This guy (Oliveira) is a real finisher. You cannot go to the red zone with him. The Charles Oliveira zone."
"In my opinion 60/40 Dustin Poirier. If he don't rush. If he take him to the deep ocean. If he rush, I think Oliveira is gonna have a chance."
"Right now Oliveira's the real champion." While Khabib was wrong in picking Poirier, alot of people were. Not me. But look at what Khabib said and I think you'll agree his analysis was actually spot on.
Poirier (who lost to Khabib when Khabib was champion) and Oliveira started the contest fast and as Dana White said at the post-fight press conference, without any feeling out process at all. Poirier took the fight to Oliveira and stung him with hard left hand punches. Oliveira survived, trying to mix in his knees and elbows to Poirier's head.
It was much of the same in the second round, a round that turned in Oliveira's favor thanks to his resilience and technique. Good elbows. And then in the third round Oliveira took a fading Poirier's back, making Poirier tap out to his incredible rear-naked choke. Oliveira is the real champion and deserves to be respected as such despite the fact that he never did fight with Khabib. He doesn't need to. Oliveira is on a incredible 10 fight winning streak and is already the most prolific submission artist in the history of UFC at 32 years old.
And that's it and that's that. What did you guys think of the show? Was it all you hoped it would be? I hope so. So long. Until next time. Have a great week.