UFC 271 was the card we all hoped for and more. There was drama, controversy and scary knockouts, which has now become synonymous with the leading MMA organisation in recent times. But in the morning after, we look back to see who were the real winners and losers of Saturday’s event.
Israel Adesanya – Winner
After being initiated into the small, exclusive club of superstars involving Conor Mcgregor, Jorge Masvidal and Nick and Nate Diaz, UFC 271 was meant to be Izzy’s big coming-out party. He came to the fight as confident as ever from bell to bell, operating his slick trademark striking as he overpowered his opponent in the stand-up department. But all too cautious of the abilities his opponent possessed, it was as if ‘The Last Style Bender’ was all too loyal to his game plan, picking off his opponent from his 80-inch reach. Winning via decision, it looks as if the future Middleweight GOAT will battle it out with the earlier Middleweight victor Jared Cannonier before he looks at someone like Khamzat Chimaev or indeed another LHW title serge.
Robert Whittaker – Loser
Now being defeated twice by the kickboxing champ, Robert Whittaker finds himself in a distinctly difficult position. He’s shown time and time again he’s above any Middleweight fighters not called Israel Adesanya and he’s eventually running out of opponents. But now, with two losses against the champ, it’s not looking good if indeed ‘The Reaper’ does want another title shot, regardless of how close you may have called the second fight. Does he sit, wait and continue to take out contenders or does he look to a potential return to the Welterweight division?
Tai Tuivasa – Winner
In a fight that most thought was too much for the Australian brawler, Tai overcame a beating in the first-round as he fancied going blow for blow with the most devastating knockout artist in the UFC. Being caught with a number of strikes, it was a short elbow in the clinch that saw Derrick Lewis fall out cold and face-first onto the mat. This is the biggest win of Tai’s career so far and will now be looking to a title fight, whether that is an interim or official in his next bout. If not, expect a big fight with a top contender next.
Derrick Lewis – Loser
Walking in as the favourite, Derrick Lewis swapped his exclusively stand up style and opted for the occasional takedown (Yes, really) and looked to finish Tuivasa in the early doors. However, it looked as if his opponent refused to go out as he absorbed some massive shots and eventually dished out one of his own. A brutal knockout loss for Lewis means he is back to the drawing board once again. However, thanks to his extraordinary power, he will always be in and around the top 5 rankings and a fighter fans will always tune into.
Jared Cannonier – Winner
Cannonier overcame difficulties as he smashed fellow contender Derek Bruson via KO in the second round. The former Heavyweight was almost caught through a series of strikes and takedowns by the blonde wrestler as he looked out of his depth in the grappling department. But managing to weather the storm, Cannonier came out swinging (quite literally) delivering elbows-cum-hellbows, KOing Brunson in the process. Now 5-1 in his last six, the powerhouse has only one loss at middleweight, and that was against the ex-champ Robert Whittaker in October 2020. But with the thinning competition for the champ, Cannonier ripped the microphone from the hand of DC as he bellowed out to Dana White “I want that title fight!”
Derek Brunson – Loser
The wrestling contender received his first loss in his blonde hair saga in quite a devastating way. Getting floored thanks to a series of elbows, his corner was a few seconds too late before throwing in the towel as Cannonier pounded DB’s head off the canvas. But adding insult to injury, Brunson claimed he will only fight two more times after this bout, and since he lost, we may see him turn to retirement prematurely. If not, the UFC will hopefully be generous when selecting his final opponent.
Renato Moicano – Winner
Moicano has picked up two wins in a row after a rear-naked choke submission win against Alexander Hernandez in the second round. Looking great on the feet, Moicano caused too many problems for his overconfident opponent, who failed to pick up on the striking patterns of the Brazilian. He will he be hoping for a ranked opponent yet.
Alexander Hernandez – Loser
Now 3-2 in his last five, Hernandez is struggling to attract the hype he once had pre-Cowboy in early 2019. It’s clear Hernandez has lost his identity in the octagon and will need to change things up before charging into the octagon again. Considering his last two wins were in the first round, he needs to find a way to capture the spirit he once had.
Bobby Green – Winner
In one of his cleanest performances yet, Bobby Green had the commentary booth and fans eating out of the palm of his hand as he outstruck the durable Haqparast across three five minute rounds. Somehow outside of the official UFC lightweight rankings, there’s no doubt we could see him against a ranked fighter once again in the near future, especially after his razor-close battle with hype train Rafael Fiziev, who currently stands at number 11. Brad Riddell anyone?
Nasrat Haqparast – Loser
Despite being in Dana White’s good books for how he has handled short notice fights and the more sensitive issues in his private life, it was a night to forget on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Haqparast was second best to almost every exchange as he just couldn’t keep up with the speed and beaming confidence of his opponent. A prediction one would make for the 26-year-old is to slow down on his UFC appearances and try to pick up form again.
Casey O’Neill – Winner
Awarding herself the new villain of the women’s flyweight division, O’Neill came out to do two things: Win the fight and ruin the last goodbye of her opponent Roxanne Modafferi. The now 9-0 aggressor came out with clean boxing as she looked to batter Modafferi in the early stages of the fight, painting her opponents face with cuts and bruises. ‘King’ Casey looked as if she was enjoying herself on the feet for the most part up until she was taken down in the latter stages of the second round. However, knowing her path to victory was on the feet, she managed to keep it standing as she sailed to a decision win over the WMMA pioneer. O’Neill will look to continue her winning streak and eventually look for a title fight somewhat soon.
Roxanne Modafferi – Loser
The ‘Happy Warrior’ left it all in the octagon at UFC 271 as she pressured and tangled with O’Neill in her last MMA fight of her career. The 39-year-old flyweight failed to operate her wrestling more as she continued to get lit up in the boxing game. Modafferi still maintained her trademark pressure and toughness in a respectable manner as she left her gloves in the octagon after the post-fight announcement.
Douglas Silva de Andrade – Winner
Set in the early prelims, not many people expected the pre-show to pop off the way it did, and the star of the show was Brazilian fighter de Andrade. The ripped Bantamweight gave a real back and forth war with Sergey Morozov as he eventually submitted him in the 3rd minute of the second round. If a stand out performance wasn’t enough for “D’Silva” , he’s also made it clear that a bonus for him would allow him to buy his mother a new wheelchair. How can you not like this man?
Israel Adesanya (c) def. Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
Tai Tuivasa def. Derrick Lewis via second-round TKO (punches)
Jared Cannonier def. Derek Brunson via second-round TKO (punches)
Renato Moicano def. Alexander Hernandez via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Bobby Green def. Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Andrei Arlovski def. Jared Vanderaa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Casey O’Neill def. Roxanne Modafferi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Kyler Phillips def. Marcelo Rojo via third-round submission (armbar)
Carlos Ulberg def. Fabio Cherant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ronnie Lawrence def. Mana Martinez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Jacob Malkoun def. AJ Dobson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Douglas Silva De Andrade def. Sergey Morozov via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Jeremiah Wells def. Mike Diamond via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) Maxim Grishin def. William Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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