Lessons learned from UFC 277 include: Amanda Nunes dispels any doubt about who the GOAT is
What were the biggest moments at UFC 277, a night in which two fighters reclaimed championship gold and rising stars made their cases for title shots? Jeff Wagenheim, Marc Raimondi, and Brett Okamoto share their thoughts on a jam-packed event in Dallas.
The earth’s axis is once again stable, gravity has regained its pull, and oxygen has returned to the atmosphere. Everything in the world is normal. The previously declawed GOAT of women’s MMA has reclaimed her title as The Greatest of Right Now.
Amanda Nunes battered and bloodied Julianna Pea for five brutally one-sided rounds to reclaim her women’s bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 277 at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night. As a result, Nunes, who is also a featherweight champion, has regained her status as a rare champion who reigns in two weight classes at the same time.
Nunes, who left American Top Team after her loss to Pea in December and started her own gym, demonstrated a new wrinkle in her game as well as her well-established Octagon smarts. Nunes’ poise and command inside the cage, combined with her physical skills and toughness, made her the best in the game.
The new look had Nunes fighting almost entirely as a southpaw, which successfully made Pea wary of her advances. That allowed Nunes to operate from a safe distance, allowing her to hurt her opponent – which she did on several occasions, including three knockdowns in Round 2 – without putting herself in danger.
After using Pea for target practice for several stretches, Nunes changed things up by taking the fight to the canvas, where Nunes landed big elbows from top position to leave Pea a bloody mess.
Pea fought like the champion that she was. She was constantly attempting submissions and appeared to be on the verge of locking something in on a few occasions. But Nunes always defended well, and after each escape, she landed a punishing elbow or punch as retaliation. It was a virtuosic performance that was both gritty and graceful.
Nunes is still a terrifying force at 34 years old. She is still motivated after 26 professional fights.
“I feel like I can grow even more,” Nunes said after the win in the Octagon.
Top 135-pound women, beware. And you, 145-pounders, as well.
Among Nunes’ achievements on this night was something that few former UFC champions have done. She was the 13th person to lose a title and receive an immediate rematch, and ten have failed to reclaim it. Only Deiveson Figueiredo and Randy Couture had achieved such success prior to Nunes’ return to the top of the world this weekend.
“We’re making history yet again!” Nunes later stated. “Again, you’re a double champ, baby. Let’s get started!” Jeff Wagenheim’s