UFC fans were treated to an intense night of fighting with UFC 277.
The second July pay-per-view saw the most legendary female fighter of all-time reclaim gold, a flyweight superstar showcase his uncommon abilities, and a beastly heavyweight in the midst of a disheartening fall.
Coming off a rather lackluster main event at UFC 276 between Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier, Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena showed out in the Bantamweight Championship headliner, battering each other until “The Lioness” stood tall at the end.
In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France brought the fire and intensity. All eyes will be on “The Assassin Baby” when he faces the great Deiveson Figueierdo for the UFC Flyweight Championship.
With UFC 277 in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at the Best Performances from the night.
There is Amanda Nunes, and there is everyone else. The champ-champ proved once again why she is the most dominant female fighter in the history of UFC.
After thoroughly beating Nunes in their two-round fight last December, Pena did not go down easy. Both fighters went to town on each other, expressing their undying desire to win. Nunes and Pena are astoundingly tough, brutal bashers that do not cower from violent encounters.
Nunes swept all three scorecards, winning by margins of 50-45, 50-44, and 50-43 to become the UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion and the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion for the second time in her storied career.
“The Lioness” destroyed Pena on her feet and on the ground. She had nearly 12 minutes of control and converted 75 percent of her takedowns.
When Conor McGregor became the double champ, he said he can do “whatever the f—k he wants.” Nunes can do the same.
The fan-favorite Moreno pushes himself to the limit each time he steps in the Octagon. His unwavering spirit makes him so easy to root for.
It was a razor-thin bout between the Mexican and Kara-France. The flyweights pounded each other with big hands and debilitating body shots.
Kara-France opened Moreno’s right eye with a nasty elbow in the third round, but it did not faze the young warrior. Moreno responded with a left kick that won him the fight.
For the fourth time, Moreno will go to battle against Figueiredo, concluding a rivalry marked by distinct passion and mutual respect.
After his commanding victory against a stalwart flyweight in Alex Perez, UFC fans around the world will know Alexandre Pantoja’s name.
The fourth-ranked flyweight made a case for a title shot on Saturday night. It was a 91-second masterclass. Perez became Pantoja’s punching bag, and he got Perez to the mat, locking in a finishing rear-naked choke in the first round.
A first-round victory is always impressive, especially when a fighter has not performed in almost two years. Pantoja took home the third Performance of the Night award of his career, and there will surely be more in the future for the uber-talented Brazilian.
Magomed Ankalaev proved that he can be a title contender after he pummeled the veteran Anthony Smith.
The fourth-ranked light heavyweight baptized Smith, landing 46 signature strikes compared to Smith’s 18. It was a check of one of Smith’s kicks that gave Ankalaev the win, as Smith broke his leg.
“Lionheart” battled in the second round, but he did not have anything left in the tank. Ankalaev will now look for a title shot against Jiri Prochazka or Glover Teixeira.