UFC 269 has no shortage of drama. From the duality of Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier’s back story, to Julianna Pena’s disappointment over longtime women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes of the UFC, this event has a little bit of everything. Oliveira’s indomitable spirit overpowered the crowd supporting Poirier at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Pena silenced Nunes fans with a win that few would have believed.
The UFC has entered the final pay-per-view event of 2021 and has given us one to remember. With so much to enjoy from Saturday’s PPV card, let’s dive into the biggest storylines from UFC 269.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Sign up for Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 269 at the end of the event.
Charles Oliveira could be the complete package
Oliveira and Poirier are actually two sides of the same coin. Stories of highly referred leads dwindling, being suspected, being turned down, being turned down, and eventually skyrocketing. Unfortunately for one person, that story veers off course at the climax (more on that later).
For the past 7 years, it felt like every time “Do Bronx” was about to fly, someone would clip his wings. First, it’s Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone. Then came Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar. Then came Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas and Paul Felder. Oliveira almost suffered the same fate against Michael Chandler and Poirier; however, he is now as stubborn (figuratively and literally) as he is dangerous.
Oliveira made it through a tough first round against Poirier, was immediately knocked down and repeatedly received strong punches. No matter how much damage he took, the UFC lightweight champion immediately responded with elbows and knees. In the second half, Oliveira secured the top spot on the ground and kept it for most of the frame. Oliveira opened Round 3 with an extremely skillful stand back. Poirier’s efforts in protecting the naked rear shock absorber are commendable. Unfortunately for him, Oliveira sank into a chokehold that deepened with each adjustment. That moment in Round 3 at UFC 269 will go down in the history books as Oliveira’s first successful title defense. Like his battle with Chandler, Oliveira swims against the rising current until the current changes in his favor.
Maybe it’s not for ‘The Diamond’
For the other side of the coin. Poirier’s story may just be one of those things-ifs. Saturday’s sentimental favorite entered UFC 269 as a major star after successfully winning two of three fights in the Conor McGregor trilogy. He did well in the bitter 2014 loss to McGregor and was prepared Final won the UFC lightweight belt after former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov retired. The Las Vegas crowd stood firmly behind Poirier. Even if you picked Oliveira to win, there’s no denying the interesting story of Poirier as champion.
Poirier took down Oliveira early and delivered big punches in the first round. It looks like the ultimate MMA comeback story will come to fruition. Sadly for Poirier and his supporters, Oliveira refused to buy tickets. The Poirier’s status as the all-time great lightweight device is undeniable. He boasts the UFC interim lightweight title and wins over McGregor (twice), Max Holloway (twice), Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Dan Hooker and many more. “The Diamond” is still UFC gold, but the window is starting to close.
Pena creates and monetizes golden opportunities
Pena isn’t the most worthy UFC title challenger in recent history, at least not based on the reward regime. In the end, that means it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever sort of be the greatest female mixed martial artist of all time. “Vixen the Venezuelan” put on a fiery showdown with Nunes that eventually culminated in a UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 269. Pena was the most underrated of the evening with level +575. Nunes are most loved at -850. Pena entered the fight 1-1 in her last two games: defeating Sara McMann and losing to Germaine de Randamie. Nunes has had a dozen wins in a row: de Randamie, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, McMann and many more.
No big deal.
Nunes clearly got her first game against Pena at UFC 269. She’s the stronger, more precise puncher and it shows. Pena, like Oliveira in the evening, couldn’t have been more interested. The challenger moves forward and throws attacks until she actually challenges the division’s dictator. Nunes and Pena were tit-for-tat, becoming more sloppy as Round 2 ended. In the end, Pena excelled with the champion celebrating on foot. Nunes has been backed up, pulled down and exploited in what is was hailed as one of MMA’s biggest failures.
“Never doubt me again. Strength, strength and determination. It will get you there,” Pena said in a post-match interview. “The world is my oyster and you are truly capable of doing whatever you want in this life. I just proved it.”
Points proven, Pena.
https://www.cbssports.com/mma/news/ufc-269-results-takeaways-charles-oliveira-plays-spoiler-julianna-pena-cashes-in-on-golden-opportunity/ UFC 269 results, results: Charles Oliveira plays spoiler; Julianna Pena withdraws from golden opportunity