Due to consecutive morning events, we had to put hot tweets on hold, but now that the UFC is back to its regular programming, so are we. A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks, and there will be more tonight, so let’s talk about all of that, as well as one of my favorite crazy things to talk about at the end.
What did you see before the first Peña/Nunez fight that made you choose the right underdog win?
— Scot McCreight (@Scot_McCreight_) July 29, 2022
Tonight, Julianne Peña puts her bantamweight title on the line against Amanda Nunes after she was stripped of her belt at UFC 269 last year. Few chose Peña to win this tournament, but I am one of the few who did – and i have receipts. And the reason I did it is simple: Peña is a terrible style match for Nunes.
You can read my full fight breakdown here, but the short version is that Peña’s tenacity, pressure, pace, and tenacity are a huge weapon against Nunes’ fighting style. With her physical abilities, Nunes has a tendency to overpower her opponents, and those she can’t, she can sort of strangle. Peña wouldn’t let her do either because Peña has a stone for a head and somehow she creates the action. This, in turn, forced Nunes to accept a fight that she is uncomfortable with and that she cannot win in the long run because gas tank and durability have never been strong points. I don’t know if Peña will be able to force the same fight again, especially now that Nunes knows what she’s up against, but heading into this fight, Nunes seemed overconfident given the tough fight ahead. Let’s see if she learned her lesson this time.
If Julianna Peña wins again
If Peña wins, where will bantamweight go? There really aren’t any clear cut options. My guess is that if Nunes wins they will make a trilogy.
— Kick check (@chequethekick) July 29, 2022
If she wins again, things will be more fun. This is what always happens when the dominant champion loses – there is a period of turmoil as the division comes to its senses. In this case, Quetlen Vieira will get the next hit on Peña and this is a 100 percent fight that Vieira can win. After Vieira comes Holly Holm (again) or maybe Valentina Shevchenko. In addition, there is a list of other lightweights who have not fought Vieira or Peña and they will be able to line up. The section will open and it will be fun again. Just look at what’s happening in the light heavyweight division right now! This division is more exciting than ever because ANYONE can be a title holder by the end of the year. It’s all about grips.
Chaotic divisions are one of the funniest things in MMA, and if Peña proves that the first win was no fluke, 135 has a real chance of throwing himself into the blender for a while. Or Peña could become the new dominant force in the division. In any case, it will be interesting.
If Amanda Nunes Wins
As we know Nunes (NOT Nunes, by the way!) wins, what will happen to the belt after that? I think people are always talking about shrinking the featherweight division. but this is literally where the best fighters are (cyborg, nunez, kayla). how about cutting bantamweight instead, raising or lowering a fighter?
– a. (@Pocpocpoc111) July 29, 2022
If Nunes wins, the same thing will happen as if Peña wins: Quetlen Vieira will get a title shot. Sure, there will be some calls for a trilogy (especially depending on how she wins), but the overall vibe will be that Nunes was the first fluke and things are back to business as usual now. Vieira will get a chance and Peña will fight Holly Holm. If Peña wins, then they can make a trilogy.
In terms of division cuts, there is no chance they will cut 135 to 145. 145 is not a real weight class, partly because it was not built, and 135 is a women’s division. I’ve always been a little intrigued by the idea that “female heavyweight” is anything over 125 pounds, but that’s never going to happen either. The UFC is going to hold on to 145 pounds until Nunes retires, at which point he will disappear, just like the lightweight division once did. That is life.
145 runs by Amanda Nunes
Do you think fights at 145 pounds did Nunes more good or bad?
— Quinton Clarke (@quinton_clarke) July 29, 2022
It was 100 percent more useful for several reasons. Firstly, it allowed her to become a champion in two weight classes. I find multiple titles less respected than most, but it’s certainly cool to say that she was the first two-weight world champion in women’s MMA history. Secondly, and related to the first part, he allowed her to fight Cris Cyborg, which, in addition to making her a lot of money, functionally cemented her status as the best fighter regardless of weight in WMMA and GOAT. Finally, it occupied her; 135 pounds is a pit of woeful desperation when it comes to opponents, and so instead of fighting a string of rematches, Nunes faced Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer, solid wins on the resume.
The only real arguments against staying at 145 are that it may have made it difficult to get to 135, and that if she had stayed at 135 all the time, she would have had more title defenses of that belt for record goals. I really don’t think weight loss matters at all, and while I’m a big believer in title defense as a sign of greatness, Nunes has seven total title defenses with two belts, which is still excellent.
There’s a reason Nunes keeps saying she wants to defend both belts with a win tonight: it’s more cash, more money, and more room for her to move forward.
UFC 277 preliminary
Or just the worst PPV previews
— Ari Gilberg (@arigilberg) July 29, 2022
There is no doubt they are not good. Luckily, the main card is unique and that’s what we have to shell out for $75, so I’ll trade it in any day of the week. I’ll also add that I think it’s highly likely that there will be a lot of finishes on the undercard tonight. Matchups may not have the meaning of a name, but many fights look like they should be set up for action. Let’s hope, anyway.
Paddy Pimblett vs Tony Ferguson will get a warning tomorrow: give us the first line and your thoughts on the match
— Alexander K Lee (@AlexanderKLee) July 29, 2022
First, I hate how fascinated I am by this. We started talking about it earlier this week and it’s been in my head ever since because the real answer is: I have no idea!
Paddy Pimblett is a freaking big star, and people like that change betting lines. Pimblet has been a bigger favorite than he “should” have been in all his fights because the public loves him and bets money on him (the same thing happens with every star). But as a result, I could see that this line a lot of closer than people think. Especially since Tony Ferguson hasn’t won a single fight since defeating Donald Cerrone in 2019. My intuition tells me that Ferguson still opens as a decent favorite in the -210 range.
As for the matchup, I think it’s perfect. Pimblett is a huge star and Ferguson is very good at balancing a tough matchup with a big name. The problem with Paddy is that losing can end all the fun, and so if he fights for rungs in the competition, there’s a big risk of ending the party too soon. However, with Ferguson a former interim champion and a star in his own right, a loss would not stop Pimblett, but could be explained as “too soon” for the scouser. And, of course, if he wins, it will be very important for him. And make no mistake, I wouldn’t approve of his victory, but he could very well have. Ferguson is clearly in decline, and Pimblett is a very good grappler. There is a world where he shoots “El Cucuy” and just chokes him.
Honestly, I hope this is the next fight they put on.
Petr Yan against. Sean O’Malley
Are you shocked that the UFC is ordering Omalli vs Yan? Initial thoughts in terms of UFC business?
— Announcement (@adubz123) July 29, 2022
An absolutely perfect marriage.
First, as O’Malley himself said, there really was no one against whom he could be charged. The rest of the top 15 have dance partners or are injured, so in a way it’s a matter of course. But from a business standpoint, the UFC does freerolls to become a legitimate superstar. If Yang wins, it will be neither harm nor foul. Jan is a former champion who is still considered by some to be the best in the world and is expected to win. Jan doing Jan’s stuff with O’Malley won’t hurt Suga’s stock one bit.
But if O’Malley wins? Wow mate, he’s on a whole new stratosphere of fame. O’Malley is already one of the most popular fighters in the UFC right now – beating Yan will cement his status as a legitimate top talent, and you can give him boosters because he’s flying straight to the moon. And here’s the hidden part: O’Malley can actually win this fight!
Don’t get me wrong, I pick Jan to get W. But Jan is a slow player who picks up momentum as the fight progresses. This style a lot of more effective in five round fights, and at just 15 minutes, there is absolutely a world where O’Malley uses his length to get Ian early or outplay him in the first two rounds. Again, this is not the most likely outcome, but definitely within the range of possibilities.
By far the most chaotic level we’ve ever done.
Animals that can be fought in 1v1 contact, no weapon level*
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) July 26, 2022
You may be surprised to know that I have spent an unreasonable amount of time discussing this issue (or essentially similar issues), and although I have some conflicting opinions (I will return to them shortly), in general I think that my views may be objective. agreed.
Some of them were so terribly bad that they didn’t let me sleep at night. Moose wouldn’t…