Since the Covid-19 pandemic started the whole world has come to a standstill. From the corporate world, to the entertainment industry, to the sports world, everything was put on hold in order to keep people save from the virus.
However, one sports organization didn’t let the pandemic to stop them from producing high quality matches to entertain fans stuck in their houses. That company is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC has been killing it since its first closed door event in March with a co-main event match between Gilbert Burns and Damian Maia and a main event bout between Charles Olivera and Kevin Lee. In its first big event since the Covid-19 pandemic, the UFC 249 generated about 700,000 pay per view buys.
In that event, we once again saw the Francis Ngannou showcase his knockout power again by taking out Jairzinho Rozenstruik in just 20 seconds!
We also watched Henry Cejudo retain his Bantamweight title in a knockout win over the legendary Dominick Cruz. A perfect ending to the career of one of the best fighters in the organization’s history as he announced after the match that he will be hanging up his gloves and walking away from the sport while being the top guy in his division. Whether or not his retirement his permanent is still a question mark, but let’s assume he’s done for now.
The main event of UFC 249 saw Justin Gaethje stop the resilient Tony Ferguson to become the interim Lightweight Champion, setting up a title fight against the Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 253 in October.
You wouldn’t have been blamed if you thought that UFC President Dana White would have a tough time following up that great event. While UFC 250 may not have been as exciting as UFC 249, it was still a good show.
UFC 250 featured the return to the octagon and the beautiful one-punch KO win of Cody Garbrandt over Raphael Assunção. And that’s just the Co-Main Event of the fight.
The Main Event featured one of the baddest female fighters of all-time, Amanda Nunes showcasing a dominant win over Felicia Spencer via Unanimous Decision to retain her Featherweight Championship.
A night once again filled with a lot of great matches and yet, somehow, someway. Uncle Dana still topped it off in the UFC 251 event that happened in the famous “Fight Island” at the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
No one expected that the UFC will be able to pull off “Fight Island” but White did it and gave the fans something to remember.
Even legendary trashtalker Chael Sonnen was impressed with how White pulled off the unthinkable.
UFC 251 was the first event that happened in the “Fight Island” and I’m not joking when I say it PRODUCED A LOT OF GREAT FIGHTS IN THE CARD.
Let’s start with the debut of possibly one of the best fighter we’ll see in the future in Light Heavyweight division in Jiri Prochazka.
Prochazka made a hell of a debut by knocking out former light heavyweight title contender Volkan Oezdemir in the second-round of the fight. Prochazka is now on a 11-fight win streak and in his 27 career wins, 24 came from either KO or TKO. I’m telling you, you gotta watch out for this dude!
UFC 251 featured three title bouts which made everything 10-times greater for the fans.
In the Main Card, Petr Yan became the new king of the Bantamweight division after Cejudo retired in ufc 249 by securing a TKO win over the legendary Jose Aldo in the fifth round.
Yan showcased control early on and in the final round of the fight, Yan dropped Aldo and showed no mercy with his ground and pound game to force the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
In the Co-Main Event of the card, a very close and controversial bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway stole the show as both men went to war in their rematch.
Volkanovski took the win via Split Decision (47–48, 48–47, 48–47) to retain Featherweight title and claiming a 2-0 lead on Holloway in the two times they faced each other. However, a lot of fans and critics were saying that Holloway was robbed and that he should’ve won the fight.
This ignited a possible third chapter between the two, Dana White even went on record to say that booking the two fighters for a possible third meeting won’t be hard.
“It’s probably not tough to give him the third fight considering how that thing went down. But I don’t know. Let both these guys go home, spend some time,” Dana White said in an interview. “It sucks for Volkanovski, to have the title, go home, with everybody saying ‘you didn’t win the fight, you didn’t win the fight. He won the fight. He won the fight. He got the decision. You can agree with it, disagree with it, whatever you want. The judges that night gave him the fight,” White added.
And in the Main Event, Kamaru Usman retained his Welterweight title against the BMF Champion, Jorge Masvidal via Unanimous Decision.
The fight didn’t have the explosiveness and the fireworks that fans wanted to see but the two men proved a point in the fight. For Usman, he showed that he is a dominant champion and that he can and will take on all challengers put in front of him.
As for Masvidal, he proved why he is a BMF as he took the fight with only six days to prepare. And yet, “Street Jesus” still gave the “Nigerian Nightmare” a decent fight. You could clearly see that the quick weight cut had an effect on Masvidal, but he actually showed some flashes of brilliance and stuffed a few takedowns.
A lot of fans were unsatisfied with what they saw from Masvidal that they’re calling out for a rematch with full time to train. Although nothing is final yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Masvidal-Usman 2 would happen in the future. Masvidal would just probably have to win a couple of fights again to get momentum behind him.
I just listed four UFC events that in my opinion were the best out of all the events they had during this pandemic. I haven’t even mentioned the other great matches they put on. Matches like Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till, Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Benavidez 2, Jack Hermansson vs Kelvin Gastelum, Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker, Mike Perry vs Mickey Gall, Gilbert Burns vs Tyron Woodley, Alistair Overeem vs Walt Harris.
Despite not having any live arena audiences, the UFC has continued to deliver high quality events.
UFC 251 as a whole generated a total of 1.3 Million buys. That’s the fifth highest pay per view buys the company has ever recorded. That shows that there is both a demand and appreciation for the job that they’ve been doing.
That’s why I always have a good laugh every time I hear people saying there haven’t been any good sports to watch until the NBA made its return. The UFC has been killing way before the NBA ‘bubble’ started.
If you’re reading this and you’re not a fan of the MMA sports scene, I suggest you watch just one match that I’ve listed in this article. And if you’re a MMA fan and thinks that there are no good matches out there because of the pandemic, I suggest you do the same.
Once you’re done, I promise you: your opinion will change and I’ll be waiting on for you on the comment section and expecting a thank you.
Do you disagree on my piece? Sound off below in the comment section.