Monday, May 16, 2022

7 Takeaways from UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2

UFC 271 featured a middleweight title fight that had Israel Adesanya retain his title

UFC 271 featured a middleweight title fight that had Israel Adesanya retain his title and another middleweight put himself next in line. Also, a warrior hung up her gloves and some heavyweights shook things up in Texas in the co-main event that made the pay-per-view fun enough.

There was a lot to take away from UFC 271, here are some things that stood out. 

Contracts

On Wednesday of fight week, many of the UFC regularly reporting entities had mentioned that before the fight, Israel Adesanya’s management had announced that he renewed his contract with the UFC for another multi-fight deal. Considering that he had yet to defend the title at the time and signed his end of the deal to face Whittaker the same week is either proof that fighters are getting more leverage, or his management is one of the best for athletes in MMA.

One Fight Scrapped, One Goes up a Weight Class

During weigh-ins Friday morning there were some updates announced for UFC 271. William Knight came in 12 pounds over the contracted weight against his bout with Max Grishin. As a result, Knight had to forfeit 40% of his purse and the two will fight as heavyweights officially. Then, Alex Perez also missed weight as well and his match against Matt Schnell was canceled. 

No Rogan

You might have missed it, but Joe Rogan has been in the news a lot in recent weeks. Some of it is due to the guests he has had on his podcast and the conversations they had about COVID-19, and most recently for footage of him using a racial slur years ago. ESPN, a company owned by Disney handles the broadcast and sells the UFC pay-per-views. So, on Friday-the day before the event, it was announced that Rogan would not be calling the event.

While it was said that it was due to a “scheduling conflict,” given the current state of media, one has to wonder if that was the case. In the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said he expects Rogan to work again when there are no conflicts that keep him from working.

The Happy Warrior

Roxanne Modafferi fought her last fight at UFC 271. She lost a split decision to Kasey O’Neill and while the judging of the fight was questionable, the heart of Modafferi has never left any doubt. Good luck to you and whatever you do in the future.

Jared Connonier Secures His Spot Amongst Middleweights

With the win he picked up at UFC 271 over Derrick Brunson, Cannonier made sure Dana White’s attention was on him in the cage in his post-fight interview when he said he wanted the winner of the main event of UFC 271. It’s hard to argue that he should be next in line for the middleweight crown.

Swangin and Bangin

Both Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa delivered on their promise to put on a show in the co-main event. With minimal clinching and a lot of swinging, fans were not disappointed in the fight these two heavyweights put on. While Lewis impressed with some takedowns in round one, it would be the resilience of Tuivasa in round two that would have him win the striking exchange and catapult himself up the heavyweight rankings.

To Beat The Champ…

Adesanya won his bout against Whittaker but Whittaker did a lot better than the first time they met. So much so, that he even felt he won the latter rounds and did enough to win. Given the odd judging in Modafferi and O’Neill’s fight, it’s no surprise that the result is sure to be a topic of conversation when the UFC updates their rankings on Tuesday. 

There’s obviously more to take away from this event than what is listed here. The match between Adesanya and Connonier is all but booked and with things opening up, Dana White expressed interest in adding more locations to the UFC’s road schedule in 2022. Time will tell but hopefully, things get back to something close to normal.

What did you take away from the event?

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