UFC 287 was full with action all the way, its been some time since I enjoy this much an entire UFC PPV even the prelims were good but the main two fights were fire with Pereira vs Adesanya been great and Burns vs Masdival I thought would be as good but towards the end its a bit disappointing but that's just sport, the biggest rival that any athlete has is himself, everything is on their mind, if there is not enough motivation and doubt then the outcome can turn out to be poor and disappointing.
I wont cover all the fights since there were a lot but between the main card and the early prelims there were five fights I really enjoy. For me the best thing we have on MMA is that depending on the fighters you get to see different types of match like the main card it was a kick boxing match, co main event brawling with a some wrestling, the only way a fight can turn boring if there is no action and then you got the referee for that to get the fighters busy so its always a new experience and I enjoy every single type of match.
Amorim vs Hughes
It was my first time watching this two fighters, from with Amorim coming as the favorite, both on still at prime age for the sport but Amorim had more fights with a record of 1 Knock Out, 5 Submissions and 6 First Round Finish, 6 Wins 1 Lost, total of seven fights and all wins finish on first round, that's and indicator she is very good on the ground or the other fighters were just too bad it can go both ways and for some fighters if they get use to that first round finish that then have no rhythm for the rest of the fight.
Everything indicated Amorim got the technique to win by submission, this is a three round fight, each three minutes and you may think that's not too long but believe me it will run you out of gas.
Thats exactly what happen to Amorim, she ran out of gas when on the first round she hold Hughes on the ground for the most part and Hughes was constantly tested, had to escape many times from rear neck choke.
Amorim dominated the first round, had Hughes many times mounted, had like three almost complete neck choke, Hughes had to carry her weight close to two minutes, imagine just carrying 100 pounds and having to stand up, roll, move around for two minutes while they trying to cut your oxygen plus a few punches Hughes eat when she was on the ground.
A few seconds after the second round started Amorim start pulling guard, trying to keep Hughes on the ground and looking for submission, pushing, pushing, carrying weight for three rounds is not easy task but from the two fighters it was Hughes that had the extra large gas tank, Hughes started to dominate the posture on the ground and kept pounding Amorim face wining the second round.
Comes the third round and the same story repeats, Amorim is exhausted and kept pulling guard, the referee ask her a few times to stand up since Hughes didn't want to kept the fight on the ground, Amorim couldn't break Hughes defense on the ground neither so its not like Amorim was superior, she was the aggressor on the ground but it doesn't mean too much if at the end you end up without energy for all those attempts and then makes things easy for your rival all Hughes had to do was wait and on the third round for the most part Amorim just kept eating Hughes first one after other.
For me this was a good fight because you can see the difference and training from both fighters, its beautiful to see when a fighter defend so good as Hughes did because she was on danger zone many times, its not like it was an easy fight for her, for anyone who likes contact sports its not about the punches its about the technique, yes the adrenaline, blood and knock outs feel good to watch but for me its when a fighter shows their training either like Hughes having way more cardio and holding there waiting for her time to shine and Amorim who show her skills on the ground and had Hughes many times but couldn't seal the deal. At then end Hughes wins by decision, last two rounds were clearly hers.
Nuerdanbieke vs Garcia
I remember watching Steve Garcia fighting back on 2019 on a MMA show that he didn't won, it was something similar to The Ultimate Fighter if I'm not mistaken and he show he had a punch, latter on saw him on a UFC Fight Night even won very similar to this fight, I knew the guy could knock out people and have no fear to put out some of his blood on the mat. On the other side of the octagon Nuerdanbieke had a very good record and more fights even looks like he has a better cardio and physical condition than Garcia so if they go to distance Garcia could have a hard time.
First of three five minutes rounds and Nuerdanbieke puts a right straight to Garcia face that sit him on his ass, Garcia nick is "Mean Machine" that guy can eat a few punches too, after getting sit Garcia step up and try to turn things back but Nuerdanbieke took him down twice and pin him to the ground, although didn't look for a finish or dominate Garcia, he also have a lot of experience so may be was just trying to score some points and get a second breath on round two.
Comes second round and they start boxing again but Garcia starts to mix it up with a few kicks and manage to set a kick to Nuerdanbieke ribs area, there is not much meat there and same as a futbol player this guys can kick very hard to the point of braking bones, when the leg is fully extended, generating motion with his arm and generating power with his thigh Garcia kicks Nuerdanbieke hard and follow up with a left hook on that same area. Nuerdanbieke goes to the ground in pain and start covering his face while Garcia start throwing hammer fist at him, the fight was stop. Nuerdanbieke was able to latter get up, I hope he is ok and no mayor damage was done that can stop him from fighting.
Besides the main fights of the PPV I like to watch prelims because you get this kind of unique fights, rough diamonds and some others doing their come back because sometimes you will find fighters that are good enough to be on the main card but for some reason stop fighting for some time but still have it in them.
Burns vs Masvidal
In my experience I don't like when a fighter makes an announcement before the fight, if I win I will do this .... specially when they say I will retire if I loose this fight....WTF you basically already thinking you might loose the fight. Masvidal said this a week before the fight, saw it online and it gave me a bad feeling.
Burns comes from a win on UFC 283 and Masvidal lost four of his last fights but this work on both ways, Masvidal is a gangster so I thought he would go all in on this fight, his words "I will bring violence.." not too much violence from his side.
First round was very even but if it goes to points Burns score more points with a take down that probably made the difference plus a good amount of kicks and boxing exchanges, Masvidal likes to play mind games saying he is not hurt but Burns started to close the distance and feeling more confidence that he could box with Masvidal.
For a fighter one thing is knowing you have the skills and then test your skills against your opponent, when it works for the first time the fighter tends to become more confident and aggressive and that's exactly what Burns did. After first round his strategy change, he knows he can submit Masvidal, he is way better on the ground but this guys love punching, fighting, kicking, been aggressive. After a few exchanges he notice Masvidal was not keeping up the pace and from their it was a different fight, Burns started to dominate, not that Masvidal was not responding but it was clear that who had the better exchanges in the pocket was Burns, sitting down Masvidal a few times, he still tries to take Masvidal down and look for a submission and wore him down, all the defending Masvidal had to do while on the ground drain him, when the bell ring after the second round the first thing that Masvidal did was to throw his arms up, he was gasping for air, his tank was empty and lost second round, first could go both ways so he had to go for the kill.
Third round starts and Masvidal gas tank and it look like he had no energy, no intention to bring violence, Burns was already confident he would win, before the round start he and his corner said "he didn't bring nothing" after second round attacks from Burns so he knew all he had to do is keep the same strategy just beta Masvidal down, close to the end he took him down and it was like the cherry on top just to show dominance and the fight was almost over so why risk it if he knew already won. The fight goes to decision and Burns clearly wins.
Pereira vs Adesanya
Main event Pereira vs Adesanya 2, on the UFC, this two have a lot of history, both use to be kick boxers only and had a couple of fights before coming to the UFC, both have knock down each other. I really thought Pereira was going to win, its a good thing I don't gamble because this weekend I lost all my bets on MMA and Futbol during the week.
This was a very short fight, both have a lot of experience fighting each others and know very well their strengths but its that focus and judgement that gets you to take risk, sometimes fighters get too confident based on past results and forget or loose respect for their opponent, both Pereira and Adesanya are very technical. Pereira is has a very clear stance, its looks weird and confusing how he doesn't move that much his upper body part before throwing a kick, he only start moving if necessary not like other fighters that telegraph kicks. Adesanya more of a martial arts stance with his legs wide open but have that right hand loaded waiting to strike.
The first round was very even, both fighter respecting each other, not much action than usual, Pereira although dominate the kicks department and started to cook Adesanya left inside, when you listen to that splash sound after a kick it means it hurts and after a few your legs can go lights out, the fighter ends up without balance.
Before second round starts both fighters were talking confident with their corners, both think they going to win. The round starts and Pereira starts to loose his hands, exchanging way more than the first round and all the sudden have Adesanya against the fence after a few punches and close distance to throw a knee, I was like wait a minute is that it? because Adesanya look dominated, you wont see Adesanya pulling high boxing guard on his feet, means put both arms up to cover his face and Pereira combination didn't look lethal.
Two bombs straight to Pereiera north pole, boom boom and he falls out cold, Adesanya follow up with a hammer first but he notice Pereira was already out so he stop right there and wait for the referee to stop the fight, its over, the dispute between them is over, Adesanya is the new champion and best out of the two fighters.
It was impressive how he comes back after getting corner like that but for the most part I think it was Pereira fault, too much confidence closing distance with that knee, he had to stay connection from a distance. Great fighter Adesanya, he deserve this great victory.
After the fight Adesanya was ask if he would give Pereira a rematch but he denied it, the reason why is because he was piss that people kept talking Pereira would knock him out same as in kick boxing, after he lost the title he gets a rematch because of two things, he was the champion and he had defend the title 7 times, the second fighter with the most defends so he denied a direct rematch, his interview after the match was epic.