What mattered most at UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro? Here are a number of post-fight musings …
5. Ismael Bonfim’s impeccable debut
[autotag]Ismael Bonfim[/autotag] turned the early clubhouse chief for Knockout of the Year when he flattened the closely hyped Terrance McKinney with about as violent a flying knee end as you’ll ever see.
The second the combat started, it was clear Bonfim (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wasn’t there to roll over for McKinney, who was extra cautious than traditional out of respect for the Brazilian newcomer. That allowed Bonfim to settle in and acquire confidence, and from there he was off to the races.
As it turned clear he was beginning to take over going into the second spherical, cageside commentator Paul Felder famous how superb Bonfim seemed within the combat. The UFC had a picture-and-picture window on the display screen along with his brother Gabriel (who picked up an exciting 49-second submission of Mounir Lazzez in a while the prelims), then he uncorked the brutal strike that face-planted McKinney and put him to sleep.
It really doesn’t get significantly better than that in a debut, and whereas the end result might finally increase extra questions on the place McKinney’s ceiling is at in contrast Bonfim’s, this was an enormous option to make a primary impression below the UFC banner.
4. Farewell, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua
[autotag]Mauricio Rua[/autotag] had an early second in his combat with Ihor Potieria that impressed hope he would possibly have the ability to exit his MMA profession with a fairy story ending. That glimmer of hope shortly was taken away, nonetheless, when he was caught with a tough shot then completed on the 4:05 mark of Round 1.
No matter the combined outcomes late in his profession, Rua’s (27-14-1 MMA, 11-12-1 UFC) legacy stays unblemished. He’s an all-time nice and some of the influential fighters within the sport’s historical past, and the very fact he managed to stay round so long as he did is a testomony to his pure expertise.
Even when “Shogun” joined the UFC in 2007, an argument may very well be made he wasn’t the identical fighter as he was in PRIDE. He’s endured a stretch of great accidents, largely to the knees, however one way or the other discovered a path to change into UFC gentle heavyweight champion. It’s really outstanding.
Rua’s retirement is legitimately the top of period within the sport of MMA, as a result of he’s the ultimate PRIDE mainstay who was energetic on the UFC roster. He needs to be pleased with a profession that was carried with class, no outside-the-cage controversies and a plethora of memorable moments contained in the cage and ring.
3. Can Deiveson Figueiredo thrive at 135?
Just moments after he didn’t unify the flyweight title with Brandon Moreno and got here out on the dropping finish of their collection, [autotag]Deiveson Figueiredo[/autotag] took off his gloves and introduced his time preventing at 125 kilos formally was over.
The cuts all the way down to flyweight have been a well-documented battle for Figueiredo (21-3-1 MMA, 10-3-1 UFC). He by no means missed weight in his matchups with Moreno, nevertheless it was clear he wanted to be exact and disciplined as a way to hit the contracted restrict. Figueiredo’s expertise is clear, nevertheless it’s laborious to not surprise how a lot he’s taken away from his personal performances by draining himself a lot on the dimensions.
We’ll discover out the reply to that query when he makes his debut at bantamweight, however even at his absolute best, it’s going to be an uphill climb for Figueiredo. The depth of expertise at 135 kilos is immense, and there’s nobody within the high 15 that appears like it might be a layup of a matchup for the Brazilian.
At 35, Figueiredo routinely turns into one of many older fighters on the high finish of the division, and among the benefits he loved at flyweight from a dimension, velocity and energy perspective are going to be minimized. That’s all to say any hopes of a title run are going to return with a serious problem.
There’s numerous enjoyable fights for Figueiredo on paper in his new weight class, however he’s going to must show himself yet again to achieve the highest.
2. Glover Teixeira will get his dream exit – type of
[autotag]Glover Teixeira[/autotag] definitely didn’t draw up leaving UFC 283 with a loss in what’s now his last profession combat in opposition to Jamahal Hill, however wanting the gold, he couldn’t have requested for a extra excellent exit from the game.
The truth Teixeira (33-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) acquired to compete in the principle occasion of the UFC’s return to Brazil after the COVID-19 pandemic is a second that’s going to stay with him for the remainder of his life, regardless of not getting the specified end result within the octagon.
He didn’t show to be the higher fighter to Hill on the evening, however over the course of 25 minutes, Teixeira confirmed as soon as once more why he he’s acquired as a lot coronary heart and toughness as anybody we’ve ever seen on this sport. Sure, these aren’t the traits he needs us to peg to his identify, and it’s to not diminish his expertise, however at 43, his capability to hold on the high degree of past admirable.
Teixeira’s legacy is one which’s going to age nicely by means of the course of MMA historical past. Not many fighters are going to have the ability to pull off a run of their 40s like he did, nonetheless, and his story will little doubt he an inspiration to the following technology of athletes.
1. Jamahal Hill’s championship potential
The chaotic journey of UFC attempting to crown a brand new gentle heavyweight champion lastly got here to a conclusion when [autotag]Jamahal Hill[/autotag] delivered a five-round showcase in opposition to Teixeira to win a unanimous resolution and go residence with the vacant belt.
It’s loopy that about six weeks in the past, Hill (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was nowhere within the title dialog. He was presupposed to combat Anthony Smith within the UFC’s March 11 headliner, however when Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz fought to separate draw at UFC 282 in December, the panorama of the burden class modified and Hill’s quantity was known as to face Teixeira.
He took benefit of the chance, and all of a sudden Hill is the highest canine at 205 kilos. The query is, how lengthy can he keep there?
The fascinating half about Hill’s involvement and victory on this title bout is that Teixeira is the primary opponent he’s confronted inside the highest 5 of the division. It’s not taking away from Hill’s win, however as we spin issues ahead, there are going to be some individuals who use Teixeira’s age and profession place to query what Hill’s efficiency actually says about his talent degree.
No matter how you narrow it, there are going to be some laborious matchups coming Hill’s means. Names like Jan Blachowicz, Magomed Ankalaev and Jiri Prochazka are all going to be chasing after Hill’s belt, and irrespective of who will get the primary crack at him, we’re going to get extra solutions when that point comes.
For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 283.
Story initially appeared on MMA Junkie