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UFC March 2021 Recap: In-Depth Breakdown + Biggest Takeaways

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My oh my fight fans treated well in March! We got to witness four title bouts, two new champions, and over 45 UFC fights throughout the finale of the first quarter of 2021. Join us as we go over all of the numbers surrounding these fights and how they took place, plus a couple of our biggest takeaways!

UFC March 2021 Recap

UFC March 2021 Recap: The “Nitty Gritty”

UFC 259 (3/6)

  • 15 Fights
    • 6 Decisions
      • 5 Unanimous
      • 1 Split
    • 8 Finishes
      • 5 KO/TKOs
        • 3 in Round One
        • 2 in Round Two
      • 3 Submissions
        • 1 in Round One
        • 2 in Round Three
    • 1 Disqualification
      • 1 in Round Four
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Carlos Ulberg
    • Performance: Kai Kara-France (TKO) and Uros Medic (TKO)

UFC Vegas 21 (3/13)

  • 13 Fights
    • 5 Decisions
      • 3 Unanimous
      • 2 Split
    • 6 Finishes
      • 5 KO/TKOs
        • 3 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 1 in Round Three
      • 1 Submission
        • 1 in Round Two
    • 2 No Contests
      • 1 in Round One (Illegal knee)
      • 1 in Round Two (Eye poke)
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: N/A
    • Performance: Ryan Spann (TKO), Dan Ige (KO), Davey Grant (KO) and Matthew Semelsberger (KO)

UFC Vegas 22 (3/20)

  • 10 Fights
    • 4 Decisions
      • 4 Unanimous
    • 6 Finishes
      • 6 KO/TKOs
        • 3 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 2 in Round Three
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: N/A
    • Performance: Max Griffin (KO), Adrian Yanez (KO), Grant Dawson (TKO), Bruno Silva (TKO)

UFC 260 (3/27)

  • 10 Fights
    • 4 Decisions
      • 3 Unanimous
      • 1 Split
    • 6 Finishes
      • 4 KO/TKO
        • 1 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 2 in Round Three
      • 2 Submissions
        • 2 in Round One
  • Bonus Winners
    • Fight of the Night: Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque
    • Performance: Francis Ngannou (KO) and Sean O’Malley (KO)

March 2021 Totals

  • 48 Fights
    • 19 Decisions
      • 15 Unanimous
      • 4 Split
    • 26 Finishes
      • 20 KO/TKOs (0 in Rounds Four or Five)
        • 10 in Round One
        • 5 in Round Two
        • 5 in Round Three
      • 6 Submissions (0 in Rounds Four or Five)
        • 3 in Round One
        • 1 in Round Two
        • 2 in Round Three
    • 1 Disqualification
      • 1 in Round Four (Illegal knee)
    • 2 No Contests
      • 1 in Round One (Illegal knee)
      • 1 in Round Two (Eye poke)
  • Total Bonus Money Awarded = $800,000
    • 2 Fight of the Nights
    • 12 Performance Awards

UFC March 2021 Recap: Biggest Takeaways

The Lioness Roars

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Amanda Nunes of Brazil reacts after her victory over Megan Anderson of Australia in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

At UFC 259, we saw the greatest female fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes, enter the octagon once again. This time, defending her Featherweight Championship against Megan Anderson. Although Anderson was a heavy underdog coming into this fight, there was still plenty of intrigues. Standing at six feet tall, with true one-punch knockout power and proven submission skills from her back, it seemed that Megan was no easy task for the champ. However, Nunes proved once again just how many levels above the competition she truly is. 

Right from the opening bell, Amanda took center control of the octagon, letting her opponent know this fight was going to be at her pace. She quickly landed a huge overhand right that rocked Megan, and soon Nunes would become a shark in the water that smelt blood. Amanda was able to easily get this fight to the ground and as soon as it was, the fight was seemingly over. Nunes transitioned with ease into a triangle armbar and within seconds of this position and Megan would tap. 

As quickly as Amanda entered the cage, she exited, having only been hit a total of two times during the short-lived bout. The question these days for Amanda has truly become that of, is there anyone close? Is there anyone that can give her a run for her money? Surely in two different weight classes, there is someone right?

Well so far, there have been none, and not quite sure if there will be anyone, anytime soon. As fight fans, we are at the point now where we should feel privileged to get to watch Nunes fight. We are witnessing greatness and a legacy build right in front of our eyes. How long will it last, that we do not know? But all we can do is continue to remain in awe of the accomplishments that Amanda Nunes will continue to gain.

The Predator Strikes

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 27: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Francis Ngannou, otherwise known as “The Predator” got his revenge over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. A rematch that was over three years in the making and many were curious if Francis had improved enough between the two fights to defeat the heavyweight GOAT. Ngannou answered the call, by stopping Miocic dead in his tracks with a second-round KO to become the new Heavyweight Champion of the world. 

This was a version of Francis Ngannou that no one had ever seen before, and if you thought he was terrifying already, then look away. What we saw at UFC 260 was three years of Ngannou putting his incredible physique and talent to work. Improving where he was most flawed, being takedown defense and cardio. Ngannou was already the most dangerous man on the UFC roster, but Ngannou 2.0 is on a whole other level of scary.

From the opening bell, Francis was able to take control of the octagon, never allowing Stipe to get away from the fence. Much like the first bout, Ngannou landed some good shots on the champion, but Miocic was able to weather the storm. However, unlike the first go-round, once Stipe shot in for the lone takedown of the fight, Ngannou was not only able to sprawl perfectly but turn the stuffed takedown into some nasty ground and pound before getting back to his feet. It was at this moment where you could really see how this fight was going to play out.

The second round ended as soon as it began because after Francis landed a lightning-fast left on Miocic that dropped him, there would be no chance for the champion to recover. Stipe would manage to wobble back to his feet but was quickly meant with another powerful left, this time sending Miocic to the canvas for good, followed up by one heavy shot before referee Herb Dean could intervene. We now were witnessing the beginning of the Ngannou era, many of who believed would start three years ago. However, now just may be the perfect timing.

With Jon Jones awaiting the winner of this bout, we now have potentially one of the biggest fights in UFC history just months away. Ngannou vs. Jones would be absolute pandemonium. The scariest, hardest-hitting fighter the UFC has ever seen, taking on one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, looking to claim a belt in his second-weight division. The stars have aligned and fans are salivating at this potential banger. The UFC must get this fight done at all costs and strike while the iron is hot. This would be a historical fight with so many intangibles, you can’t help but be curious as to how this would play out.

Francis Ngannou is a once-in-a-generation type talent, with the physique that embodies the “Baddest Man on the Planet” label and the skills to back it up. Born with nothing in Cameroon, Africa to now the UFC Heavyweight Champion. The journey Ngannou has been on to get to this point is nothing short of inspirational. From fighting tooth and nail to escape to Europe for freedom, scratching and clawing his way into the UFC, and dominating nearly everyone that has stood in his way to claim the coveted gold belt.

Francis is special in so many ways and embodies that of a fighter. We are now witnessing the next chapter of the oh-so-special heavyweight division and the man who sits at the throne is willing to go to war to defend what is rightfully his. 

Give us your thoughts on our UFC March 2021 Recap and what you felt were the biggest takeaways of the month in the comments below!


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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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Dominic Sallee is a Combat Sports writer. He focuses primarily on the UFC, with plans to venture out with pieces from other MMA organizations in the future. Along with writing, Dominic is also the Co-Host of the Below Average Joe's MMA Podcast, which produces 2-3 new episodes per week about all things in the MMA community!