Saturday’s card that went down in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the T-Mobile Arena did not disappoint, as it was packed with finishes, fantastic fights, and post-fight takeaways from UFC 272.
Several fighters made names for themselves on a national stage, establishing themselves as ones to watch in their respective divisions. On the other side of the coin, however, some fought themselves out of the promotion in underwhelming performances that they will try to forget. Regardless, it was a huge night for mixed martial arts, and it felt good to see a packed arena full of fans.
UFC 272 Results
Jalin Turner vs. Jamie Mullarkey via second-round TKO (0:46)
Marina Rodriguez def. Yan Xionan via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Kennedy Nzechukwu via split decision (29-27 x2, 27-29)
Maryna Moroz def. Mariya Agapova via sub (arm triangle) (R2, 3:27)
Umar Nurmagomedov def. Brian Kelleher via sub (RNC) (R1, 3:15)
Tim Elliott def. Tagir Ulanbekov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ludovit Klein def. Devonte Smith via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Dustin Jacoby def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Saturday Night’s Major Takeaways From UFC 272
Jalin Turner is Going to Be a Problem
One of the takeaways from UFC 272 has the potential to excite for years to come: lightweight Jalin “the Tarantula” Turner (11-5-0 6-2-0 UFC) made a huge statement with his win over another highly-touted prospect in Australia’s Jamie Mullarkey (14-5-0 2-3-0 UFC). The six-foot-three standout controlled the cage early, and he used his length to his advantage as Mullarkey was fighting off of his back foot for the majority of their bout.
He looked supremely confident and was able to walk Mullarkey down, showing no signs of a tough weight cut that had previously plagued him in his bouts against Vicente Luque and Matt Frevola. Turner came out swinging early and withstood some of Mullarkey’s best shots. He landed some of his own and was able to control the movement of the fight, as he cut off any lateral motion with forward pressure. However, he used his range to avoid the worst from Mullarkey and proved that he was willing to fight smart and to his advantage. Early in the second, he turned the pressure on Mullarkey,
Turner has so much going for him, as he is only 27 years old and has the skills to make a run at the title sooner rather than later. He possesses plus grappling and striking, as well as a fight acumen not seen in many prospects. If he can manage his weight like he has been doing so far in his career, his long frame would be a huge advantage at 155 pounds in a division where the majority of the athletes are around 5’10. Cardio comes with weight, and Turner with a manageable weight cut means he has the gas tank to complement his style.
He could go far in the lightweight division, and it would not be surprising to see a gold belt wrapped around him at one time or another.
Bryce Mitchell Is Making a Run at the Title His Way
Arkansas’ own Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (14-1-0 6-0-0 UFC) may have had a controversial week outside the Octagon and his win was anything but. He dominated Brazillian stalwart Edson Barboza for all five rounds, using relentless takedowns and top game to press Barboza against the fence and do damage. No one was surprised to see Mitchell win, as he has always had potential, but Barboza was an incredibly tough test for Bryce Mitchell.
The way Mitchell attacked Barboza’s legs with kicks to set up takedowns was impressive, especially because his Brazillian opponent is known for chopping down legs with kicks, and so Mitchell had to be extra careful. He used Barboza’s predisposition to kick against him, grabbing takedown after takedown and applying smothering pressure akin to Khabib Nurmagomedov or Kevin Lee in their primes. This, coming from a skinny kid known for unorthodox submissions, shows Mitchell is up for anything and will go as far as he wants to.
In his post-fight interview, he told Joe Rogan that he donated half of his paycheck to an Arkansas childrens’ hospital, and promised to do more good in the community. Regardless of this and his controversial interview, one of the most glaring takeaways from UFC 272 is that Mitchell can win any way he wants. It would not be surprising to see him get even better en route to a title shot, and this addition of smothering top pressure makes Mitchell a name to look out for at 145.
Corners Need to Take a Stand for the Fighters
Renato Moicano (16-5-1 8-5-1 UFC) faced former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (31-13-0 20-11-0 UFC) in a five-round co-main event, and it did not go well for Moicano. He was battered from bell to bell, and it became so apparent that Moicano was not getting back into the fight that Bisping, Rogan, and Anik repeatedly called for a stoppage. His eye appeared to be swollen shut in between rounds, and despite the jeering from the crowd and protestations from the commentary team, referee Marc Goddard allowed the fight to continue.
He originally said that he would give Moicano thirty seconds to prove that he would get back in the fight, and this seemed to make sense at the time. However, Moicano continued to get battered, and Goddard fell flat on his promise to stop the fight. It got so bad that Rafael dos Anjos treated the late fourth and fifth rounds like sparring, and yet the fight was never stopped. In any case, Moicano’s coaches should have stopped the fight in the fourth round as it became clear their athlete had almost no chance of turning it around.
He took the fight on six days’ notice, and so it made no sense for the fight to continue. Even the commentary team argued that Moicano’s corner had to protect their fighter. He took unnecessary damage and more than proved his mettle, yet he wanted to continue. In this case, Moicano’s corner had a duty to look out for the best interests of their athlete and call the fight early.
There would be no shame in protecting the well-being of their athlete especially after he fought so hard. Fighters are supposed to protect themselves at all times, and one of the takeaways from UFC 272 shows that it is the corner’s job to protect the fighter if they can no longer protect himself.
It’s Kamaru, Colby, and then Everyone Else
One of the most important, if not the last, takeaways from UFC 272 was that Colby Covington (17-3-0 12-3-0 UFC) is miles above almost everyone else at 170 pounds with the exception of his foe and current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-1-0 15-0-0 UFC). After his performance in the main event, Covington cemented himself as the name to watch out for at welterweight.
He smothered Masvidal for five rounds, winning all five on the judges’ scorecards and even landing a 10-8. When not on the ground, he outstruck Masvidal and withstood his best shots, as well as landing a knockdown. If the fight was not in doubt, Covington landed six takedowns and battered his opponent from start to end. He even snuck in a submission attempt, but it was not tight enough to finish the fight.
Regardless, Covington proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is light-years ahead of everyone else at 170, even as Leon Edwards is slated to get the next title shot against Usman. It would be disrespectful to Usman to call him and Covington 1a and 1b in the division, as he has beaten Covington twice, but this is the closest thing to the truth, as Usman is the only one who can neutralize Covington’s wrestling and top pressure.
The UFC Desperately Needs to Be Back on the Road
This coming weekend has UFC Vegas 50, and it will be the last card in the Apex before the promotion heads out on the road, traveling from arena to arena on a weekly basis. As well as the company does with the Apex in Vegas, it is crucial that they remain traveling: fans give the sport of MMA its energy and excitement, and watching fights does not feel the same without spectators.
The crowds at MMA events provide a pop like no other, and events in the Apex cannot replicate the energy and fun that pay-per-views have so far. The gate is important to their bottom line, as pay-per-view sales can only do so much for the company in terms of profits. The fighters love the crowd, as well, and it serves to pump up fights. MMA is a spectator sport, after all, and spectators need to see it for it to serve its purpose.
Saturday’s event was nothing short of electric, and one of the biggest takeaways from UFC 272 remains that it was a card to remember. Although there were no title fights, one would be hard-pressed to find a card with as much energy and acrimony heading into it than this one, and that’s what made it so fun to watch.
Do you have any takeaways from UFC 272? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images