Video Credit: UFC

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 269


UFC 269 was the final pay-per-view event for the UFC in 2021, and it didn’t disappoint with an action-packed card that saw two title fights.


UFC 269
Photo Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The UFC was home in Las Vegas for their annual December card to end the year. From empty arenas to welcoming fans back in attendance, UFC 269 ended the year with a bang as we saw two champions put their titles on the line against two hungry and willing challengers.

The main event would feature former interim champion Dustin Poirier (28-6 14Kos), challenging lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (32-8 20SUBs), who made the first defense of his belt since winning it at UFC 262 back in May.

This was a historic main event as the two warriors combined for a record number of UFC fights at 54( Oliveira 28, Poirier 26), UFC wins( Poirier 20, Oliveira 19), UFC finishes( Oliveira 17, Poirier 13), and UFC post-fight bonuses ( Oliveira 17, Poirier 12). All of this meant we were in for an exciting war.

In a back and forth battle, both fighters would have their moments in the fight. They set a fantastic pace that saw both land significant strikes on the other in the first. Poirier would land the hardest as he dropped the champion for what looked to be the beginning of a finish. But wise to Oliveira having the most UFC submissions, Poirier took his time coming in and didn’t wanna fall for any traps and get caught in a submission. Oliveira recovers and gets back to his feet to start landing stiff body shots.


UFC 269
Photo Credit: UFC

Those body shots paired with the pace of the fight seemed to affect Poirier in the second as he didn’t have as much bounce in his step, seemed just a tad bit slow to the punch, still great effort but just seemed not to have the same energy he did in the first. Oliveira took fool advantage pressing forward, continuing his assault. Oliveira took further control going into the third round as Poirier still didn’t seem to have recovered.

The champion got Poirier against the fence and was able to look in a standing rear-naked choke for the victory. Retaining his title, extending his winning streak to 10 wins in a row, his UFC record for submissions (15) and finishes (18).

In three rounds, these two gladiators gave us an excellent main event fight. Both showed tremendous heart, but the night belonged to the Brazilian Oliveira, who is still the king of the mountain at 155lbs. What 2022 holds for him is unknown but as he’s shown through his career, if he gets ahold of you, look out because the end could very well be near. Poirier will look to recover and focus on his next plan of action in working his way back to a title shot for the third time. Or possibly give more serious thought to taking time off to make a move up to welterweight and try his luck there. Whichever path he takes next, Poirier is nothing but class in and outside the cage.


The co-main event saw history made.


UFC 269
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The co-main event saw Amanda Nunes (21-5 13KOs) look to defend the Bantamweight crown that she has held for five years against Julianna Pena (11-4).

Nunes, without question, is the greatest women fighter of all time. Her resume speaks for itself with wins over every UFC woman champion at both Bantamweight and Featherweight; her knockouts and domination have been a spectacular journey to watch. Could she continue her tear and rip through yet another opponent? Or could Pena be the one to solve the equation and pull off the upset?

A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter series, Pena has had her eye on UFC gold since coming into the promotion in 2013. She started hot, winning her first four bouts in the promotion. An injury and then giving birth to her daughter derailed her momentum and sidelined her over two years. But she never took her eye off the ball and stayed focused on whoever the champion was. When she got her shot, she was going to make the most of it.


UFC 269
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

As the two squared off, it was clear, if Pena had a chance of winning, she’d have to make this a dog fight and get it to the mat at some point. Nunes wanted to keep the fight standing and use her power to score another devastating knockout, hopefully. The champion fired some heavy shots early that stunned and pushed the challenger back and hurt Pena, but she stayed tough and held her own. Gaining her wits, Pena started to land some shots of her own as Nunes was looking to load up for one big punch, which allowed Pena to unload combinations that seemed to stun the champion. Nunes would take the fight to the mat to end the first round on top, but it was clear she wasn’t in for an easy night.

Turning the fight into the kind of scrap Pena wanted it to be, she was finding success in the standup department and her confidence grew more and more. Eventually, she would get the fight to the mat herself and was able to take the back of the champion and lock in a rear-naked choke for the win. After eight years in the promotion, taking on the greatest to ever do it, Pena pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history. T-Mobile Arena was electric as the fans couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed, the dethroning of the goat. Indeed, given her long reign, Nunes will get an immediate rematch which will be a must-see. But Pena, however long her title reign is, will go down in history as not only a champion but with one of the sport’s most significant moments.


Another excellent fight card is in the books as the UFC continues to entertain fantastic showings one after the other. Whether we are watching champions, former champions, title contenders, or up and comers, the UFC will continue to give us entertaining events to enjoy.


Be sure to check out for all your latest in MMA, Las Vegas sports news, events, previews, recaps, and my weekly show, Kalani’s Corner.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

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