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411’s UFC 269 Report: Oliveira Retains and Pena Upsets Nunes

December 12, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 269

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Charles Oliveira (155 lbs.) vs. #1 Dustin Poirier (154.5 lbs.) – for lightweight title
Champ Amanda Nunes (134.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Julianna Pena (135 lbs.) – for women’s bantamweight title
#12 Geoff Neal (170.5 lbs.) vs. #14 Santiago Ponzinibbio (169.5 lbs.)
Cody Garbrandt (126 lbs.) vs. #6 Kai Kara-France (125 lbs.)
Sean O’Malley (135.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Raulian Paiva (135.5 lbs.)

#7 Josh Emmett (145.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Dan Ige (146 lbs.)
#9 Dominick Cruz (135 lbs.) vs. #8 Pedro Munhoz (135.5 lbs.)
#11 Augusto Sakai (263.5 lbs.) vs. Tai Tuivasa (264 lbs.)
Bruno Silva (186 lbs.) vs. Jordan Wright (186 lbs.)

Eryk Anders (185.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Andre Muniz (185.5 lbs.)
Erin Blanchfield (125.5 lbs.) vs. Miranda Maverick (125 lbs.)
Ryan Hall (145.5 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (146 lbs.)
Randy Costa (134.5 lbs.) vs. Tony Kelley (136 lbs.)
Priscila Cachoeira (129 lbs.)* vs. Gillian Robertson (125 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 269. This is it, the final PPV of 2021 and the UFC brought a decent card for it. Our main event is a great fight on paper, freshly minted lightweight champion Charles Oliveira goes for his first title defense
when he takes on former interim champion and top contender Dustin Poirier. That’s an amazing fight on paper, and if Poirier wins he could lock of Fighter of the Year for 2021. The co-main event sees the dominant force of Amanda Nunes tries to defend her bantamweight title when she takes on Julianna Pena. Elsewhere on the card former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt makes his flyweight debut against ranked contender Kai Kara-France in a crossroads bout for the former champion.

UFC 269 comes to the world from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA with the commentary trio of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier. As for the rules Nevada uses most of the newer rules except the downed fighter rule, you only need one hand on the mat to be considered downed. We also have the use of instant replay, an official outside of the cage who can ask for it to be used, and the fight can be restarted after the use of instant replay if that’s applicable.

Gillian Robertson has gone 6-4 in the UFC but finds herself on the first two fight losing skid of her career, she’s trying to rebound here and get back on the winning side of things. Priscila Cachoeira missed weight for this fight, not a good thing, but is on a two fight winning streak and could bring her UFC record to an even 3-3 if she’s able to win here. Robertson is among the biggest favorites on the whole card at -400 to +300 for Cachoeira.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Priscila Cachoeira (10-3, 129 lbs.) vs. Gillian Robertson (9-6, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: I missed the first couple of minutes, apologies. Both women are trading punches, then Cachoeira avoids a single leg. There’s blood coming from the nose of Robertson. Cachoeira lands a body kick. Robertson lands a right hand then a leg kick. Double leg from Robertson and she gets on top in full guard. Robertson passes to half guard, then side control and she fishes for a kimura. Cachoiera avoids the kimura and takes some elbows from Robertson. Full mount for Robertson and she lands more elbows while moving her mount up high on the body. Robertson lands more elbows and punches, she’s more trying to open up an armbar attack than really committing to the strikes. Cachoeira slips free and stands but Robertson grabs a choke as they scramble and drags things back then locks in the rear naked choke and squeezes then Cachoeira taps just before the round ends.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Gillian Robertson via Submission, rear naked choke, at 4:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Robertson for her work this evening. Also cut Cachoeira, she missed weight then twice gouged Robertson in the eye trying to escape that choke. Mic time for Robertson, she puts over Cachoeira’s power but knew the choke was coming. Rogan asks her about the thumbs to the eye in the finishing sequence, she talks us through the finish and notes she definitely felt the thumb in her eye.

Here’s a look at the finish, watch the right hand of Cachoeira and you can see her thumbing the eye. This clip misses the way Robertson grabs the neck on the way down, which was pretty sweet.

Randy Costa has gone 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to avoid his first losing streak while elevating his UFC record above the .500 mark. Tony Kelley has gone 1-1 in the UFC but he is coming off of a win and is looking to build his first UFC winning streak. The odds lean towards Costa at -195 against +165 on Kelley.

Bantamweight Bout: Randy Costa (6-2, 134.5 lbs.) vs. Tony Kelley (7-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Costa has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Kelley fighting southpaw, and immediately starts pressuring forward. Costa lands a right hand. Bit of a left form Kelley who has started doing shifting strikes. Kelley misses a wheel kick. Costa avoids a head kick, then misses an uppercut and they clinch up. Costa gets Kelley on the fence and they start trading knees to the body. More body work from both men then they break. Costa lands a few jabs, they clinch again and hit the fence. Bit of a left from Costa as they break. Kelley’s pressure is relentless. Another clinch, they’ll fight there until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kelley

ROUND TWO: Kelley lands a calf kick as they begin the second round. Another clinch, they trade some elbows in close then hit the fence. They break without incident. Costa lands a left. Another left from Costa, both men are fatiguing now and they fall into another clinch. They break without incident. Bit of a head kick from Costa, then an uppercut but Kelley forces another clinch. Some uppercuts and knees from Costa as he’s got Kelley on the fence. Kelley lands some knees to the body, Costa looks for a takedown but Kelley pushes him over and gets on top in half guard. I think those body shots from Kelley hurt Costa, the lands elbows to the head and punches to the body on top, he keeps unloading and Costa is melting under the offense and the ref eventually steps in to halt the action.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tony Kelley via TKO, punches and elbows, at 4:15 of Round 2

Mic time for Kelley after that, he’s stoked but he’s not surprised. He wants to fight the best and puts over Costa but he thinks he’s the best in the world and wants to make sure everyone knows it.

Ryan Hall just had an eight fight winning streak broken when he met rising prospect Ilia Topuria, the jiu-jitsu ace is trying to avoid his first ever losing streak here and get back on the winning side of things. Darrick Minner has gone 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is also trying to avoid his first losing streak. Hall is your -190 favorite while Minner’s comeback sits at +160.

Featherweight Bout: Ryan Hall (8-2, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Darrick Minner (26-12, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hall has three inches of height and one of reach on Minner. They touch gloves, southpaw for Hall while Minner does a bit of stance switching. Minner misses a right hook. Bit of a high kick from Hall. Body kick from Hall lands. Minner has a calf kick checked. Hall grabs an Imanari roll, starts working for a leg lock but Minner gets his leg back. Another roll from Hall, he comes up on top, Minner scrambles up on a single leg but Hall has him stalled out from his seat. Minner stands free and forces a reset. Minner’s right leg looks a little wonky, but he cracks Hall with an uppercut. Hall forces a clinch but takes a couple of punches as they break. Minner gets a takedown into full guard. Hall looks to invert, Minner winds up standing over him. Another roll from Hall, he grabs the left leg of Minner and scrambles on top in half guard after a heel hook threat. Minner is just stalling from the bottom here, and he’ll hold that until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Minner

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves. Hall lands a body kick. Body kick from Minner. Hall ties up and rolls for another attack, he winds up with full guard. Bit of an elbow from Minner, Hall looks to invert again then grabs an armbar but he can’t hook the leg and Minner is able to elevate then slam free but he’s still in the guard of Hall. Hall tries for a triangle choke, he gets it locked up and lays in elbows while looking to adjust the triangle choke to full lock. More elbows from Hall, Minner gets his arm through but Hall starts working for an omoplata. Hall lays in some punches but Minner just holds on until the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hall, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Hall opens the last round with a couple of body kicks. Minner blocks a wheel kick. Hall baits Minner in and grabs a triangle choke as they go down, Minner is able to push an arm through though and get in the guard of Hall. Hall rolls for a leg lock, they’re deem in 50-50 guard and Hall goes for an inside heel hook but Minner is able to defend and Hall gets on top landing punches. At this point Hall’s really in leg drag position and starts working, then passes to full mount. Hall is working to set up an arm triangle but Minner is defending thus far. Hall gets the arm isolated but he’s got no grip yet to finish it. The hands come together, Hall starts cranking the pressure but Minner is able to get that grip broken but now Minner’s other hand it trapped by the body of Hall as well. Body shots from Hall, then he postures up and lands punches, goes for the arm triangle again but there’s not enough time and Minner survives to hear the final horn.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Hall, borderline 10-8, 29-28 Hall overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Ryan Hall via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27 x2)

No issues with Hall getting the first, even if I disagree there’s an argument. Mic time for Hall, he puts over Minner as a good grappler who defended well but Hall is happy to be back and healthy. He says the last year or so have been really tough, but he’s looking forward to getting back soon.

Miranda Maverick just had a five fight winning streak snapped via a controversial split decision, she’s trying to avoid her first ever losing streak and prove she’s still a rising prospect in the division. Erin Blanchfield had a successful UFC debut a few months back that gave her an overall winning streak of four fights, if she’s able to extend that streak here and turn back a noted prospect like Maverick it could signify pretty big things for her going forward. Maverick is a slight -145 favorite to +125 on Blanchfield.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Erin Blanchfield (7-1, 125.5 lbs.) vs. Miranda Maverick (9-3, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Blanchfield has half an inch of height and reach over Maverick. Southpaw for Maverick. A few power hand punches from Maverick. Blanchfield lands a right hand. Maverick lands a side kick to the body then a left hand. They clash and Maverick winds up pushed over and Blanchfield gets the ride position. Maverick up to her base, Blanchfield hits a mat return and starts working to get her hooks in as Maverick works from turtle. Blanchfield hits another mat return and gets on top in the full guard. Blanchfield moves to half guard, but Maverick reguards rather quickly. Another pass from Blanchfield to half guard, then side control but Maverick scrambles to her feet and they start fighting in the clinch. Inside trip from Blanchfield and she’s back on top. Blanchfield passes to half guard. Side control for Blanchfield but Maverick gets half guard back quickly. Blanchfield is working on a kimura, she can’t finish it and Maverick fights up so the round ends in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blanchfield

ROUND TWO: Maverick comes out and lands a left hand. Body kick from Blanchfield, then they trade hooks. Blanchfield lands a right, Maverick lands a left and they clinch but Blanchfield gets a hip toss to land on top in full guard. Maverick starts looking to wall walk, she’s on her knees but Blanchfield is threatening a d’arce choke and is using the grip to force her down. Blanchfield lands an elbow as they stand, Maverick lands a left hand and Blanchfield hits a double leg and moves to half guard. Blanchfield moves to side control and gets the mounted crucifix. Punches and elbows from Blanchfield, Maverick is trying to break the position but Blanchfield starts attacking the far arm with an americana. Maverick clears the crucifix position but can’t get up yet. Blanchfield moves to north-south, she’s attacking the arm with a kimura. Maverick is defending so far but Blanchfield has the double wrist lock. Blanchfield sits for an armbar but loses the angle as Maverick uses a leg scissors around the neck to stall the round out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blanchfield, borderline 10-8, 20-18 Blanchfield overall

ROUND THREE: Maverick lands a left hand. Another left from Maverick. Leg kick from Maverick then a combination. Blanchfield avoids a head kick. Another left from Maverick lands. Body kick from Maverick. Blanchfield has gone southpaw for a bit, she eats a head kick though. Maverick lands a kick, tries a single leg and they hit the fence in a clinch. Blanchfield gets Maverick on the fence and lands an elbow then gets a single leg into an inside trip and lands in full guard. Half guard now for Blanchfield, her passing game is impressive as she moves to side control. Blanchfield moves to the back as Maverick tries to explode, she’s got both hooks in and starts working for the choke. Blanchfield bails on both hooks, but winds up on top in half guard then moves to side control again. Another arm attack from Blanchfield, she loses the grip though. Punches from Blanchfield as she works from side control then moves to full mount. Maverick gives up the back, Blanchfield has both hooks in and works to flatten Maverick out. The round ends with Blanchfield on the back.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Blanchfield, 30-27 Blanchfield overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Erin Blanchfield via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Dominant grappling from Blanchfield, definitely her coming out party. Mic time for Blanchfield and she puts over Maverick for taking the fight on short notice but definitely felt the takedowns were there for her. She wants to grow and get better, noting if she wants to beat Valentina Shevchenko she has to keep improving.

Andre Muniz is on a seven fight winning streak that includes three wins in the UFC including a submission of the year contender back in May when he broke Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s arm, now he’s looking to defend his top ranking and start looking at taking on ranked opposition next year. Eryk Anders has fought Darren Stewart twice this year, once going to a No Contest after an illegal knee and then besting Stewart via unanimous decision back in June. Anders is looking to return to the rankings if he’s able to get by Muniz here and then look for an even better 2022. The odds are with Muniz at -180 while an Anders win would payout at +155.

Middleweight Bout: Eryk Anders (14-5 1 NC, 185.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Andre Muniz (21-4, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Muniz has three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, both men fighting southpaw. Both men miss punches then Muniz lands a calf kick. Anders avoids some punches then resets. Muniz avoids a punch and hits a double leg into half guard. Without issue Muniz moves to side control, Anders tries to recapture half guard but Muniz gets around that. Anders bases up and stands but Muniz jumps on his back and starts working to drag him back down. Muniz kicks out one of the legs but Anders is back up immediately. This time Muniz uses a cheese donkey trip and gets things down, landing on Andres’ back looking for a choke. Anders tries to base up but Muniz grabs an armbar in transition and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andre Muniz via Submission, armbar, at 3:13 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Muniz for his work this evening. Mic time for Muniz and his translator, he talks about drilling the sequence he used and notes he didn’t get a post fight bonus for breaking Jacare’s arm and hopes he’ll get a bonus this time. He talks us through the position that finished things, then notes he’s grateful he didn’t have to break another arm. To close he says he’d like to fight Darren Till in the future.

Here’s the finish, Muniz is so good on the ground he’s able to lock up this armbar as he’s sliding off the back. The man is a serious threat to the middleweight division.

That does it for the early prelims, though we can still find the next set of prelims on ESPN+.

Jordan Wright has gone 2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a win from May of this year and is trying to build his first UFC winning streak tonight. Bruno Silva is on a six fight winning streak including two wins in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that streak here and establish himself as the prospect at middleweight to watch going forward. Silva’s a rather hefty favorite at -335 while the +260 comeback on Wright might be a tempting value bet.

Middleweight Bout: Bruno Silva (21-6, 186 lbs.) vs. Jordan Wright (12-1 1 NC, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Wright is two inches taller with three inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Southpaw for Silva who begins stalking Wright down. Body kick from Wright lands, then another one. A couple of head kicks from Wright partially land. Silva lands a left hand and we get some brawling before they tie up in the clinch. Knees from Wright as they fight along the fence, then Silva clobbers him with a left hook that drops him exiting the clinch. Silva jumps all over Wright on the mat and is able to pound him out in short order.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Bruno Silva via TKO, punches, at 1:28 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Silva for his work this evening. Mic time for Silva and his translator, Silva is very emotional but composes himself enough to say they’re joyful tears after 12 years of hard work then puts over Wright as a tough opponent. He talks us through the finish and notes he knew he had to strike exiting the clinch because Wright was so good there. To close he gives love to his wife and children, and says he’d like to fight a ranked opponent next now that he’s got three straight wins.

Here’s the finish. You have to be extremely careful exiting the clinch when strikes are being exchanged, Wright tries a bit too hard to retain the clinch and winds up with his arms extended and open hooking lanes to his head. Silva is another problem for the middleweight division, the man has hammers for fists.

Augusto Sakai was a rising contender until late last year when he had a six fight winning streak snapped by Alistair Overeem, then when he lost again in June of this year he dropped out of the top ten at heavyweight. Sakai is trying to halt the current skid then start the new year with some positive momentum. Tai Tuivasa finds himself on a three fight winning streak but Sakai represents a step up in competition for him, if he’s able to get another win to close the year he might return to the top rankings and set himself up for an even bigger year in 2022. The odds closed favoring Tuivasa at -120 against +100 for Sakai.

Heavyweight Bout: #11 Augusto Sakai (15-3-1, 263.5 lbs.) vs. Tai Tuivasa (12-3, 264 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Sakai is an inch taller with two inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things started. Circling to start, both men feint leg kicks, just trying to get a feel for things. Sakai lands a leg kick. Some stance switching from both men now. Sakai lands another calf kick and he avoids the counter punches from Tuivasa. Tuivasa lands a body shot and clinches up on the fence. Some knees from Sakai. Tuivasa lands a right hand. Bit of a right from Tuivasa but Sakai turns him into the fence and lands more knees to the body. They trade rights then break apart. Tuivasa lands a left then some uppercuts in the clinch but Sakai returns fire before they fully get chest to chest. Sakai lands a couple of knees to the body, one that hurts Tuivasa for a second. Tuivasa lands a couple of elbows then they break. Tuivasa punches into another clinch but eats a few more knees before they settle down and just ice the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Tuivasa but a close one

ROUND TWO: They trade hooks to start, Tuivasa wobbles Sakai then backs him into the fence and unloads until Sakai drops unconscious.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Tai Tuivasa via KO, punches, at :26 of Round 2

Tuivasa might be a deeply flawed fighter, but if you show any weakness he will end your night. Mic time for Tuivasa, he plays with the crowd then says he’s getting better and better. He talks us through the finish, then says he doesn’t call people out he just fights anyone put in front of him and plans on spending Christmas with his baby boy.

This doesn’t show the left hook that starts the whole thing off, but watch the shot selection from Tuivasa as he unloads on the hurt Sakai.

Pedro Munhoz has gone just 1-3 in his last four fights, somewhat mitigated by one of those losses coming to Aljamain Sterling and another being a controversial split decision. Despite that Munhoz is still a top ranked bantamweight and is trying to defend his spot as well as get his second win over a former champion. Dominick Cruz is a former two time UFC bantamweight champion and legend of the sport, he just broke a two fight losing streak when he beat Casey Kenney in March and now looks for his first winning streak since 2016. This one is close but the odds lean towards Munhoz at -115 to -105 on Cruz.

Bantamweight Bout: #9 Dominick Cruz (23-3, 135 lbs.) vs. #8 Pedro Munhoz (19-6 1 NC, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Cruz has two inches of height and three of reach over Munoz. They touch gloves to get things going, Cruz does a lot of stance switching of course. Both men miss kicks, they’re just getting a feel for things. Jab from Cruz lands. Cruz avoids a high kick. One two from Cruz lands after he avoids another head kick. Cruz lands another right hand. Cruz lands a left, Munhoz lands a body kick to counter. Munhoz lands a leg kick and avoids a takedown. Cruz lands another right, he’s doing a bit of stalking forward and Munhoz off the back foot isn’t compelling yet. Munhoz lands a right that drops Cruz, then a left hook along the fence but Cruz looks for a single leg. Cruz with a roll to get on top but Munhoz scrambles back up and they reset. Munhoz lands a one two. Cruz lands a right. Inside leg kick from Munhoz. Cruz lands a left hook. Munhoz avoids a rush from Cruz. Cruz with a few punches then a takedown but Munhoz is back up and eats a knee before getting free. Munhoz lands a jab. Cruz lands a combination of punches. Another counter combination from Cruz lands to close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Munhoz

ROUND TWO: Cruz back to circling, he lands a combination and avoids the counters from Munhoz. A right from Cruz lands. Munhoz avoids a high kick. Cruz catches a kick then misses a left. Some jabs from Cruz land as they circle, then he avoids a leg kick and lands a one two. Munhoz lands a one two but takes a solid right counter. Munhoz tries a double leg, Cruz easily shucks him off and lands a few punches. Cruz lands a left. Munhoz tries some jabs but he’s getting frozen a bit by the movement at this point and he’s falling behind on the output. Cruz lands a left hand. Combination from Cruz lands and Munhoz is bleeding now. Cruz lands a left. Munhoz avoids a combination then they split leg kicks. Cruz lands a few more punches. A left from Cruz lands in close, then a few more punches and a knee, Cruz swings wild and avoids the counters from Munhoz. Cruz lands a combination, a calf kick, then a hard left hand. Another combination from Cruz partially lands. They split jabs to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cruz, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves for the last round. Cruz misses a few punches then slips the counters from Munhoz. A few long range punches from Cruz land, then Munhoz avoids a takedown. Cruz lands a one two then a body kick. Munhoz lands a front kick. Cruz lands a one two. Some good defense from Munhoz but he’s not able to fire anything back. Cruz lands a jab to the body then a right hand. Munhoz eats a combination then lands a right hand in close. Leg kick from Cruz then a few follow up punches. Cruz lands a calf kick. Knee to the body from Cruz, then he avoids a punch and they reset. Both men land inside leg kicks. Stiff one two from Cruz but Munhoz just eats it. Another calf kick from Cruz, Munhoz lands a jab. Cruz stuns Munhoz with a right then avoids some counters. Left hook from Cruz. Bit of a long range right from Cruz, then he lands a long combination of punches. Munhoz can’t find the target here and it’s a real problem for him. Cruz lands a calf kick. Munhoz lands a leg kick. Bit of a right from Cruz. Munhoz lands a body kick but Cruz off balances him then lands a body shot. Cruz lands a right hand. Another combination from Cruz lands, then a right hand to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Cruz, 29-28 Cruz overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dominick Cruz via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Great response from Cruz after getting badly hurt in the first. Mic time for Cruz, he attributes much of his success here to finally getting sparring rounds in then says it’s important for people to stay connected as “they” try to keep us divided. He jokes he thought he slipped in the first, thanks the ref for giving him the chance after getting hurt and puts over the Vegas officiating crew overall and again implores people remain strong together.

Josh Emmett is on a three fight winning streak but he’s been out of action since June of last year, he’s trying to extend that winning streak here and possibly enter the title picture going into 2022. Dan Ige has gone 7-3 in the UFC but he’s coming off of a loss to Chan Sung Jun, now he’s looking for not only the biggest win of his career to also trying to avoid his first ever losing streak. Emmett is your favorite at -145 to +125 for Ige.

Featherweight Bout: #7 Josh Emmett (16-2, 145.5 lbs.) vs. #9 Dan Ige (15-4, 146 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ige is half an inch taller and has an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Both men feinting a bit at the start, Ige is trying to get his jab working while Emmett looks to manage distance. Bit of a leg kick from Ige. A right from Emmett stuns Ige, he gets on top and starts dropping body shots from half guard. Ige wall walks, takes Emmett down and they scramble with Ige getting the back with one hook in. Emmett forces his way out and gets on top in half guard. Ige wall walks and separates but takes a right hand along the way. Ige lands a left hook. Calf kick from Ige. Another left from Ige after he slipped a right. Both men miss power punches. Ige lands a series of jabs. Bit of a right from Ige then some jabs. That jab from Ige has started working at this point. Emmett pushes forward but can’t find the clinch. They trade lefts in close. Ige lands a calf kick then Emmett misses power punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emmett

ROUND TWO: Emmett lands a one two to start the round. Ige lands a bit of a combination. Left to the body from Ige lands. Ige lands a left hook and avoids the counters. More body shots from Ige, he’s got a feel for this now and he’s able to land more consistently. Ige goes southpaw, then back but he’s able to fight from either stance. Emmett avoids a double leg and lands a left hand. Ige staggers Emmett with a left hook, he starts coming forward and looking to pressure. Ige lands a right then Emmett sprawls away from a double leg. They clinch up then break with a short left from Emmett. Emmett lands a stiff jab. Ige lands a jab. Both men land some jabs, Ige’s is doing more work overall but Emmett has bloodied Ige around the left nostril. Clubbing right form Ige then a body kick. Ige lands another left hook. Bit of a one two from Ige. Ige lands a counter right. Left uppercut from Ige lands. Ige avoids a right and lands a counter right to stun Emmett and end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ige, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: I’m curious to see if Ige goes back to the body work to set up his head shots this round. Emmett has some punches blocked. Ige lands a right. Emmett lands a right. Ige gets back to jabbing and lands a stiff one. Inside leg kick from Ige. Ige lands a right to the body. Leg kick from Ige. Emmett misses a few punches. They get close and trade left hooks, Emmett seemed to land better. Ige misses a few punches. More jabs from Ige land. Emmett is bleeding from the nose now. Bit of a right form Ige. Ige lands a body kick. Emmett avoids a right hand. Glancing left hook from Ige. Emmett avoids a takedown attempt but eats a left uppercut. Ige lands a body kick. They split some jabs then Ige fakes a takedown and lands a kick as Emmett sprawls. Ige misses a head kick. Bit of a left from Ige then an uppercut in close. Both men miss rights, then Emmett lands a left hook to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Emmett but could go either way, 29-28 Emmett overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Josh Emmett via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

I don’t agree at all with Emmett getting the second, that’s just wrong. No interview for Emmett as we’re short on time.

That does it for prelims, on to PPV for the main card.

Raulian Paiva is on a three fight winning streak including a win his last time out that got him into the rankings at bantamweight, he’s trying to defend that spot here and score his highest profile win to date. Sean O’Malley is on a two fight winning streak that has mostly rehabbed his career after a pretty bad loss in 2020 to Marlon Vera, now he’s hoping to crack the top 15 if he’s able to close out the year with another memorable win. The odds are with O’Malley at -350 to +270 on Paiva.

Bantamweight Bout: Sean O’Malley (14-1, 135.5 lbs.) vs. #15 Raulian Paiva (21-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: O’Malley has three inches of height and two and a half of reach over Paiva. Immediate stance switching from O’Malley, but he seems to like southpaw. Paiva stalks forward, he misses a few punches then tries a double leg but O’Malley defends. Bit of a leg kick from Paiva. O’Malley lands a jab. A few more jabs from O’Malley as he circles. Body kick from O’Malley strays low and we get timeout. Replay confirms the low blow but we’re back to fighting rather quickly. Paiva lands a body kick. O’Malley lands some jabs and avoids a few punches. Calf kick from Paiva lands. Bit of a right from Paiva. O’Malley lands a front kick to the body. O’Malley lands a left hand. Paiva lands a body kick. Inside leg kick from Paiva lands. Paiva avoids a left and lands a bit of a right hand. Leg kick from Paiva, then another one. O’Malley lands a jab but misses the follow up right. Another calf kick from Paiva but he can’t find any follow up punches. Bit of a right from Paiva. O’Malley avoids a blitz attack. A hard right from O’Malley drops Paiva, he looks to finish along the fence and eventually Paiva can’t find a tie up and the ref has to save him.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Sean O’Malley via TKO, punches, at 4:42 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. O’Malley for his work this evening. O’Malley gets a mic attempt, he puts over Paiva but notes his power punching will end anyone. He says he’s been dealing with a rib injury and almost had to pull out of this fight because of it. He talks us through the finish, he wanted to tee off like Canelo to get the win. To close he expresses his love of Joe Rogan.

Kai Kara-France is coming off of his first finish in the UFC when he stopped Rogerio Bontorin in March and now he’s trying to close out the year by taking out his first former champion. Cody Garbrandt is a former bantamweight champion but he’s just 1-4 in his last five fights, now he’s trying his hand down at flyweight and if he’s able to knock off a contender like Kara-France in his first trip to 125 he could easily find himself in the title picture next year. Garbrandt is a slight favorite at -130 while the +110 comeback on Kara-France is a tempting little bet.

Flyweight Bout: Cody Garbrandt (12-4, 126 lbs.) vs. #6 Kai Kara-France (22-9 1 NC, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Garbrandt is four inches taller while Kara-France has three and a half inches of reach advantage. Kara-France starts showing the jab and circling. The size difference is very evident as these two start getting to the action. A lot of circling from Garbrandt, then he lands a calf kick. Some good forward pressure from Kara-France but he’s still hesitant about the overall range. Inside leg kick from Kara-France then he misses a right hand. Garbrandt lands a bit of a left hook in close. Kara-France lands a jab. A right from Kara-France floors Garbrandt but he gets back up rather quickly. Another right from Kara-France staggers Garbrandt, Garbrandt goes to a double leg but Kara-France gets free quickly. Garbrandt lands a right hand to counter an uppercut but he’s still hurt. Kara-France lands a jab to the head and one to the body. A combination from Kara-France lands, a final right drops Garbrandt and the ref waves this one off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kai Kara-France via KO, punches, at 3:21 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Kara-France for his work this evening. Mic time for Kara-France, he dedicates the win to his teammate who passed away this year then puts over Garbrandt. He knew the weight cut would be tough for Garbrandt, but he knows he’s the best in the world and wants the next shot at the title next year. He talks us through the finish then puts over his team mates and coaches to close.

Here’s a look at some highlights, this basically ended things as Kara-France never let Garbrandt recover after this lovely right hand that sat him down.

Geoff Neal was looking like a future title contender back in 2019, but 2020 saw the end of his seven fight winning streak then he lost again back in May of this year to get his first losing streak. Neal is trying to right the ship of his career here and go into 2022 on the back of a win. Santiago Ponzinibbio has gone 1-1 this year, suffering his first loss since 2015 when he returned from a two year layoff and lost to Li Jingliang but he rebounded back in June by beating top prospect Miguel Baeza. Ponzinibbio now looks for another winning streak that could set him on course for the title picture next year. The odds closed at a -110 pick ’em.

Welterweight Bout: #12 Geoff Neal (13-4, lbs.) vs. #14 Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4, 169.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Ponzinibbio is an inch taller but Neal has two inches of reach advantage. Neal fighting southpaw. A lot of circling from Ponzinibbio, both men probing with leg kicks and feints. Bit of a jab from Ponzinibbio. Neal misses a head kick. The ref warns both men about extended fingers. Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick. Neal lands a head kick. Bit of a left from Neal. Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick. Both men miss power hand punches. Glancing left from Ponzinibbio. Neal lands a right hand. Bit of a head kick from Neal, Ponzinibbio needs a response to that weapon. Bit of a right then left hook from Ponzinibbio. We get a timeout after a leg kick from Neal caught Ponzinibbio in the groin. After a bit we’re back to fighting. Ponzinibbio fires a few rights then lands an inside leg kick. They both swing and miss at the end of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal but could go either way

ROUND TWO: Ponzinibbio starts coming forward looking to engage this round. Inside leg kick from Ponzinibbio. Both men miss punches. Neal checks an inside leg kick. Bit of a right from Ponzinibbio. They trade rights. Bit of a body kick from Neal then a left hand. Ponzinibbio tries a double leg, Neal defends so he switches back and forth between double and single, he eventually gets the double leg and gets Neal down. Neal with a hip heist and they separate. Neal lands a couple of lefts. Bit of a right from Ponzinibbio. Neal lands a one two. Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick. Neal lands a left in close. Ponzinibbio lands a right hand. Inside leg kick from Ponzinibbio. Neal lands a left hand to the face. Stiff jab from Ponzinibbio. Neal off balances Ponzinibbio with a jab, then Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal but another close one, 20-18 Neal overall

ROUND THREE: Ponzinibbio comes out pushing forward. right then a left from Ponzinibbio. Neal fires back with punches and kick. Neal lands a left. A right hook from Neal wobbles Ponzinibbio but he doesn’t follow up effectively. Another right hook from Neal lands. Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick. Some jabs from Ponzinibbio land, and Neal is cut around the right eyebrow. Neal starts upping the pace and lands a bit of a head kick. A right hook from Neal off balances Ponzinibbio for a second. Neal lands a left hand. Ponzinibbio lands a left hook. One two from Ponzinibbio. Neal lands a left hand. Another left form Neal stings Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio lands an inside leg kick. Neal lands a stiff jab. Ponzinibbio lands a couple of rights, Neal lands a left. Another left from Neal, then a jab behind it. Hard one two from Neal staggers Ponzinibbio. Neal lands another combination, a series of lefts have Ponzinibbio backing up on wobbly legs. Ponzinibbio misses a right then lands an inside leg kick to end the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Neal, 30-27 Neal overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Geoff Neal via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

No objection to the split, the first two were close. Mic time for Neal, he’s been waiting on a tough fight like this and is happy to have had it. He notes his movement threw off Ponzinibbio just a bit and helped him get the win. Asked about the future he doesn’t feel he’s in position to call shots, he’s just happy to have a ranked win and will be ready for whatever comes next.

Julianna Pena has been with the UFC since November of 2013 and she’s been well regarded during that time but has lost time due to injuries and missed title shots due to key losses in her last few fights. Pena gets this title shot on the back of a win over Sara McMann, and frankly the dearth of title contenders for the dominant champion. Never the less, even dominant champions lose and Pena is hoping to spring a major upset here. Amanda Nunes hasn’t lost since 2014, is a dual champion at featherweight and bantamweight multiple times, has cemented her status as the best woman in the world of MMA during her current reign of terror, and is looking for her sixth defense of the bantamweight title here. Nunes is the biggest favorite on the entire card at a whopping -1100 to a +650 payout on Pena.

Women’s Bantamweight Title Bout: (c) Amanda Nunes (21-4, 134.5 lbs.) vs. #3 Julianna Pena (10-4, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Nunes is two inches taller but the reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Both women with some feints. Nunes lands a heavy calf kick then lets Pena regain her feet. Inside leg kick from Nunes. Bit of a jab from Nunes then a calf kick behind it. Pena is throwing arm punches thus far, but she’s willing to fight. Nunes drops Pena with a right hand, debates going into the guard but just stands over Pena then goes down to the mat with a right hand. Pena tries to come up on a single leg and they hit the fence stalling out. Nunes with an outside trip and gets back on top as Pena sits on the fence. Nunes is fishing for the neck, she passes to half guard with ease and moves to leg drag just because she can. Pena gives up the back, Nunes takes it and starts fishing for the choke. Only one hook in for Nunes so far, Pena shrimps to get half guard back but Nunes is still all over her. Nunes is fishing for the neck again from a front headlock style position. Pena is fishing for a kimura, she doesn’t have her hands together but she’s threatening to sweep. Nunes lands some body shots as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Nunes, borderline 10-8

ROUND TWO: Both women feinting as the round begins. Stiff jab from Nunes lands. Glancing right from Nunes then a calf kick. Pena lands a right elbow but takes a hard leg kick. They trade rights, then Pena lands a few jabs. A left hook from Pena stuns Nunes, then Nunes blasts her with a right. Another right from Nunes then a calf kick. Both women miss punches then trade in close. Pena wobbles Nunes with punches but Nunes fires back. Calf kick from Nunes lands. Nunes lands a right, we’re getting some wild brawling here. Pena’s left eye is swelling up. Nunes lands another right and we get sloppy brawling in close. Pena lands a few jabs, this is wild. Nunes is backing up, Pena forces a clinch and they hit the fence. Lateral drop from Pena, she moves to the back as Nunes is in the turtle, she grabs the choke and Nunes taps out!

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion – Julianna Pena via Submission, rear naked choke, at 3:23 of Round 2

Huge upset for Pena. Mic time for the new champ, she says this doesn’t feel real yet but the world is her oyster and she proved you can do anything you want with your life.

Mic time for Nunes, she feels she did everything she trained for but congratulates Pena and plans to come back stronger. She wasn’t surprised by anything in the fight, expected Pena’s chin to be good but felt off all day and still plans to come back.

Dustin Poirier has been a longtime veteran of the sport, a top lightweight for several years now, is a former interim champion, and tonight gets his second crack at the full lightweight title. Poirier comes into his second title shot on the back of two finishes of Conor McGregor this year, and if he’s able to cap off 2021 by claiming the title that he’s been chasing for so long he might just be the Fighter of the Year, and would certainly cement his status as an all time great lightweight. Charles Oliveira is a fellow veteran of the trenches in the UFC, he’s not lost since December of 2017 and stopped Michael Chandler back in May to claim the UFC lightweight title. Oliveira is trying to get his first title defense under his belt, make his own case for Fighter of the Year, and begin building his championship legacy. Unlike our other title fight tonight, this one is close according to the odds but they lean towards the challenger Poirier at -135 while Oliveira’s underdog stats sit at +115.

Lightweight Title Bout: (c) Charles Oliveira (31-8 1 NC, 155 lbs.) vs. #1 Dustin Poirier (28-6 1 NC, 154.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Oliveira is an inch taller and has two inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Poirier. Oliveira stalks forward right away, Poirier lands a right. They get close and Poirier wobbles Oliveira with a combination. Oliveira keeps his cool and circles away. Poirier lands a right hook. They tie up and trade punches in close before separating. Another tie up and trade of punches in close. A Poirier left stuns Oliveira but Oliveira lands a knee to the body. Oliveira lands a knee to the body in close. Poirier lands a left, then a right. Oliveira tries a takedown, they hit the fence and Poirier starts defending. Oliveira tries a sacrifice roll but Poirier rolls with him and they trade in the clinch then break. A right and a front kick from Oliveira land. Poirier lands a few punches. Left to the body from Poirier then a right hook. Poirier has gone orthodox, he lands a right hand. Oliveira keeps coming forward, he lands another knee but takes a counter punch. Back to southpaw for Poirier. Oliveira lands a front kick to the body but a right hook from Poirier drops him. Poirier gets on top into the guard of Oliveira and starts working, then decides to reset on the feet. Oliveira lands another front kick to the body. Poirier is back up Oliveira and lands a couple of left hands then a right hook. A hard combination from Poirier lands but Oliveira stays up and returns fire. Poirier lands a jab then a left hand. The pace of this round is bonkers. Poirier lands more left hands. Oliveira lands a right hand that backs Poirier off. Poirier lands a final left to close the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Poirier

ROUND TWO: Oliveira’s nose is busted up. They touch gloves for the second. Oliveira gets back to forward pressure, but walks into a few jabs. Poirier eats a knee to the body then an elbow in close as they tie up. More knees from Oliveira as he works for a takedown but Poirier defends. Oliveira slips off the top of Poirier and Poirier stands over him looking to get free but an illegal glove use from Oliveira lets him roll through and get on top. Poirier goes to a body triangle from the bottom and looks to stall out. Oliveira lands a few short elbows. A few hard elbows from Oliveira but for the most part Poirier is defending well. More elbows from Oliveira. Poirier finds a few elbows of his own but he needs to regain his feet here as the ref will let Oliveira work at this pace. Oliveira lands a few more elbows then postures up and tries punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Oliveira borderline 10-8, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They touch gloves again. Oliveira gets back to the front kicks right away. Poirier misses a right and Oliveira gets around to the back and starts working from there. Oliveira jumps to the back with one hook in. Oliveira is after the choke but Poirier is defending so far. Both hooks in for Oliveira, he’s adjusting the choke and Poirier has to tap out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Lightweight Champion – Charles Oliveira via Submission, rear naked choke, at 1:02 of Round 3

Great win for Oliveira, beating Poirier is a big deal and he overcame another tough first round to do so. Mic time for the champion and his translator, he says others talk while he does and says anyone can hit him but he’s still walking forward. He talks us through the finish and dedicates the win to a friend. He puts over his team and gives glory to God. To close he thanks his coaches and the fans.

Poirier gets an interview too, he didn’t want to get too crazy on the ground in the second and really didn’t want to give his back up. He puts over Oliveira’s durability, and says he brawled when he wasn’t supposed to and wanted to extend the fight into the championship rounds.

Well on that note UFC 269 comes to an end. I want to thank you all for being here and reading, be that live or after the fact. We’re going to break down all of the action tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound podcast, plus look ahead to next week when the UFC closes out 2021. I’ll be back for that event next week and I hope you will be as well, until then thanks again for being here, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.

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UFC 269, Robert Winfree