Watch the wildest moments from the final UFC pay-per-view card of 2021.
UFC 269 saw one new champion crowned and another successfully defend his belt.
In the main event, defending lightweight champion Charles Oliveira stayed resilient at the business end of Dustin Poirier’s first-round power punches, one of which dropped the Brazilian.
“They can hit me a lot,” Oliveira said after the contest per ESPN. “I’m gonna walk forward.”
But Oliveira scored a takedown in the second round and stayed on top with a flurry a ferocious elbows. In the third, Oliveira took Poirier’s back while applying pressure against the cage and found the fight-ending choke to retain the belt.
“I don’t let opportunities get away,” Oliveira said. “I always say I have opportunistic jiu-jitsu. When I saw [the choke], I couldn’t pass it up and I had to do it.”
Proving himself to be a class-act who’s gracious in defeat, Poirier immediately offered to donate $20,000 to a charity in Oliveira’s hometown of Guaruja, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Oliveira’s record improves to 32-8, 1 NC with 10 straight wins, while Poirier’s falls to 28-7.
In the night’s other title about, Julianna Pena’s defeat of bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was called one of the biggest upsets in UFC history—officially the fourth biggest, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Nunes started strong by dropping Pena with a right hand three minutes into the fight, even smiling at her opponent and offering a high-five at the first round’s end.
But the second round saw momentum shift in Pena’s favor, as the challenger connected with straight punches.
Sensing she’d hurt Nunes, Pena initiated a takedown, took Nunes’ back, and locked in a rear-naked choke at 3:26 in the second round.
“I told you,” Peña said. “Don’t ever doubt me again. … She tapped and I asked the commission, ‘Is it over?’ He said, ‘Yes, you won.’ It didn’t [seem real]. It feels crazy. But I expected to win. The world is my oyster. You have the ability to do anything you want in this life.”
In the post-fight press conference, Pena pledged to run it back immediately with Nunes, widely considered to be the greatest female fighter of all time.
“We can do it next; I’m free next month, two months from now – whenever they want to do it, I’m ready,” Pena said. “If she wants to do a rematch, we can do a rematch.” Pena’s record improves to 11-4, while Nunes’ drops to 21-5.
Among UFC 269’s other highlights included Sean O’Malley’s handling of Raulian Paiva in a bantamweight bout that ended with a round-one TKO, improving the former’s record to 15-1.
Welterweight Geoff Neal defeated Santiago Ponzinibbio by split decision, and Kai Kara-France notched a TKO against Cody Garbrandt at flyweight.