Biggest Winners & Losers from UFC 287

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UFC 287 is now one for the books with the main event seeing Israel Adesnaya finally pick up a victory over his long-time rival, Alex Pereira by brutal knockout in the second round.

The co-main event saw Jorge Masvidal hang up his gloves after he was comprehensively beaten by Gilbert Burns across three rounds.

Elsewhere on the card, Kevin Holland, Rob Font and Christian Rodriguez all picked up wins on the main card. Kelvin Gastelum also picked up a big win in the featured prelim bout after a prolonged period of time on the shelf.

We take a look at the biggest winners and losers following UFC 287.

Biggest Winners from UFC 287

Israel Adesnaya

The mental strength shown by Adesanya all during fight week and the strength he carried into fight night was the epitome of The Last Stylebender. He returned to face a man who had previously beaten him three times, twice by knockout. Finally, on Saturday night, he decisively got the better of his long-time rival.

He made the correct adjustments, believed in his ability to stay in the pocket with Pereira and consequently secured a brutal knockout. If he’d have lost, there would be no call for another fight between the two, it would have been clear that Pereira has Adesanya’s number. He would have lost some of the mystique around his character with another loss. It wasn’t to be, however.

Adesanya is the biggest winner of UFC 287, he can continue his reign over the middleweights, welcoming his next challenger, whoever it may be.

Rob Font

Coming off two straight losses, Rob Font was in need of a win, in a big way. He was fighting down the division, taking on Adrian Yanez. With six ranking places between them, Font would have taken a huge step backwards if he wasn’t able to get the win.

The jab of Font is what won him this fight. It was piston like, constantly knocking Yanez off his beat and not allowing him to get any sustained attacks going. Yanez did have some success, causing a huge welt on Font’s left eye, however, it wasn’t enough. Font appeared to hurt Yanez, who simply couldn’t recover in time. A scooping uppercut, right hook hybrid knocked Yanez down and a number of follow-up shots was all she wrote.

Font, who entered Miami staring down the barrel of three straight losses, cements himself in contention at 135lbs and sends Yanez back to the drawing board.

Biggest Losers

Leon Edwards

Ironically, despite not competing at UFC 287, the welterweight champion, Leon Edwards is one of the biggest losers coming off the back of the latest PPV. Having defeated Kamaru Usman last month, Edwards clearly wanted one fight. Jorge Masvidal. The two men have a bitter rivalry stemming from 2019 and were scheduled to fight back in 2021.

Edwards wanted the fight, but it would have only worked if Masvidal got his hand raised at UFC 287. Unfortunately for Gamebread and also for Rockyit wasn’t to be. Masvidal, following his loss hung up the gloves and Edwards has to now face a tougher test, likely in Colby Covington.

Cynthia Calivllo

Once one of the top prospects in the women’s divisions, Cynthia Calvillo has fallen on extremely hard times. She began her MMA career well, undefeated in her first six fights. She lost to former (and future) champion, Carla Esparza but bounced back to notch a string of four undefeated, three wins and a draw.

Following that resurgence, she headlined against Jessica Eye in June 2020. Since then, however, she hasn’t been able to pick up a single victory. She beat Eye, then went on to lose to Katlyn ChookagianJessica AndradeAndrea LeeNina Nunes and then of course, Loopy Godinez at UFC 287.

Despite being ranked #15 at 115lbs, she will inevitably drop out of the rankings and will more than likely drop out of the UFC itself. There are fighters outside of the UFC that deserve a shot in the ‘big leagues’ far more than Calvillo, Invicta FC’s champion, Danni McCormack and contenders in Karolina Wojcik and Shauna Bannon all come to mind.

It wasn’t a great night for Calvillo and she could be staring down the barrel of being cut by Dana White and the UFC brass.

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Frazer is a 26 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast which comes out every Monday.

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