5 Takeaways from UFC 292

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The latest UFC event was certainly action packed and the results have totally shifted the landscape of certain divisions. Here we will go over five of the main talking points from this weekend’s event. Covering everything from Chris Weidman to Sean O’Malley check out the 5 takeaways that UFC 292 gave us.

Biggest Takeaways from UFC 292

5  – Time for Weidman to Hang Up the Gloves

It was an absolute miracle that Chris Weidman was able to even walk to the cage to face Brad Tavares last night. After suffering one of the most gruesome injuries the sport has ever seen back in 2021, many simply assumed that Weidman would be hanging up the gloves. The former champion is now 39 and after being sidelined for two years due to the leg break against Uriah Hall it is clear that father time has caught up to him. Weidman has lost the explosiveness and power that at one stage made him the man who beat the likes of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida in their primes. Backstage footage revealed that Weidman was forced to use a wheelchair after the fight with Dana White confirming at the post-fight press conference that he had suffered a major injury to either his MCL or ACL and publicly stated his desire for Weidman to retire.

Indeed, Weidman himself had been making noises about a final push to the title yet with this loss against a now unranked Brad Tavares and the major knee injury, he must admit that it is over.  While his career certainly has not gone the way he would have planned it, ultimately Chris Weidman will always be able to say he beat one of the most dominant champions in UFC history and was a reigning and defending champion.

4 – Ian Garry is a Top-10 Welterweight

Ian Garry took on the ultimate guard dog to the welterweight top-10 this weekend in Neil Magny and his performance proved that he is more than ready for the step. Magny, a UFC veteran who has fought over 30 times in the promotion has only ever suffered defeat to elites of the division. Garry is set to now join them after a dominant display where he used leg kicks to shut down Neil Magny’s movement and even enjoyed a period of ground control in the third round. Once considered by many fans to be nothing but a hype job, Garry has now beaten an established ranked welterweight and has surely earned his way into a spot in the top-10. Much talk from fans and media alike has focused on a matchup with Stephen Thompson next and while that would certainly be again another step up in opponent for Garry, he has proven that he has what it takes to mix it with these top 10 welterweights.

3- Zhang Weili is DOMINANT

The fight for the women’s strawweight championship saw Zhang Weili put on a total clinic against contender Amanda Lemos. Lemos had little to no offense for Weili aside from attempting a choke in the first round and had no answer for the striking of the champion. The stats back this up and are quite shocking to read. At the end of the 5-round fight, Weili had managed to accumulate 288 strikes as opposed to Lemos who only managed 21. Admittedly there was a difference in styles with Lemos more of a ground fighter than a striker yet still the discrepancy here is huge. After winning the belt in dominant fashion against Carla Esparza it appears that the only Strawweight currently capable of holding a candle to Weili is Rose Namajunas who has beaten the Chinese fighter twice. However Namajunas has announced her intention to move up a division and it looks like Strawweight will need a new contender to emerge,otherwise, it is easy to see this reign of Weili turning into something similar to the dominant title runs of Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes or Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

2- Volkanovski may have a New Challenger

Aljamain Sterling had stated several times in the lead-up to this fight that it would be his last at 135-lbs., regardless of whether he emerged victorious or not. So the fight has come and gone, yet Sterling likely was not anticipating defeat and could easily now have a strong desire to reclaim the belt in a rematch. Yet if he sticks to his word Aljamain’s next fight will be in the Featherweight division. Where a new superfight awaits him. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has ruled the division with an iron fist for several years now and is starved for contenders. If Sterling was indeed to move up, with his CV it is easy to imagine a scenario where he is immediately granted a title shot against Volkanovski or is at least put into a number one contender’s match for his debut fight.

1 -Sean O’Malley is the Real Deal

“Suga” Sean O’Malley has long been a polarizing figure in the company. Accused by many of receiving preferential treatment from the organization due to his massive popularity online, many fans and fighters felt that he was undeserving and had been fast-tracked to a title shot despite defeating the number one contender Petr Yan. Many felt that he had been gifted decisions and stylistically favorable matchups yet now there can be no more dismissal of O’Malley as simply average or being handed everything on a plate. Aljamain Sterling is possibly the toughest matchup for O’Malley in the entire Bantamweight division and by finishing him in the second round O’Malley achieved something that the likes of Yan, Henry Cejudo, TJ Dillashaw, and Cory Sandhagen had all been unable to do. Many had called Sterling the most dominant Bantamweight in history and he is certainly among the top 2 in the greatest of all-time debate. A KO win for O’Malley is a massive statement and shows that he has the potential to stay at the top of the division for a long time.

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