Home MMA NewsLatest News UFC 290 Recap: Lawler’s Memorable Retirement, Volkanovski’s Brilliance, Du Plessis Shakes Middleweight Division

UFC 290 Recap: Lawler’s Memorable Retirement, Volkanovski’s Brilliance, Du Plessis Shakes Middleweight Division

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UFC 290 Recap: Memorable retirements

The recently concluded UFC 290 event delivered an extraordinary fight card that left fans buzzing with excitement. It’s being hailed as one of the best in MMA history. Let’s dive into the highlights: Alexander Volkanovski showcased his greatness yet again, Alexandre Pantoja proved his mettle against Brandon Moreno, Dricus du Plessis made a statement in the middleweight division, and Robbie Lawler bid farewell in a perfect way.

Robbie Lawler’s Farewell

Let’s begin with Robbie Lawler, as his retirement holds a special place in the hearts of MMA fans. Lawler’s departure from the sport was a triumphant moment, executed flawlessly. Unlike many fading legends who face cruel endings, Lawler’s retirement was filled with joy and sentimental moments. As a fan, I consider it one of the best occurrences in my MMA journey. Lawler, a beloved fighter, has given us countless thrilling moments, winning Fight of the Year three consecutive times against different opponents. He achieved the improbable by capturing the UFC title after people had given up on him, and his retirement was the icing on the cake. Ranking him against others seems trivial because Lawler’s career transcends traditional measures. He is cherished by fans and fighters alike. While he may not be the GOAT, his impact is undeniable.

Retirements in MMA

Lawler’s exit should serve as a lesson for the UFC. The matchmaking and handling of his retirement were commendable, and it’s frustrating as a fan that such moments haven’t been replicated consistently. Every former champion and Hall of Famer deserves a dignified exit from the sport. While it’s impossible to define specific criteria, it’s clear who the legends are in MMA. If the UFC acknowledges this and ensures fighters receive meaningful farewells, it would be a step in the right direction. It’s essential to appreciate the significance of Lawler’s retirement and strive for more instances like it.

Alexander Volkanovski’s Greatness

I won’t engage in the endless GOAT debate surrounding Volkanovski, as I believe it’s premature until a fighter retires. However, considering his recent performances, it’s entirely plausible to regard him as one of the greats. After his third fight with Max Holloway, I declared it as one of the best displays of skill and dominance I’ve witnessed. Volkanovski excels in every aspect of the game, demonstrating exceptional fighting intelligence. His ability to keep Yair Rodriguez guessing with his striking and his control and damage from top positions showcased his mastery. While MMA has seen remarkable champions, few have excelled in every area like Volkanovski. Comparisons to Georges St-Pierre are well-deserved, highlighting his brilliance.

Alexandre Pantoja, New Flyweight Champion

Alexandre Pantoja’s victory over Brandon Moreno in the co-main event was a remarkable display of skill from both fighters. While some may argue, Pantoja rightfully won the fight. Moreno couldn’t defend takedowns or escape from scrambles, consistently giving up his back. Despite Moreno’s moments, Pantoja seemed to have his number. Regarding their previous encounters, the first fight being an exhibition on The Ultimate Fighter, it’s reasonable to consider this their first official bout. Running an immediate rematch isn’t necessary, as there are other viable contenders for Pantoja, and Moreno deserves a fresh opponent. Let Moreno secure a couple of wins, and then the possibility of a fourth fight can be revisited. Pantoja, as the current number one contender, holds leverage in deciding the timing of his next fight.

Dricus du Plessis

Dricus du Plessis proved his doubters wrong with an outstanding performance against Robert Whittaker. Du Plessis displayed patience, improved defensive skills, and dismantled Whittaker. His ability to neutralize Whittaker’s attacks, adapt, and dominate the former champion on the ground was impressive. No one has achieved that against Whittaker, not even the elite Yoel Romero. Du Plessis has shown his potential, and my confidence in him has soared. I would now predict him winning seven out of ten fights against Whittaker. While Whittaker can make adjustments, it’s time for people to recognize Du Plessis’ abilities.

Title Shot and Whittaker’s Future

Considering Du Plessis’ victory, the question arises: Who will be his next opponent for the title? Previously, I would have confidently chosen Israel Adesanya over Du Plessis, but after the fight, my certainty has wavered. Du Plessis demonstrated his takedown ability against Whittaker, which could pose problems for Adesanya. Additionally, Adesanya’s post-fight behavior wasn’t impressive, unlike Du Plessis, who appeared mentally prepared for an inevitable title fight. However, only time will reveal the outcome. It’s unlikely that Du Plessis will fight at UFC 293 in just nine weeks after such a significant win. He holds the top contender status and has the leverage to choose the timing of his next fight. It would be best to give Du Plessis a deserving buildup for a potentially colossal fight against Adesanya, possibly at Madison Square Garden.

Whittaker, on the other hand, faces a dilemma. Having already defeated most of the middleweight division, including Whittaker himself, his options for future opponents are limited. He might face Paulo Costa if Costa triumphs over Ikram Aliskerov. Otherwise, a matchup against Roman Dolidze or lower-ranked fighters seems likely. However, a fascinating matchup could be Whittaker versus Kamaru Usman, which would certainly captivate fans.

UFC 290: The Best Card?

UFC 290 undoubtedly ranks among the best events in MMA history. While it’s too early to declare it the greatest card ever, as the excitement of the present can overshadow historical events, it’s challenging for me to recall a more enjoyable event from start to finish. Every aspect of the card exceeded expectations, including a brilliant title defense, Fight of the Year contenders, thrilling upsets, and the most remarkable retirement in MMA history. With four knockouts under one minute and solid performances throughout the card, UFC 290 reminded fans why they love MMA and showcased the UFC’s potential when they make a genuine effort. Here’s hoping for more events like this in the future.

Thank you for reading, and a special thanks to everyone who submitted their thoughts on Twitter. If you have any burning questions related to combat sports, feel free to send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew, and I’ll answer my favorites. It doesn’t matter if they’re topical or offbeat; as long as they’re good, I’ll address them. See you next week!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC 290 Recap: Memorable retirements, Volkanovski’s brilliance, Du Plessis shakes middleweight division in an epic fight card.

What were the highlights of UFC 290?

The highlights of UFC 290 included Robbie Lawler’s memorable retirement, Alexander Volkanovski’s brilliance in the featherweight division, Dricus Du Plessis shaking up the middleweight division, and exciting moments throughout the entire fight card.

How was Robbie Lawler’s retirement?

Robbie Lawler’s retirement was considered one of the best in MMA history. It was a triumphant and well-executed farewell, leaving fans and the UFC community thrilled. The retirement was filled with sentimental moments, including a touching tribute from the UFC, making it a perfect ending for Lawler’s career.

Is Alexander Volkanovski considered one of the greatest fighters?

Alexander Volkanovski’s greatness is widely acknowledged, but the debate over the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) is subjective and premature. Volkanovski has consistently showcased his brilliance in various aspects of the game and is often compared to the legendary Georges St-Pierre. However, GOAT discussions are better suited after a fighter’s retirement.

Who is the new flyweight champion?

Alexandre Pantoja faced Brandon Moreno in the co-main event of UFC 290, but it’s important to note that Pantoja did not win the flyweight championship in this fight. While he delivered an incredible performance, he still needs to challenge the current champion or win a title fight to claim the flyweight championship.

How did Dricus Du Plessis perform in UFC 290?

Dricus Du Plessis had a remarkable performance in UFC 290, particularly in his middleweight bout against Robert Whittaker. Du Plessis showcased patience, improved defensive skills, and dominated Whittaker both on the feet and on the ground. His victory over the former champion established him as a formidable contender in the middleweight division.

What’s next for Robert Whittaker?

Following his loss to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290, Robert Whittaker’s immediate future in the middleweight division is uncertain. He has already defeated most of the top contenders, leaving few options for his next opponent. Potential matchups could include fighters like Paulo Costa or Roman Dolidze, but an intriguing possibility could be a superfight against Kamaru Usman in a different weight class.

Was UFC 290 the best fight card ever?

While UFC 290 has been highly praised as an outstanding event, it’s challenging to definitively label it as the best fight card ever. The excitement surrounding recent events can sometimes overshadow historical greatness. Nevertheless, UFC 290 featured thrilling moments, incredible matchups, and a sense of nostalgia for MMA fans, making it one of the most enjoyable events in recent memory.

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FightGameAddict July 10, 2023 - 11:00 pm

Lawler’s retirment was epic, man! UFC did it rite. Volkanovski is a genius, like GSP. Du Plessis surpised everyone, took down Whittaker. UFC 290, one of the best eva!

MMAFanatic21 July 11, 2023 - 4:05 am

wow this card was amazin! lawler’s retiremnt was sooo gud! hes def one of da best eva. volkanovski is a beast, no debate! and du plessis shakin up middleweight, damn! UFC 290 rocked!

SubmissionKing July 11, 2023 - 7:09 am

Lawler goin out with a bang! UFC 290 was a banger, man! Volkanovski’s greatness, no doubt. Pantoja needs that flyweight belt. Du Plessis rocked Whittaker. Love the fights, bro!


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