Saturday’s UFC 271 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Houston, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Toyota Center.
1 - Israel Adesanya
With his second win over Robert Whittaker in the books, the feeling around MMA circles is that Israel Adesanya may be keeping that middleweight title for a while. No, it wasn’t a highlight reel finish like their first bout, but over the course of five rounds, Adesanya largely made Whittaker fight his fight, he adjusted when things weren’t going his way, and he showed once again that his fight IQ is going to be an issue for any 185-pounder who challenges him. That makes his mind even more dangerous than his striking attack, and usually results in a champion that stays on top for a long time.
RECAP: Every Result From UFC 271
WHAT’S NEXT? Jared Cannonier
2 - Jared Cannonier
After a rough first round against Derek Brunson, Jared Cannonier showed just how scary he is in the middleweight division by taking Brunson out in emphatic fashion in the second stanza. Now the Arizonan is likely looking at a shot at Israel Adesanya’s world title, and with grappling likely being a second thought on fight night, Cannonier has to be smiling, knowing that with his kind of power, all it will take is one strike to put a championship belt around his waist.
WHAT’S NEXT? Israel Adesanya
3 – Tai Tuivasa
Tai Tuivasa came to throw bombs against Derrick Lewis in Houston last Saturday, and Lewis was more than willing to do the same thing, making it inevitable that one of the two heavyweight contenders was going to have a short night on the losing end of things. At UFC 271, it was Lewis who wound up with an L, with the popular Aussie even having fans in the hometown of “The Black Beast” cheering for him by the time the fight was over. That charisma is a rare gift, and it will guarantee that plenty of eyeballs will be on “Bam Bam” in the coming months and years as he chases after a world title.
WHAT’S NEXT? Jairzinho Rozenstruik
4 – Casey O’Neill
Casey O’Neill was in a tough spot last weekend when she fought a beloved veteran competing in her last pro bout, but O’Neill got the job done, weathered the boos from fans in Toyota Center, and now she moves on. And for the unbeaten “King Casey,” moving on is going to be quite newsworthy for the flyweight division, because the Scotland native appears to be the real deal and a future threat to champion Valentina Shevchenko. How soon is that future? That remains to be seen, but if O’Neill gets a fight with a highly ranked contender like Jennifer Maia and passes that test, it may be sooner than we think.
WHAT’S NEXT? Jennifer Maia
5 – Roxanne Modafferi
There aren’t too many genuinely positive people in the world today, but Roxanne Modafferi is at the top of the list, which made the reception she received in the lead-up to her last fight against Casey O’Neill and on fight night a reminder that good folks can get the good things they deserve. And while she didn’t win that last bout, it really didn’t matter, because her pioneering career was about more than the end result. It was the journey that mattered, and “The Happy Warrior” gave us a compelling one to follow and smile along with.
WHAT’S NEXT? A well-deserved vacation in retirement
UFC 271: Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 took place on Saturday, February 12, 2022, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.