UFC 299 was filled with stellar fights, from the early prelims all the way to the main card.

The main event featured Sean O’Malley defending his UFC bantamweight title for the first time against Marlon “Chito” Vera, with Dustin Poirier facing Benoit Saint-Denis in the co-main event. Other main card fights included Michael “Venom” Page making his long awaited debut against Kevin Holland, Gilbert Burns facing Jack Della Maddalena, and former bantamweight champ Petr Yan facing Song Yadong. The night of fights lived up to the heavily anticipated hype. So without further wait, let’s dive straight into the UFC 299 recap.


The Suga Show Rolls On

UFC 299 takeaways: O'Malley shows another level; what's next for Poirier and MVP? - ESPN

Sean O’Malley has made a name for himself in his UFC run with his confidence (borderline cockiness), talent, and his crazy hair colors. Heading into UFC 299, O’Malley was set to defend his bantamweight title against the one man he had previously failed to defeat in the octagon, Chito Vera.

Chito won the first fight between the two back in 2020, with O’Malley getting injured early and eventually losing via TKO in the first round. O’Malley was the favorite in this rematch, showing the public perception regarding the first fight, and he showed up motivated to prove he wasn’t truly beaten by Chito before, and instead only failed to win due to his injury.

It was mostly one-way traffic from the start of the fight. The Suga Show was in full effect, and O’Malley pieced Chito up for five straight rounds. If it wasn’t for Chito having a chin made of titanium, he would’ve been knocked out cold. O’Malley dominated, and Chito became his punching bag due to Chito’s lack of movement off the center line. It was an overwhelming victory for O’Malley and, after rewriting his only loss on record, he shall now look to the top contender for his belt in Merab Dvalishvili, who is an early betting favorite in a potential fight against O’Malley.


“The Diamond” Still Shines Bright

UFC 299 post-event facts: Dustin Poirier climbs several all-time lists


Dustin Poirier has had a long and stellar career, but he’d been stumbling heading into his fight with the rising Benoit Saint-Denis. Poirier was coming off a loss to Justin Gaethje for the BMF title at UFC 291, and he had a tough test facing Saint-Denis, who was undefeated at lightweight entering the fight. The Frenchman Saint-Denis was coming off a first-round KO victory against Matt Frevola, and Saint-Denis is tough as nails, being a former French Army special forces member. That toughness showed in the fight against Poirier, but it may have ended up being his downfall.

Saint-Denis literally didn’t stop moving forward for the entire fight. Poirier was perpetually on his back foot, which is unusual for him. Saint-Denis got the better of it in the first round, with Poirier attempting his “patented” guillotine choke (which he has never won a fight with) three times. Poirier’s coaches told him to stop going to the guillotine entering the second round, but he went for it for a fourth time early in the second round. Thankfully for Poirier’s coaches, the fight wouldn’t last much longer. Poirier hurt Saint-Denis multiple times from the standup before getting the KO win halfway through the second round. Poirier’s next move following this win is unknown, as there aren’t a lot of opponents at the top of the lightweight division that Poirier hasn’t already faced.


The Debut of MVP

UFC 299: Michael Venom Page dominates Holland in debut after tribute to WWE icon The Undertaker with iconic entrance | The Sun

Michael “Venom” Page is one of the highest regarded mixed martial artists in the world, and he finally brought his talents to the UFC in his debut against Kevin Holland. MVP’s move to the UFC is a chance to prove he can compete with the best and, at 36 years old, it was the last real chance for him to have a run in the UFC while still in his prime.

The matchup was extremely intriguing. Holland is one of the better strikers in the welterweight division, yet MVP is in the elite of the elite, being a world-class kickboxer and striker. The advantage most saw for Holland was his ground game, as he is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Travis Luter, which is no joke. 

The fight was entertaining for someone like myself, who enjoys technical battles on the feet and elite level striking.  MVP looked extremely sharp, making it hard for Holland to get reads on him. Despite Holland’s black belt in BJJ, most of the grappling work in his career has been done to stop the takedown, not initiate it himself. That hampered Holland, and MVP was in total control throughout the fight, keeping Holland at range and using his kickboxing pedigree to win the fight. Holland’s lack of offensive wrestling hurt him, and it’ll be interesting to see who the UFC wants MVP to face next.


Other Standout Performances

UFC 299: Age not on Robelis Despaigne's mind after another quick KO

The card for UFC 299 was so stacked that there were too many good performances to go in depth on, so here are some of the other performances that stood out.


Jack Della Maddalena

Jack Della Maddalena had the biggest test of his career against former title challenger Gilbert Burns, and he did not disappoint. Maddalena stayed competitive throughout the first two rounds and earned a KO win late in the third and final round. Even more impressive is the fact that Della Maddalena did it after breaking his arm sometime in the first round.

Petr Yan

Petr Yan returned to the win column following his losses to former bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling, current champ Sean O’Malley, and presumed next title challenger Merab Dvalishvili. The three-fight losing streak came against the best of the best, but some felt that Yan was declining. However, he showed against Song Yadong that he is still among the best of the best at 135 pounds.

Curtis Blades

Curtis Blades shocked many by defeating rising heavyweight Jailton Almeida by second-round KO. If you have followed Blades’ career, you know that despite being one of the best and most dangerous heavyweights in the UFC, he has never been able to get over the hump, with his only four career losses coming against Francis Ngannou (twice), Derrick Lewis, and Sergei Pavlovich. Will this fight lead to Blades finally getting on a run to a title shot? Only time will tell.

Robelis Despaigne

Robelis Despaigne made his hyped UFC debut against Josh Parisian. Despaigne continued his stellar run from outside of the UFC, getting a KO win in just 18 seconds. Despaigne has four KO wins in his last four fights, with a total fight time of just 37 seconds. It is extremely impressive, and it will be interesting to see how the UFC books his next fight.


That’ll wrap up the UFC 299 Recap. Stay tuned in to Bleacher Brawls as UFC 300 is only one month away, and that night of fights might be the best the UFC has ever promoted from top-to-bottom. UFC 299 lived up to the hype, and provided an excellent last PPV event before the special UFC 300. With Sean O’Malley retaining his title, Dustin Poirier’ exciting KO, MVP’s debut, and great performances up and down the card, UFC 299 was a spectacular night of fights.

UFC 300 can’t come soon enough.

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