UFC 249, Calvin Kattar finishes Stephens with elbow in second round

UFC 249: Top 5 Winners

UFC 249 was full of winners, here are the top 5

It’s tough to pick just five from this event, there were winners across the board but only a handful stood out above the rest.

5. Calvin Katter

The Massachusetts (New England Cartel) native, had his hands full with UFC mainstay Jeremy Stephens. Stephens was the only fighter to come in overweight (4.5 lbs) and after a week of isolation, coronavirus tests and weight cut there was nothing stopping Kattar from entering that cage. A vicious elbow ended the night for Stephens, opening him up on the ground and pound that ensued. Kattar again proves that he truly belongs among the best of the best in the division. Coming off of a short fight with Zabit, one which saw Kattar picking it up as the fight ended, this was a big one to further prove that Kattar is top five material for the featherweights.

4. Francis Ngannou

This man is terrifying. Ngannou continues to prove his power is unlike anything we have seen in the sport. In his past four fights Ngannou averages just around 40 seconds in the octagon per fight. The undefeated Rozenstruik who was brave enough to call out the “predator” only lasted 20 seconds. This furthers that Ngannou is the top contender in the division, something many have known. Miocic continues his respective career as a fire fighter during these tough times, while Cormier awaits the return of the champion for the trilogy, it seems Ngannou must again wait it out for his second title shot. That being said I don’t think anyone is arguing that it isn’t Ngannou’s shot when Cormier & Miocic settle their dispute.

3. Bryce Mitchell

I’ve said it for a while now, Mitchell has talent to be a future champion in the stacked featherweight division. Charles Rosa was coming off of an insanely impressive submission of Manny Bermudez and Mitchell completely toyed with Rosa for three rounds. He attempted submission attempts at will, twister after twister, arm triangle after arm triangle, a lesser man than Rosa would have been finished on several occasions. Mitchell is world class on the ground, arguably even more impressive was his ability to counter every Rosa sprawl back into a successful position. Mitchell proved a lot last night at UFC 249, and well, he got his camp pants so he’s a huge winner in my book.

2. Dana White

White did it. He did it. This card was crazy successful, yes we had one coronavirus scare and we are all wishing jacare the absolute best but as of now Dana White did it. The world was watching, President Trump congratulated White. You are kidding yourself if you don’t think every other sports league in the country was watching praying for a successful UFC event. This event going for the most part smoothly (again barring any positive tests that could come back post event) was a win for the sporting world and a sign that sports may be back sooner rather than later. Dana White said he’d be first in line to come back and he did just that, not to mention another upcoming two events in the next six days.

1. Justin Gaethje

Absolutely world class. This was a performance for the ages from Gaethje. You are going up against one of the most talented and relentless fighters in the world, and you come out with a dominating TKO win. The most impressive part of this UFC 249 headlining fight was that this went essentially five rounds, Gaethje didn’t let up, Ferguson couldn’t find holes because Gaethje was doing to Ferguson what Ferguson does to so many others, relentless striking. Gaethje walked in on short notice and defeated the “boogeyman” the man who had won 12 straight, the man that next to no one in the division wanted to see across the cage from them. Gaethje who has nine performance bonuses in seven UFC fights is the interim champion of the lightweight division, and Khabib is next for the “highlight”.

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Joe McDonagh
A Boston native, lover of sports (yes Boston Sports) and MMA. Covering the Northeast regional scene. A contributor with myMMAnews, Cageside Press and Fancied MMA