Even though there weren’t any extreme upsets in the event (aside from the fact that Pyotr Yan KO-ed fan-favorite Uriah Faber), we can still agree that UFC 245 was a solid event. There was a lot of action in practically all the fights. And we have to give special attention to the Championship fights – the event was graced with not one, not two, but three of them. You can read how they all played out in the following sections of the article.
Championship bout #1: Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie
This was an especially interesting fight for the fight fans. To be fair, de Randamie has had some questionable fights in the past – including the one with Holly Holm where she was very passive and only attacked after the bell for the end of the round. However, this time both Amanda and Germaine didn’t fail to deliver. It was a back and forth fight. De Randamie’s strengths were in her world-class Muay Thai. Amanda on the other hand has a VICIOUS overhand right, tested against Cyborg Santos.
However, at the end of the day, it was Amanda Nunes’ BJJ skillset that won the fight. Amanda had problems with De Randamie’s Muay Thai and she was backed against the cage multiple times during the fight. De Randamie even struck Amanda with a hard knee at one point – wiping the smile off of her face. But once Amanda managed to take De Randamie down – as she did too easily multiple times – the round went in her favor. Amanda is proficient in ground as pound, and De Randamie wasn’t able to defend herself properly against it. The sole thing that De Randamie managed to do is serve Amanda with a few hard upkicks from the ground – and even Amanda’s corner urged her to respect De Randamie’s upkicks. So, in the end, Amanda Nunes won the fight and the championship belt via unanimous decision.
Championship bout #2: Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski
This was an especially interesting fight to watch. It was the first time in a long time where someone managed to outright outclass Max “Blessed” Holloway – harking back to the days when Holloway fought the Notorious. There weren’t any fight-ending moments and moves in the fight. What pleasantly surprised us is just how well-rounded Alexander Volkanovski really is. He has it all – timing, precision, power, striking, grappling – literally everything. He’s not exceptional in any one point though – unlike Max who has exceptional boxing skills. What Volkanovski managed to do is disrupt Max’s rhythm to where he looked like a shadow of his former self. If we compare this fight with the fight between Holloway and Brian Ortega – there is a huge difference in how Max fought. The world-class boxing and high-volume attacks that Max is known for simply weren’t there. Volkanovski managed to systematically pick Holloway apart in five rounds – winning the fight via a unanimous decision in the end.
Championship bout #3: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
There was a lot of trash talk leading up to this bout. And it was literally trash talk – neither Kamaru and especially Colby came off as genuine in their pre-fight antics. It was obvious that they were doing all that for the purpose of selling the fight – as many fighters try to go the path that McGregor went on and captivate the attention and imagination of the UFC fans. But how did the fight go?
Both Colby and Kamaru came in cautious – testing their opponent’s reactions and rhythm. This is usual in championship bouts where there are five rounds – the fighters use the first round to get a first impression of their opponent and they don’t wish to tire themselves out too soon.
First of all, what was surprising (perhaps even unsurprising to the true fans) was that neither Kamaru nor Colby initiated a takedown and took the fight to the ground. This is surprising given the fact that they are both world-class wrestlers. But perhaps their styles cancelled each other out – so the lack of any wrestling and ground game isn’t surprising at all. The world-class wrestlers paradoxically focused their efforts on out-striking their opponent. And as it should be expected – the striking wasn’t really exceptional. The fighters stuck to the basics – jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts – and combinations thereof.
And as the fight progressed, Kamaru Usman showed that he is the champion for a reason. Not that Colby didn’t show championship heart – but Kamaru got the better of the exchanges between the two fighters more often than not. At one point, Kamaru managed to place a HARD cross directly on Colby’s chin, right on the button, and it shook Colby badly. X-rays that came out after the fight showed that Colby had a broken jaw by the virtue of taking this shot. How Colby managed to stay in the fight after this is what surprises us and makes us admire his heart of a champion.
Right as everyone thought that the fight would go to the judges – Kamaru managed to hit home with a flurry of strikes and Colby hit the ground. Then there was a bit of ground and pound and Colby failed to prove to the referee that he can defend himself. The fight ended around 50 seconds before the end of the fifth and final round and Kamaru was again crowned a Champion of the division.
All in all, the three championship bouts were very fun to watch for the true fans. It was a fantastic event – UFC 245 didn’t fail to deliver, although we wish there were a few more fight ending moves, apart from the aforementioned Uriah Faber KO.