Welcome to “3 Up 3 Down” our version of power rankings! UFC 261 was an epic event and as such it was hard to pick just three trending up so we cheated just a bit. Here are the “3 Up” from UFC 261.
The 3 main event winners
Yeah this is obvious. But Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko were not simply winners last night, but each delivered perhaps the finest performance of their career and cemented their respective legacies. For Valentina, she is the most dominant champion in any weight division in the history of the UFC, and clearly the 2nd best female MMA fighter of all-time with a 3rd fight against Amanda Nunes in the not too distant future. As for Rose Namajunas, regaining the blet in emphatic fashion, made history in that she is the first female MMA fighter to reclaim a title she lost. In doing so, she cemented her status as the greatest female strawweight in MMA history. Finally, Kamaru Usman’s brutal KO of Jorge Masvidal earned him the status of the current #1 P4P fighter in the UFC. Moreover, he has now surpassed Matt Hughes as the 2nd greatest welterweight of all time, and now has is sights set firmly on the legacy of Georges St. Pierre.
No, this is not because of his actual win. Even though, idiotically, Dana White on Instagram pointed out Uriah Hall made history in becoming the first UFC fighter to win a fight without landing a single strike. This is for the unbelievably classy manner in which Hall handled the entire situation surrounding his fight and Chris Weidman’s injury. After quickly going over to see if he could help, he sat stoically facing away from his opponent until Weidman was removed from the Octagon via stretcher. Next, Hall delivered a tremendously classy “victory” speech, wishing Weidman and his family well and saying he’d be happy to give Weidman a rematch at any point in the future.
While Mongolia isn’t necessarily in the UFC’s plans for future conquest, the UFC has definitely found a future contender in the form of Danaa Batgerel who made short work of Kevin Natividad for his 3rd UFC victory and 2nd straight 1st round KO. Batgerel is well-rounded with devastating counter punching and can open up a new audience for the UFC.
Be sure to check back later tonight for the Three Trending Down from UFC 261!