Five takeaways from UFC 267

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Danny Howard

November 1st, 2021

UFC 267 delivered with action-packed fights and drama from beginning to end. Glover Teixeira is the new light heavyweight champion, and the UFC may have new stars in Khamzat Chimaev and Islam Makhachev. Here’s what we learned from Abu Dhabi.

Golden Glove(r)

Seven years after coming up short against Jon Jones, Teixeira finally won the big one after submitting Jan Blachowicz in the second round. Not only was Teixeira the only betting underdog to win on the card, but he became the oldest first time champion at the age of 42. This caps off an unlikely run that will likely solidify Teixeira’s claim to the hall of fame.

While winning the title is a big accomplishment in of itself, how long will the aging champion reign? With Jiri Prochazka looming, probably not long.

Chimaev, Makhachev ready for the big time

Let it be known that all doubting of Chimaev and Makhachev has ceased following their dominant displays over the weekend. Both men dispatched the toughest tests of their careers in less than a round. These were clear statements that they are ready for the biggest fights available to them. Chimaev and Makhachev are not only two of the hottest performers in the game; they are on the verge of superstardom.

Yan with plenty of options after Sandhagen win

It didn’t take Petr Yan long to impose his will on Cory Sandhagen, getting the better of him in an entertaining bout.

While Yan would prefer to rematch champ Aljamain Sterling, he showed a willingness post-fight to take on anyone willing to step into the octagon. This is great for UFC fans, as a fight with TJ Dillashaw or rematches with Sandhagen or Jose Aldo would be welcomed. Even without the title, Yan is still the main man in the division, and he’s ready to stake his claim against anyone who dares to test him.

Saint Denis’ career in jeopardy after hideous beating

Fighters sometimes need to be saved from themselves, and a referee is there to ensure the rules are being followed and to know when a fighter has had enough. This clearly wasn’t the case as referee Vyacheslav Kiselev fell asleep at the wheel as Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos rained down a hailstorm of unanswered shots on a listless and defenseless Benoit Saint Denis in the second round.

The announcers and even the crowd shouted for mercy, but Kiselev let the fight continue. Deaths in the ring have happened in situations similar to what we saw here. It’s safe to say that Kiselev’s refereeing career with the UFC should end immediately.

Lerone Murphy’s KO was a thing of beauty

The KO of the night came deep in the preliminaries, as Lerone Murphy evicted Makwan Amirkhani of his consciousness with a brutal knee shot.

Things weren’t looking too good for Murphy in the early goings of their featherweight clash, but the patient Murphy saw Amirkhani angling for a takedown. The telegraphed shoot turned out to be a massive mistake. Murphy perfectly timed a knee shot that discombobulated Amirkhani before even hitting the mat. It was a great shot that deserves multiple viewings, and should earn Murphy a bonus.