The Student News Site of Ramapo High School




UFC 299: A Card to Remember

Sean “Suga” O’Malley was victorious in his first title defense against challenger Marlon “Chito” Vera in the feature bout of UFC 299
Sean “Suga” O’Malley was victorious in his first title defense against challenger Marlon “Chito” Vera in the feature bout of UFC 299

MMA fans around the world were spoiled on March 9th, 2024 for the UFC’s 299th pay-per-view event, which many people are calling one of the best cards of all time. “It was one of the best cards I have ever seen and completely lived up to the hype,” commented senior student and UFC fanatic Leon Taylor. UFC 299 was headlined by new-age superstar Sean “Suga” O’Malley, who many people expect to become the next face of the organization. “He’s definitely one of the most entertaining athletes out right now,” stated Ramapo science teacher Mr. Cramer. Suga made his first bantamweight title defense against the number five ranked contender Marlon “Chito” Vera after defeating Aljamain Sterling for the title in September. O’Malley looked to avenge his only career loss. Vera was able to finish O’Malley in the first round of their first fight in August of 2020. O’Malley contests this result, citing a freak nerve injury that happened shortly into the fight that left his leg unable to bear any weight. 

The Prelims

The prelims were stacked with intriguing matchups. The card was opened by Joane Wood who defeated Maryna Moroz by split decision. Two fights later, heavyweight Robellis Despaigne made his UFC debut against veteran Josh Parisian. Despaigne, a former Olympic Taekwondo bronze medalist, saw a lot of media attention before his debut, with many fans believing he has championship potential in the heavyweight division. The freak of nature holds the longest reach in UFC history (87 inches) and had an absurd combined fight time of 19 seconds in his last three fights. As expected, he starched Parisian 18 seconds into the first round with a right hook. One of the best performances on the entire card came during the next fight when Michel Pereira faced Michal Oleksiejczuk in a middleweight bout. Periera, a former welterweight, stunned Oleksiejczuk with a flurry of punches before jumping on his back and choking him out for a submission win 1:01 into the first round. The prelims also featured former champion and UFC legend Rafale Dos Anjos taking on a top lightweight in Mateusz Gamrot. After a back-and-forth first round in which Dos Anjos stunned Gamrot, Gamrot edged him out in the last two rounds for a unanimous decision win. The prelims ended with #5 heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes against #7 heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida, an incredible matchup for a prelim fight. Almeida dominated Blaydes in the first round with his relentless wrestling. However, a failed takedown at the beginning of the second round by Almeida left him susceptible to a barrage of heavy hammer firsts by Blaydes, who was able to finish Almeida 36 seconds into the round. 


Main Card

The main card opened up with former champion Petr Yan and the #4 bantamweight contender taking on the young and hungry Song Yadong, the #7 bantamweight contender. The heavily anticipated fight did not disappoint. It was back and forth the entire three-round fight, however, Yan was able to outpoint Yadong in the final two rounds with his signature boxing en route to a unanimous decision win. The results of this fight were extremely consequential in what many people believe is the most stacked division in the UFC. Fan favorite and #4 ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns took on hype train #11 ranked Jack Della Maddalena in the next fight. JDM showcased his crisp boxing combinations during the entire three-round war, however, Burns used his wrestling and elite jiu-jitsu to dictate the fight’s pace. That was until the third round when Della Maddalena landed a perfectly timed knee as Burns went for a takedown. Burns was rocked, and JDM was able to finish him for a TKO victory with only a minute and a half left in the fight. The next fight saw UFC newcomer Michael Venom Page against another UFC fan favorite, #13-ranked welterweight Kevin Holland. Venom Page was an accomplished kickboxer and mixed martial artist in other MMA organizations such as Bellator and is known for his highlight reel knockouts and acrobatic kicks. Venom Page was able to reach a long overdue agreement to sign with the UFC and there was no better opponent for him to make his debut against than another one of the best entertainers in the entire sport, showman Kevin Holland. Venom Page dominated the entire fight with his signature karate stance. Holland seemingly could not keep up with the in-and-out and unorthodox striking style of Venom Page and was easily defeated by a unanimous decision. It was one of the most memorable UFC debuts in recent memory. The co-main event featured UFC lightweight legend Dustin Poirier, who many believe to be one the best fighters to never win a championship. He took on top prospect Benoit St. Denis in a heavily anticipated matchup between new school and old school. St. Denis is the epitome of a warrior and an extremely intimidating former French special forces officer was surprisingly the favorite to win the fight. St. Denis won the opening round, successfully taking Porier down multiple times after Porier questionably repeated to attempt guillotine chokes instead of trying to defend the takedowns. Despite this, it was clear any time the fight went to the feet that St. Denis’ striking was not on the level of Porier’s, repeatedly getting hit with clean counter shots. All of that damage finally came to fruition midway into the second round when Porier knocked St. Denis out with a flush lead right hook. Finally, the main event between Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera was underway. O’Malley dominated all five rounds including landing a flush knee right on Vera’s chin in the second round which would have surely resulted in a knockout against any other fighter. Vera showcased his granite chin and uncanny ability to absorb heavy blows. Vera is known to be one of the most durable fighters in the history of the UFC, but he simply could not keep up with O’Malley’s beautiful striking. He surprisingly didn’t attempt a single takedown in the 25-minute beatdown. O’Malley had what many fans are calling one of the best performances in UFC title history in the signature win, solidifying himself as a rising superstar.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Rampage Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *