The Pulse of MMA: Fan Reactions To The Sport’s Biggest Stories
In this installment of The Pulse of MMA, we look at the raw, unfiltered reactions from MMA fans to the UFC‘s nominations for Best Debut of 2021.
It’s the last week of 2021, which means it’s time to start looking back at the biggest and best moments of the year. Right now, that means taking a peek at the UFC’s nominations for the best debut of the year.
After a brief recap of each debut, you can find the Pulse of MMA letting their collective voice be heard on their thoughts on the final vote tally of the UFC’s poll.
Michael Chandler def. Dan Hooker (UFC 257)
Credit: Getty Images
There were four nominees presented by the UFC, beginning with Michael Chandler‘s UFC 257 debut against Dan Hooker.
Chandler overwhelmed Hooker with his forward pressure immediately after the fight began. Before long, a devastating left hook sent Hooker down to the canvas, and the Missouri native put on the finishing touches with several punches to his downed opponent.
Chandler went on to compete two additional times in 2021, first in the main event of UFC 262 in a loss to Charles Oliveira in a lightweight championship bout; and then against Justin Gaethje in a certified Fight of the Year candidate, which was another loss for Chandler, bringing his year record to 1-2.
Heading into 2022, Chandler hopes to be paired against Conor McGregor.
Terrance McKinney def. Matt Frevola (UFC 263)
We only have seven seconds of footage of Terrence McKinney in the UFC available, but he made every tick count.
At UFC 263, Terrance McKinney came right out, landed a lightning-quick one-two combo that sent Matt Frevola down, and then the celebration began.
Unfortunately, there was a little too much celebrating, as McKinney would turn in a second finish moments after his historic win over Frevola. This time, he gave himself a doctor’s stoppage with a cage flip gone wrong. Take notice Michael Chandler.
Heading into 2022, McKinney is booked to face Fares Ziam in his sophomore UFC performance on February 26.
Alex Pereira def. Andreas Michailidis (UFC 268)
Alex Pereira entered UFC 268 with a lot of hype on his back, including teammate and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Teixeira predicting that he will definitely win UFC gold in the future.
In his debut against Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268, the decorated kickboxer’s grappling game was instantly put to the test when Michailidis got the early takedown in the first round. Despite the early setback, Pereira was able to return to his feet but spent most of the round tamed by Michailidis’ clinch control. In this second round, he let loose.
Pereira landed a sure-fire candidate for KO of the year with his flying knee KO in the second round. Now, heading into 2022, he has a date with Bruno Silva on March 12.
Paddy Pimblett def. Luigi Vendramini (UFC Vegas 36)
There perhaps was no debut in 2021 with as much fanfare behind it as Liverpool England’s Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett’s.
In the early goings of Pimblett’s UFC debut, it looked as though his hype train might have been en route to being derailed before it ever really got going. Vendramini was putting it on Pimblett, repeatedly landing hook after hook to the “Baddy’s” exposed chin.
That chin held up and so did Pimblett’s hype. Because after absorbing multiple heavy punches from Vendramini, ultimately it was Pimblett who got the KO finish in a series kicked off by a staggering right hand.
Pimblett and his hype now head to 2022 with a date and opponent yet to be determined. Word around the grapevine is Donald Cerrone is interested in the fight, but there have been no formal reports on this potential pairing.
Best UFC Debut of 2021 Nominees Video
Now that you’ve read about them, SEE these memorable debuts for yourself in the video package below!
MMA Twitter Weighs In
Finally, here is what the Pulse of MMA had to say about the UFC’s nominations list after Michael Chandler took home the most votes on the official poll.
You’re casual af if you chose paddy Alex deserves this
— Benzo (@Benzz323) December 27, 2021
Paddy almost got knocked out why tf is he 37%🤦️it’s either chandler or Alex Pereira
— YRG_Panic (@___luminary___) December 27, 2021
Come on guys, really? Why so many votes for Paddy? He showcased a concerning lack of defense and even his offense wasn’t that impressive. Not good, if this debut is any indication of how he will fight against tougher opposition.
— Michael Forte (@Michael88677395) December 27, 2021
Mckinney knocked a guy out in about 8 seconds but his name isn’t as big so casuals won’t understand
— Owainjarvo (@OwainJarvis) December 27, 2021
Chandlers to me was the best but I chose paddy because he overcame a little bit of a storm there at the beginning and finished it in the first like he said he would.
— fookin nuttin (@Looking4afight) December 28, 2021
Not the guy who almost got knocked out
— Truong_An (@Van_An_Truong) December 28, 2021
bro he doesn’t get extra points for having shit defense
— khalabeeep (@khalabeeep4) December 27, 2021
Terrance is the only one here that broke a record… this is a popularity test I see . Don’t worry he’ll get the respect soon
— Demon Kaneki (@DemonKaneki2) December 27, 2021
Who gets YOUR vote for the best UFC debut of 2021?
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