UFC 277: Nicolae Negumereanu Overwhelms Ihor Potieria

Ihor Potieria and Nicolae Negumereanu, UFC 277
Ihor Potieria and Nicolae Negumereanu, UFC 277 Ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Contender Series alum Ihor Potieria finally made his UFC debut on Saturday at UFC 277, taking on surging light heavyweight Nicolae Negumereanu, winner of three straight.

The pair had originally been booked at UFC 272 back in March, only for Potieria to be forced out of the bout. Going into the fight, the consensus was split as Negumereanu clearly had the experience over a higher caliber of opponent, but Potieria’s 15 fight winning streak could simply not be looked past.

Round one began with Potieria taking the centre and exchanging not only a few low kicks but some choice words with Nicolae. Not so long after, Negumereanu attempted a short single leg takedown, pushing Ihor against the cage and subsequently controlling there for the first few minutes of the round. Whilst controlling the clinch, “Nicu” unleashed some viscous short hooks to make the “Duelist” aware his wrestling isn’t the only thing he need worry about.

Halfway into the round, Negumereanu’s clinch control paid dividends as he managed to score his first takedown of the night, comfortably throwing in some top shots whilst in Ihor’s guard. The Ukrainian managed to get back to his feet but only momentarily as shortly after, Negumereanu caught the leg of Ihor and dumped him back to the ground.

The second round began with Negumereanu roaring at the beginning of the round with Ihor looking the more gassed of the two. Potieria started the round better than the first five and began landing some low kicks and nice left crosses. Round two played out much differently than the first as Negumereanu decided to stand and trade with Ihor for the first half, instead of going back to his trusty wrestling.

After a couple of beautiful knee’s in the clinch followed by a barrage of heavy punches against the cage, Negumereanu managed to end Potieria’s 15 fight winning streak, making it four straight wins for himself. With Potieria under fire, the ref called the fight while he was still standing — but the Ukrainian immediately slumped to the canvas when the bout was called.

Official Result: Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria by TKO, Round 2, 3:33