UFC 290 took place last Saturday, July 8th, 2023 live from the T-Mobile Arena with a sold-out crowd during International Fight Week. The fight card delivered a ton of action and was one of the best fight cards in recent memory and was by far the best fight card of 2023 so far as expected.

We saw the featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski retain his featherweight championship by finishing Yair Rodriguez by strikes in round three of their title fight further solidifying himself as one of the greatest featherweight competitors of all time. Meanwhile, in the co-main event we arguably had the fight of the year between the two best fighters in the men's flyweight division as Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja went to battle. Pantoja was able to hang in there eating a ton of shots to out-grapple and control Moreno to claim flyweight gold.

That's not all we've seen, we also saw the rise of the greatest prospect in the history of the UFC Bo Nickal come in there absolutely starch his opponent in the early going of the first round. Just for reference, Nickal is one of the best-ever collegiate wrestlers and he went toe-to-toe with a knockout artist and put him down with a beautifully timed right hand. In the featured bout on the main card, Dricus Du Plessis knocked out former champ Robert Whittaker to claim the number-one contender spot to face off against Israel Adesanya who he has a ton of bad blood against.

We can't forget about the perfect ending to an amazing career for Robbie Lawler. He was able to knock out Niko Price in the first round to end his historic run in the UFC and he couldn't have asked for a better send-off. The UFC couldn't have asked for a better event, let's take a look at the takeaways for UFC 290.

Bo Nickal is the future of this sport

The former NCAA wrestling champion made it five wins in a row in the UFC, knocking out newcomer Val Woodburn in the first round at UFC 290. Nickal showed off his wrestling skills and his power during his short stint in the UFC, and he looks like a future contender in the middleweight division.

Nickal's performance was particularly impressive given that he was fighting an opponent on less than a week's notice which is the first time he had to do that in his career. He was able to keep his composure as he opened up the main card to a massive PPV event and cracked Woodburn with a lead right hook and then followed it up with precision strikes to put him down shortly thereafter.

Nickal is now 5-0 in the UFC, and he has quickly established himself as one of the top prospects in the middleweight division. He is a complete fighter with a bright future ahead of him.

Alexander Volkanovski is the number-one P4P fighter

Volkanovski defended his featherweight title for the sixth time, defeating Yair Rodriguez by TKO in the third round at UFC 290. The Australian champion was in control from the start, and he put Rodriguez away with a series of punches. Volkanovski's victory was impressive, and it showed that he is still the best featherweight in the world. He is a complete fighter with a great chin, and he is one of the most exciting champions in the UFC and should be considered the number-one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC over Jon Jones.

Volkanovski is now 12-0 in the featherweight division and 12-1 overall in the UFC with his lone loss being a very closely contested fight against Islam Makhachev as he attempted to become a double champ. He has been the most dominant force ever since stepping foot inside the octagon and let's not forget that he is the most active champion in the organization as well.

Alexandre Pantoja is the best flyweight in the world

Pantoja and Moreno put on a classic in their rematch for the flyweight title, with Pantoja winning a split decision at UFC 290. The fight was close and exciting, and it was a contender for Fight of the Year. Pantoja's victory was a big moment for him, and it showed that he is the best flyweight in the world. He is a well-rounded fighter with a great chin, and he is a tough out for anyone in the division.

Pantoja will now get to fight the cream of the crop in the flyweight division to continue his legacy as the best flyweight not only in the UFC but in the world. He worked his tail off throughout his entire career ever since he made it on The Ultimate Fighter and his dreams and aspirations finally came true.

Dricus Du Plessis poses the biggest threat to Israel Adesanya

Du Plessis made a statement with his knockout of Robert Whittaker, setting up a title shot against Israel Adesanya at UFC 290. The South African prospect knocked out Whittaker with a right jab and follow-up of strikes in the second round, and he showed that he is a legitimate contender in the middleweight division.

Du Plessis's victory was a huge upset, and it showed that he is a dangerous fighter. He is a powerful striker with a great chin, and he will be a tough challenge for Adesanya. Du Plessis is now 20-2 in his career, and he is the number-one contender in the middleweight division. His awkward style of fighting along with his strength and size will pose a ton of trouble to Israel Adesanya when they fight much like it did when he fought Whittaker. Don't be surprised if we hear ‘AND NEW!” when he fights Adesanya later this year.

Robbie Lawler's send-off was magical

Robbie Lawler retired from MMA in style, knocking out Niko Price in the first round. Lawler was fighting in his final fight, and he went out on top at UFC 290. Lawler's victory was a fitting end to a Hall of Fame career. He is one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history, and he has given fans some of the most memorable moments in the sport. Lawler is now 30-16 in his career, and he is a legend of the sport. He will be missed by fans, but he will be remembered as one of the greats.