5 biggest takeaways from UFC 283: Can Deiveson Figueiredo make an impact at 135?

What mattered most at UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro?

Ismael Bonfim became the early clubhouse leader for Knockout of the Year when he flattened the heavily hyped Terrance McKinney with about as violent a flying knee finish as you’ll ever see.

The moment the fight began, it was clear Bonfim (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wasn’t there to roll over for McKinney, who was more cautious than usual out of respect for the Brazilian newcomer. That allowed Bonfim to settle in and gain confidence, and from there he was off to the races.

As it became clear he was starting to take over going into the second round, cageside commentator Paul Felder noted how amazing Bonfim looked in the fight. The UFC had a picture-and-picture window on the screen with his brother Gabriel (who picked up a thrilling 49-second submission of Mounir Lazzez later on the prelims), then he uncorked the brutal strike that face-planted McKinney and put him to sleep.

It truly doesn’t get much better than that in a debut, and while the result may ultimately raise more questions about where McKinney’s ceiling is at compared Bonfim’s, this was a huge way to make a first impression under the UFC banner.

Farewell, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

Mauricio Rua had an early moment in his fight with Ihor Potieria that inspired hope he might be able to exit his MMA career with a fairy tale ending. That glimmer of hope quickly was taken away, however, when he was caught with a hard shot then finished at the 4:05 mark of Round 1.

No matter the mixed results late in his career, Rua’s (27-14-1 MMA, 11-12-1 UFC) legacy remains unblemished. He’s an all-time great and one of the most influential fighters in the sport’s history, and the fact he managed to stick around as long as he did is a testament to his natural talent.

Even when “Shogun” joined the UFC in 2007, an argument could be made he wasn’t the same fighter as he was in PRIDE. He’s endured a stretch of serious injuries, largely to the knees, but somehow found a path to become UFC light heavyweight champion. It’s truly remarkable.

Rua’s retirement is legitimately the end of era in the sport of MMA, because he’s the final PRIDE mainstay who was active on the UFC roster. He should be proud of a career that was carried with class, no outside-the-cage controversies and a plethora of memorable moments inside the cage and ring.

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