UFC 224: Amanda Nunes Looks To Retain Bantamweight Crown In Brazil

The event was headlined by UFC bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington. Pennington attempted takedowns to challenge the champion somewhere other than the stand-up, but the Lioness started scoring takedowns of her own, where she once again proved to be the better fighter.

Pennington's reluctance to be the aggressor continued to pave the way for Nunes to attack her however she pleased, peppering her with more leg kicks before taking her down shortly afterwards. Rocky secured a takedown, but otherwise it was more of Nunes picking the challenger apart with leg kicks and combinations. Nunes was firing off a multitude of different strikes, including throwing a spinning back kick to Pennington's body. Nunes looked to have a clear speed advantage and her output was higher.

Nunes was last seen defending her belt against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 in September 2017.

After being taken down in the second, Nunes returned the favor in the third as she slammed Pennington down to the mat.

The third frame began and Nunes avoided a takedown attempt.

Nunes tripped Pennington up with a leg kick early in the first round and was the aggressor throughout the fight. Nunes delivered several knees to Pennington's face in the fourth, leaving her faced bloodied.

Pennington told the members of her team she was "done".

"I'm done, I'm done", she said. But after the horn sounded at the end of the first 20 minutes of the fight, Pennington went to her corner feeling like she was done with the fight and unwilling to continue. When the American fighter approached Nunes, the Brazilian countered and took the fight to the octagon floor where she unleashed a barrage of "ground-and-pound" strikes covering the canvas in blood. That was only Nunes' second win by decision in her career - 67 percent of them have come by KO or TKO.

Who is next for Amanda Nunes?

After becoming sick on the day of her fight at UFC 213, Nunes was ripped into by UFC President Dana White.

Gastelum said: "I expected to win, but I wanted to finish the fight and guarantee the title shot".

"I try not to cry", Dern said, "but my camp was very hard and I had the weight issue". It was hard to me. Middleweight legend Vitor Belfort arrives in Brazil for his postponed retirement fight, and strawweight Mackenzie Dern finally lands after missing a scheduled flight.

Pennington's corner implored her to move forward on the champion, which she did well in the second round.

  • Julie Sanders