A women’s bantamweight title fight headlined tonight’s UFC 224 event as Amanda Nunes put her title on the line against Raquel Pennington.
Round one begins and Nunes starts off quickly by taking the center of the octagon. She leaps in with a left that fails to hit the mark. Nunes with a huge low kick that sends Pennington flying and crashing to the floor. She gets back up but Nunes is there to greet her with punches and then a pair of low kicks. Pennington fakes a kick to the body. Nunes lands a jab followed by another leg kick that sends Rocky to the floor. Pennington gets back up but Nunes greets her with a jab to the body. Amanda continues to fire off low kicks. Pennington ducks under a punch but misses with a counter left hook attempt. Both women decide to stand and trade in the pocket. Nunes side steps and then fires off a right hand. Another good combination from Nunes. Pennington eats it and then fires back with a nice uppercut. Nunes continues to press the pace here in round one. She lands another heavy low kick. Pennington comes forward with a combination. Nunes avoids and then lands a low kick. She lands another. Pennington charges forward with a flurry. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and Amanda Nunes starts where she left off in round one. Big low kicks from the champion. Nunes is all over Rocky with pressure here. Pennington slides out of range and then forces the clinch. Pennington with some nice uppercuts from the position. Nunes did not like that and breaks free. Amanda circles out and then comes back with a spinning back kick. She lands a nice combination but Rocky shoots in and looks to force a takedown. It is not there, not yet at least. Rocky continues to press the issue by forcing Nunes against the cage. Pennington immediately passes to side control and begins working some short shots from the top. Twenty seconds remain in round two. Nunes forces Rocky off of her and they stand and trade before the horn sounds to end round two.
Round three begins and Rocky appears to be more confident now. Nunes lands a nice low kick and then another. Rocky responds with a jab to the body. Nunes circles and then leaps forward with a crisp combination. Another hard low kick from Nunes. Rocky bites down on her mouthpiece and then charges in with a flurry. Nunes shakes her head no and then lands another heavy low kick. Rocky attempts to shoot in but Nunes switches the position and slams Pennington to the floor. “The Lioness” immediately passes to half guard and begins working some ground and pound. Pennington is attempting to scramble and gets back to full guard. Pennington is doing a good job of avoiding any real damage here. Two minutes remain in round three. The referee steps in and stands the fight back up. Nunes misses with a right hand and Rocky counters nicely with a combination. Both women are swinging for the fences now. Pennington with a nice left hand. Nunes could be tiring here. Rocky presses her up against the cage. Nunes stuffs the takedown attempt and circles off the fence. She lands a nice right hand as Pennington was coming in. Nunes with a knee and the horn sounds to end round three.
Round four begins and Rocky lands a nice counter left hand early. Nunes side steps and then lands another crushing low kick. Amanda appears to still have some gas in the tank as she hops around. Nunes misses with a head kick. Rocky replies with a kick to the body that is blocked. Pennington once again charges forward with punches but Amanda counters beautifully with a right hand. Nunes with a knee from the clinch. She scores a trip and puts Pennington on her back. Rocky is looking for a sweep but it is not there. Under two minutes remain in round four. Rocky scrambles back up to her feet but Nunes is there to land some big punches. She puts Rocky in the clinch and unloads a big knee. Pennington eats the strike and pushes Nunes against the cage. Round four comes to and end.
Round five begins and Amanda Nunes was able to get Pennington back to the ground where she proceeded to unload a plethora of punishing strikes on Raquel. After a few seconds of brutality the referee mercifully stepped in and stopped the action!
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