Nunes defends title, stops Pennington in the fifth round

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The main event of UFC 224 featured bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes defending her title against top contender Raquel Pennington. The fight was competitive by mostly saw the champion winning throughout.

Nunes opened the fight with a strong low calf kick that immediately set the course for the fight. Pennington spent most of the round with her back against the cage taking shots from the faster Nunes. Pennington was apprehensive after the effectiveness of Nunes’ kicks and Nunes was able to easily win the first round with her aggression.

The second round looked as it might go the same way, and it did through most of the round until Pennington was able to get a takedown and control Nunes for a short time before the two got back to their feet and ended the round with a furious exchange.

The third round started with both fighters exchanging punches, but nothing significant. Nunes was able to secure a takedown of her own and seemed content to control top position and land small strikes as Pennington did her best to mitigate damage. Referee Marc Goddard stood the two fighters up from inactivity and the two trades punches for the rest of the round with Nunes moving forward aggressively, but Pennington staying competitive.

Nunes was definitely the fresher fighting coming into the fourth round and continued with her forward aggressiveness with Pennington playing the role of counter-striker. Pennington found some success in spurts, but Nunes continued to work combinations off leg kicks. Nunes secured a trip takedown half way through the round, but again seemed content to hold position as Pennington tied her up. Eventually Pennington was able to work back to her feet and the two exchanged strikes for the rest of the round, but Nunes continued to get the better of it. Nunes landed some big knees to end the round, but Pennington survived by holding onto a single leg.

In between rounds, Pennington could be heard telling her coach she was ‘done’, but was convinced to come out for the fifth round. Despite voicing her opinion to stop, Pennington came out and exchanged with the champion until getting taken down again. Nunes was against content to mostly control position and land strategic shots as Pennington just tried to tie her up and survive. Nunes landed a huge shot that caused a huge amount of blood to start pouring from Pennington’s face who quickly gave up her back. Nunes literally smelled blood and turned it on to cause the referee to call a halt to the action.

Official Result: Amanda Nunes defeated Raquel Pennington by TKO (Strikes, Round 5, )

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