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UFC 224 results: Amanda Nunes bloodies, beats Raquel Pennington in Brazil

Having not competed in more than 18 months, Raquel Pennington was an unlikely 135-pound title challenger tonight (Sat., May 12, 2018) at UFC 224, which took place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Factor in that “Rocky” was attempting to come back from several surgeries and a bad four-wheeler accident and, well, there weren’t many who believed she could take out women’s Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, in UFC 224’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event.

Nunes, of course, was among them. And she did everything in her power to pummel Pennington — particularly in the fourth round — en route to a blood-soaked fifth round technical knockout victory.

Nunes got the action started with a low kick that took Pennington’s legs completely out from underneath her. Moments later Nunes was able to do the exact same thing as Pennington looked to return fire, but nothing materialized. The pair traded along the fence, with Nunes getting the better of the brief exchange. Nunes backed her up against the cage and fired shots with Pennington reluctant for whatever reason to circle out of danger. Nunes continued to stalk her along the fence with Pennington unable to muster any sort of effective counter attack. Whether it was ring rust or not, Pennington didn’t look comfortable ... at all.

Pennington came out for round two, her lower left lead leg already looking like a tenderized mound of meat. Nunes continued to target it, too, as well as trap her along the fence and drill her with shots. Pennington finally started to loosen up a bit, but she still seemed very overwhelmed early. She seemed content to literally back herself into the corner and let Nunes tee off on her, offering very little in the way of counter strikes. In a rare moment away from the cage, Pennington closed the distance with a takedown attempt and then slammed Nunes to the canvas with a body lock takedown with about 30 seconds remaining in the round. Nunes got back to her feet and closed the round with a flurry, but it was definitely a much less lopsided five minutes of face punching than the opening frame.

Nunes came out for the third round fired up, landing another low kick and then chaining it with a solid one-two combination. Pennington waded in with a lazy left hand, which Nunes ducked under and used her momentum for an early takedown. Nunes didn’t do much damage with top position, though, perhaps stalling to conserve her energy for the championship rounds. The referee warned her and then two minutes later stood them up. On the break, Nunes connected with a nice right hand as Pennington grabbed a hold of her to close the distance. Pennington began to finally let her hands go, but she didn’t land anything very effective — was just good to finally see her comfortable in the fight. She opened up a little bit too much perhaps as Nunes drilled her with a hard right cross at the bell.

Championship rounds were more of the same. Most notably, Pennington told her corner between the fourth and fifth rounds that she was “done.” Perhaps it was the blood streaming from her nose, but her team convinced her to turn around and leave whatever she had left inside the Octagon. Nunes was not sympathetic — taking her down and mushing her nose with both her hands. Pennington didn’t like that ... at all ... and rolled to her knees as blood streamed from her nose like the faucet was turned on high. Nunes boxed her ears from behind until Pennington finally turtled up and let the referee do what her corner wouldn’t and stop the fight.

It was a methodical performance from Nunes, who perhaps dispelled her cardio myths to score a bloody fifth round technical knockout. She is already the most dominant women’s Bantamweight champion not named Ronda Rousey.

For complete UFC 224: “Nunes vs. Pennington” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.