Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight finishers Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie will rematch this Saturday (Dec. 14, 2019) at UFC 245 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s pretty crazy to look back to 2013 at the first fight between these two women. At the time, Nunes was just 8-3 as a professional, prone to gassing out after strong starts. De Randamie, meanwhile, was just 4-2, still relatively green in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). As a result, Nunes was fairly easily able to drag her foe to the mat and finish with strikes. Six years later, things have changed. Both women have captured UFC titles in that timespan — wonder what the betting odds on that would have been in 2013? Nunes in particular has captured two titles and established herself as an all-time great, but there’s reason to believe a more experienced “Iron Lady” could give her trouble.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:
Key Wins: Cris Cyborg (UFC 232), Ronda Rousey (UFC 207), Holly Holm (UFC 239), Miesha Tate (UFC 200), Valentina Shevchenko (UFC 215, UFC 196), Sara McMann (UFC Fight Night 73), Raquel Pennington (UFC 224)
Key Losses: Cat Zingano (UFC 178), Sarah D’Alelio (Invicta FC 4), Alexis Davis (Strikeforce: Barnett vs Kharitonov)
Keys to Victory: Am I a sexist piece of garbage if I were to write that Nunes hits like a man? Questionable comparisons aside, Nunes does hit really damn hard, which often proves the deciding factor when she’s also quite technically good in just about every area.
Unlike a fair portion of Nunes’ past foes, however, de Randamie can crack as well. Nunes may not be afraid to exchange in the pocket with anyone, but de Randamie can actually hurt her as well, and “Lioness” has to be aware.
Nunes gives herself the best chance at victory by mixing it up, like she did opposite another decorated Muay Thai veteran in Valentina Shevchenko. In what’s likely to be a rather competitive striking match, Nunes can really throw her opponent off and shift the momentum to her side with a couple well-timed level changes.
Germaine de Randamie
Key Wins: Holly Holm (UFC 208), Aspen Ladd (UFC Fight Night 155), Raquel Pennington (UFC Fight Night 139), Julie Kedzie (UFC on FOX 8)
Key Losses: Amanda Nunes (UFC Fight for the Troops 3)
Keys to Victory: An excellent Muay Thai fighter who picked up 46 professional victories against zero losses in her base martial art, de Randamie has won five straight fights since her 2013 loss to Nunes. On a related note, her defensive wrestling has come a long way.
At the risk of dumbing things down too much, the Muay Thai champion wants a Muay Thai fight here. If de Randamie can make this strictly a distance kickboxing match, it’s very likely that she can land more strikes across five rounds and edge out the dominant champion.
Two strikes need to be established for that to happen: the jab and inside low kick. De Randamie has a hard jab, one that if used and feinted frequently should do well in keeping Nunes away from the body lock. The inside low kick pairs well with that strike, and it should help take some power away from Nunes’ overhand right. In addition, it’s not an easy kick to counter with takedowns.
Finally, de Randamie has to be careful to avoid placing her back on the fence, which is likely where Nunes will look to duck into the clinch. If Nunes does secure that positioning, caution is again key: de Randamie cannot go hunting for the double-collar tie and give up her hips in the process.
Of course, Nunes is the deserving favorite, as she’s on an absolutely incredible run. The Brazilian double champ is really running out of challengers — UFC is seriously considering running the Shevchenko trilogy despite the general awfulness of the rematch. There just aren’t many options remaining, so let’s hope Ketlen Vieira returns impressively on Saturday night as well.
A loss would certainly result in an immediate rematch and trilogy bout.
Meanwhile, a win would really change everything for de Randamie. After the controversy in her win with Holly Holm and subsequent vacation of her title, many in the fight world have written off her title win. None could deny her were she to topple Nunes, however, and it would be her second divisional title, which would put her among rare company indeed.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 245 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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At UFC 245, Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie will go to war a second time. Which woman will earn the victory?