UFC 224: Amanda Nunes stops Raquel Pennington to defend title in Rio

Amanda Nunes

Her UFC title run includes victories over high-profile fighters such as Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko.

"He should have listened to her at that moment", Nunes said.

Nunes got the back of Pennington in the fifth, the 29-year-old landing a volley of strikes from the top to the head and face of Pennington, who's nose exploded, leaving a bloody mess and forcing the referee to eventually intervene.

While Nunes maintained control for the majority of the second round, Pennington was finally able to drag the fight to the ground with about a minute to go, although she didn't do much with it except maintain the position before the fighters worked their way back to the feet a few seconds remaining. She went out there, and she got finished.

After a pair of failed attempts while backed against the cage, Pennington scored a takedown of Nunes late in the second round to slow the steady onslaught from the champion. It might be a bad injury. It was the first time in UFC history that two openly gay fighters competed for a championship. "C'mon girl. I know it hurts, I know". Pennington is engaged to UFC strawweight Tecia Torres, who used to train with Nunes in South Florida.

"It was very hard for me this fight", Nunes said. And I would have done the same thing because sometimes when you're exhausted and you don't think you have enough left, your coach's job is to pull the most out of you. It was the most hard in my career. "Tonight was about my belt, but I respect the friendship we have". Now, we're friends. We're gonna have a beer in celebration, ' Nunes said.

But Pennington didn't have anything left in the tank, and Nunes went in for the finish, pinning Pennington on her back around the 3:00 mark. While there, she urged them to throw in the towel.

Despite being significantly down on the scorecards, Pennington showed no urgency and stuck to the strategy which saw her opponent build up an unassailable led on the judges' scorecards.

McKenzie Dern lived up to her reputation with a slick first-round submission win over Amanda Cooper after knocking her down with a powerful overhand right.

Despite it being a successful night for Nunes, whose win is arguably going to fuel further talk of a massive Brazilian super fight against Cris Cyborg, it's Pennington's cornermen that have stolen the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

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