Nunes successfully defends after stoppage

UFC 224 Nunes Pennington

Women's bantamweight champion Nunes defended her 135-pound gold against Pennington.

Amanda "The Lioness" Nunes returns to her native Brazil, looking to defend her bantamweight crown for the third time, as she takes on perennial contender Raquel Pennington in the main event of UFC 224.

Clearly perturbed by being taken down in the second round, Nunes marched forward even more in the third, though she finally encountered some tough resistance.

But Nunes was never in trouble and continued to attack a tired Pennington throughout. Two knees landed for Nunes, but Pennington caught a kick. They trotted their fighter back out instead of protect her. At least one of those got through clean as Pennington's nose was twisted sideways as a result of the knee strikes as she was definitely going into survival mode.

"I respect this woman so much", the Brazilian said with tears in her eyes after her victory.

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That cost her in the fifth round as Nunes took the fight to the ground and immediately began bludgeoning Pennington as her nose absolutely exploded with blood gushing out onto the mat with the champion just brutalizing her without pause.

Nunes and Pennington are friends away from the cage, and that probably won't change. The time of the stoppage was 2:36 of the fifth round. She invited Pennington's fiancé Tecia Torres into the Octagon and claimed that it was the hardest fight of her career due to her friendship with the couple.

A dominant fourth round saw a weird and absurd end as at the end of the round, Pennington returned to the corner and wanted out of the fight, due to a broken twisted nose.

Gastelum said: "I expected to win, but I wanted to finish the fight and guarantee the title shot".

"To defend this belt is something I dream, and I have to do it". Current UFC women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. At the end of the fourth round, Pennington literally told her corner she was "done" with the fight.

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