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Amanda Nunes is the new women’s bantamweight champion – again.
In the UFC 277 main event, Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) defeated Julianna Pena (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-43) to become double champion for the second time. The bout sat atop the card Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Nunes’s demeanor and energy level was much different than their first outing. After a strong Round 1, Nunes really started to let her hands go in Round 2 and dropped Nunes three times with punches. Peña’s offense was overaggressive at times, as she charged straight forward with long punches.
While some of the punches connected, largely Peña walked in Nunes’ biggest strikes. Both fighters were sliced open. Peña’s cut became obviously apparent when Nunes took her down in Round 3. From there, Nunes worked heavy ground-and-pound that made a little blood into a puddle.
Peña attempted some submissions in Round 3, to no avail. After Round 3, coach Rick Little told Peña, “You need to finish her in these two rounds.”
Despite that, Peña wasn’t able to get going in Round 4 before Nunes scored another takedown. Off her back, Peña attempted a handful of submissions – including a tight armbar that Nunes angled out of.
Eventually, Peña got up – an absolute mess. There was blood everywhere. Nunes took Peña down again. When Peña threatened a submission, Nunes decided to stand the fight back up. There, Peña landed perhaps her best punch of the fight thus far. Nunes promptly changed her mind and returned Peña to the mat.
— UFC (@ufc) July 31, 2022
As the fighters walked to the stools, both were swollen and dripped with blood. The cutmen did a good job, though, as both fighters looked a lot more respectable as they exited the corners.
Nunes took Peña down again immediately in Round 5. The blood poured from Peña’s head as Nunes attempted an anaconda choke. Peña escaped, got back up, and was dragged back down again. Peña threatened an kimura, to which Nunes tried a reversal to a rear-naked choke. Peña somewhat fought that off, so Nunes landed on top in half-guard.
From there, Nunes worked to the back and a rear-naked choke attempt. Somehow, Peña powered out shortly before the final horn. Moments later, Nunes was named the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion – again.
CHAMP CHAMP ONCE AGAIN! 👑👑
— UFC (@ufc) July 31, 2022
The UFC 277 main event marked a rematch between Nunes and Peña. The two met at UFC 269 in December when Peña scored one of the biggest upsets in promotional history and submit Nunes via second-round rear-naked choke.
With the victory, Nunes avenges her loss and gets back on the winning track. Besides the loss to Peña in their first meeting, Nunes has not lost since a September 2014 defeat to Cat Zingano. She moves to 13-1 in her most recent 14 appearances.
As for Peña, the loss is her first since Germaine de Randamie in October 2020. She is 3-3 in her most recent six outings.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 277 results include:
Amanda Nunes def. Julianna Peña via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-43)
Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via TKO (body kick, punches) – Round 3, 4:34
Sergei Pavlovich def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:55
Alexandre Pantoja def. Alex Perez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:31
Magomed Ankalaev def. Anthony Smith via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:09
Alex Morono def. Matthew Semelsberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves via knockout (body punch) – Round 3, 1:30
Hamdy Abdelwahab vs. Don’Tale Mayes via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Drakkar Klose def. Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:09
Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria via TKO (knees, punches) – Round 2, 3:33
Orion Cosce def. Blood Diamond via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)