Nunes earned her third title defense, landing 149 strikes to just 79 by the challenger. She paid for the failed takedown attempts, too, as Nunes made a habit of digging knees into the body and head after Pennington bailed on single leg shots. That said, I am going to avoid trying to make a prediction and just enjoy watching this.
That's because it is a strikingly similar build-up to the Ronda Rousey fight at the end of 2016 that saw Nunes crush the returning American and effectively end her MMA career. Even "Bullet" had problems in both her bouts against "The Lioness". But to just think that she was only asking out because she was exhausted and felt beaten is wholly unprofessional and borderline unsafe.
Miesha Tate was not only a great fighter. I think that Pennington has the skill set to beat Nunes, but the ring rust could be the determining factor. Middleweight Kelvin Gastelum takes in the sight of Saturday night's battleground. Some are still riding off Souza as if the second ranked middleweight didn't only lose to two of the best 185-pounders in the world inside the Octagon.
This represents a classic bout in MMA. Change your mindset. Throw her everything we got. Both men are competent strikers with the power to knock out anyone while it will be interesting to see Souza's phenomenal Brazilian jiu-jitsu collides with Gastelum's wrestling. Given the "home-field" advantage, I do think he will walk away the victor here at UFC 224, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Kelvin catch Souza cold. "If I don't make a statement, I don't think I'll be able to contend for the title next". Mackenzie Dern (*123) continues to struggle on the scale, as the highly touted prospect missed the mark for her fight against Amanda Bobby Cooper (116) by seven pounds. Strawweight Amanda Cooper discusses her baby food diet. With higher caliber opponents, that is a grave mistake. Amanda Cooper is 4-3 with all three of her losses coming by way of submission.
But her cornermen responded, "No, no, no, no, no", and sent her back out for the fifth round. The motivation is to keep proving I'm the best, keep proving I'm the champion and then we can be friends again.
John Lineker and Brian Kelleher will have a bantamweight bout. Only the top of the food chain have really given Lineker significant problems on the feet. If the latter theory pans out, there's a good chance of a Nunes knockout. That streak includes a unanimous decision win as a -545 favourite in a UFC 158 battle for the UFC welterweight title with Diaz's older brother Nick at the Bell Centre.