Two-division champion Amanda Nunes put her bantamweight belt on the line against former featherweight titleholder Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245 in Las Vegas on Saturday. De Randamie entered the bout on a five-fight winning streak having not lost since November 2013. That loss was to Nunes.
Nunes had stopped her three previous opponents with strikes but de Randamie brought out the wrestler in the champion. “The Lioness” took de Randamie down every round. She threatened with a guillotine choke and arm-triangle choke in the opening frame but de Randamie defended the submission attempts.
In the second round, de Randamie took the fight to Nunes. Her right hand found its mark and she landed a question-mark kick late in the round that got Nunes’ attention. In the clinch, de Randamie delivered knees but Nunes secured another takedown to close out the round.
Nunes stuck to her grappling strategy. She easily took de Randamie down throughout the bout, but things nearly took a dramatic turn in the third frame. De Randamie landed an upkick to the jaw of Nunes that briefly had the champion stunned. Nunes maintained top position and finished the round landing short punches and elbows.
Nunes dominated the fight, but there were moments that de Randamie nearly shocked the world. Late in the fourth round, de Randamie applied a triangle choke but Nunes escaped. In the final frame, Nunes secured an early takedown and peppered de Randamie with strikes while de Randamie held on. After five rounds, the judges scored the fight for Nunes by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 49-44, 49-46, and 49-45.
“I wanted to show something different. I wanted to show my Jiu-Jitsu as well. Tonight I decided to fight like a five-round, take her down, and I did it tonight,” she said following the title defense.
“We train in the gym everything, to be ready for everything inside the cage. Tonight I proved it.”