Amanda Nunes dominates Julianna Peña to win back title in UFC 277 main event

UFC 277 was headlined by the women’s bantamweight championship rematch between titleholder Julianna Peña and former champion Amanda Nunes.

Peña defeated Nunes at UFC 269 in December, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the promotion’s history. On Saturday, Nunes would even the score.

The pace was slow and measured in the opening two minutes of the bout. Nunes looked crisp and accurate with her striking in the opening frame. She knocked Peña down with a right hand, but it takes more than one shot to get Peña out of a fight.

In the second round, Nunes dropped Peña three times. The final three frames would be different. Late in the third round, Nunes took Peña down and delivered elbows. She opened up a cut along Peña’s hairline.

In the fourth and fifth rounds, Nunes stuck to the strategy of taking Peña down, but it was a dangerous decision. In the fourth, Peña had an arm bar locked in deep, but Nunes was able to escape.

Nunes was able to put Peña on her back easily, but was forced to defends submission attempt after submission attempt from Peña. In the closing moments of the bout, Nunes landed a huge right hand that hurt the grounded Peña. She took Peña’s back and tried to secure a rear-naked choke. Peña escaped the submission attempt and Nunes let Peña back to her feet at the bell.

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After five rounds of fighting, all three judges scored Nunes winning all three rounds. The scorecards read 50-45, 50-44, and 50-43.

“When ‘The Lioness’ doesn’t get her prey the first time, I sat a trap better and I know I’ll get it the second time,” Nunes said following the win. “Double champ again baby!”

“I was supposed to do this the first time.”

Nunes wants to visit her home country of Brazil to see family and take time to “rest” before getting back in the octagon.

“I know you guys want to see me back, but come one. Let ‘The Lioness’ rest a little bit, and I will come back as soon as possible,” she said.