Two-division champion Amanda Nunes put her bantamweight title on the line Saturday in the UFC 239 co-main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against former titleholder Holly Holm. The Brazilian stopped Holm in the first round with a move Holm has become known for landing.
Both ladies were careful in the early going looking for an opening. Holm landed the first significant strike of the fight, sending Nunes off balance with a counter right hand. The two clinched and Nunes tripped Holm to the canvas but was unable to keep her grounded. Holm immediately bounced back to her feet to the sound of the crowd chanting,”Holly.”
Nunes stepped in with a hard right hand that got Holm’s attention midway through the frame. Another right hand found it’s mark, but Holm wasn’t phased. As Holm lifted her leg to throw a front kick, Nunes fired off a head kick that landed. Holm crashed to the canvas and Nunes swooped in for the kill. Two right hands later, the referee stepped in to stop the fight. With the win over Holm, Nunes has defeated every woman to ever hold the UFC’s bantamweight title.
“A lot of people say whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but this belt is coming home with me,” said Nunes after the win.
Nunes trained to landed a head kick against Holm and predicted that she would. “The Lioness” called her shot.
“I told my coach that I want to knock her out the same way she likes to knock people out, and I did it tonight,” said Nunes. “She’s the only former champion that I didn’t beat yet. Tonight, I beat her and I’m happy.”
Having successfully defended her 135-pound title and clearing out the division, Nunes plans to defend her featherweight championship in her next outing.
“I definitely want to defend my 145-pound (belt). I’m going to talk to Dana (White),” she said.