Amanda Nunes overtook Julianna Pena in a gripping rematch to assert her bantamweight title at UFC 277 in Dallas, Texas.
The 34-year-old Brazilian excelled in each stand-up and grappling, avenging the surprising defeat in December towards the American.
Victory over the 32-year-old means Nunes, who additionally holds the featherweight title, turns into the primary two-time double champion in UFC historical past.
“Let’s make historical past once more, that is the very best day of my life,” Nunes stated.
Within the co-main occasion, Brandon Moreno claimed the interim flyweight title by stopping Kai Kara-France within the third spherical with a crushing kick.
After the bout, division champion Deiveson Figueiredo joined Moreno within the cage because the pair accepted an unprecedented fourth bout for the uncontested title.
The brand new group of coaches pays off for Nunes
Pena sensationally launched Nunes in Las Vegas seven months in the past, ending his streak of 12 straight wins to win the title in one of many greatest shocks in UFC historical past.
Nunes’ defeat was the primary in seven years in a collection that had seen the “Lioness” twice beat quite a few present and former champions together with Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Valentina Shevchenko.
Pena needed to level out that his victory wasn’t a fluke in post-fight interviews, reminding critics that he had anticipated his title reign by the point the battle was introduced.
The pair’s rivalry gained one other stage after they have been confirmed as coaches of opposing groups on the UFC actuality tv collection, Final Fighter.
Nunes entered the rematch with a brand new group of coaches following her resolution to open her personal gymnasium after Pena’s defeat, citing a need for her personal house.
The modifications he had made to his sport have been evident from the beginning, as he adopted a lefty stance that he hardly ever confirmed in earlier fights.
After rocking Pena together with her proper hand twice within the first spherical, Nunes asserted full management within the second whereas grounding her thrice, turning into the primary girl in UFC historical past to take down an opponent thrice in the identical spherical. .
Within the third the Brazilian confirmed her grappling prowess as she knocked Pena down and opened it with a collection of sharp elbows on the mat.
Pena’s group knew the champion was behind, urging her to use extra stress and search a end within the closing rounds.
Regardless of a collection of armbar and floor triangle makes an attempt by Pena, Nunes confronted threats safely on his method to victory.
When the battle reached its conclusion, he danced on the spot positive of regaining his title, whereas a bloody Penalty lay on the carpet.
The victory silences critics who’ve urged that Nunes had misplaced starvation after being the dominant girl within the sport for therefore lengthy.
Nunes praised his new group of coaches within the post-fight interview.
“The most effective factor I did was make my dream come true [move gyms]”stated Nunes.
“I really feel I can develop much more now – I’ve developed much more.
“Now I’ve the possibility to return to Brazil and see my household that I miss a lot. Please let me relaxation for some time and I will be again as quickly as attainable.”
Moreno organizes the historic assembly of Figueiredo
The principle occasion noticed Mexican Brandon Moreno tackle New Zealander Kai Kara France for the interim flyweight title, with present injured champion Deiveson Figueiredo seeking to the facet of the cage.
In a hard-fought contest, it was a devastating kick to the physique of Moreno, 28, within the third spherical that made all of the distinction.
After exchanging blows and kicks within the legs within the first 10 minutes, Moreno pushed his left leg into Kara-France’s liver, knocking the New Zealand fighter out of ache.
When Moreno jumped in, unleashing a flurry of punches, Referee Herb Dean stopped the battle, crowning Moreno as champion.
After the bout, Figueiredo joined Moreno within the cage because the pair accepted a historic fourth bout for the undisputed title.
No two fighters have ever fought 4 occasions towards one another within the UFC earlier than.
The pair drew the primary, with Moreno successful the second and Brazilian Figueiredo avenging the defeat within the third in January.
“I do not hate you, I forgive you, however do not get confused, I need to battle you for the belt in December,” Moreno stated.
Figueiredo responded by asking for the battle to happen in Brazil.
Elsewhere, house favourite Derrick Lewis suffered a first-round knockout by the hands of Russian Sergei Pavlovich of their heavyweight bout, whereas Magomed Ankalaev defeated fellow mild heavyweight Anthony Smith for his ninth straight win.
Within the different most important card flyweight bout, Alexandre Pantoja landed a formidable first-round submission over Alex Perez.