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UFC 224 fight card primer: Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington

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This Saturday, the main event of UFC 224 is a Bantamweight title fight as champion Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA; 8-1 UFC) defends against Raquel Pennington (9-5 MMA; 6-2 UFC). The UFC rankings have Pennington at #2 in the division (behind only Holly Holm, who is on a 1-4 run), with Nunes at #12 in the pound for pound list. UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington airs live from Rio this Saturday night, May 12. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. ET on FX and 6:15 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

This was a bit of a surprise when announced, as Pennington has been out of action, while Nunes has been in talks for a superfight with Cris Cyborg. But with those plans not yet set, this one comes in to play. As a trivia note, this is the first ever UFC title fight between two openly gay fighters.

How do these two stack up?

Nunes: 29 years old | 5’8″ | 69″ reach
Pennington: 29 years old | 5’7″ | 67.5″ reach

What have these two done recently?

Nunes: W – Valentina Shevchenko (SD) | W – Ronda Rousey (TKO) | W – Miesha Tate (Sub)
Pennington: W – Miesha Tate (UD) | W – Elizabeth Phillips (UD) | W – Bethe Correia (SD)

How did these two get here?

Amanda Nunes won the belt from Miesha Tate in the main event of UFC 200, and is now looking to make her 3rd title defense. Nunes, Rousey, and Joanna are the only women with multiple title defenses in the UFC, and she looks to add to that streak here. Nunes had a decent but not stand-out start to her career, going 7-3, but with a switch to American Top Team and move to the UFC, she’s been on fire, showing technical skills on the mat and the feet.

Raquel Pennington came to the UFC through season 18 of TUF. At the time, she had barely more than a year’s pro experience. Like Nunes, she did not start her career red-hot, going 5-5 to start (though one of those was a close split decision loss to a then surging Holly Holm). She’s 4-0 since, and that run culminated in her career-best win, when she successfully grinded out a win over Tate at UFC 205. While that was indeed a big win and gave her some great momentum, it was also 18 months ago, and she has been inactive since.

Why should you care?

It’s a solid fight. Probably nothing more.


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