Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

UFC 224 results: Nunes breaks Pennington's nose and retains title

UFC 224 results: Nunes breaks Pennington's nose and retains title

Lyoto Machida reeled back the years with an awesome front kick knockout of fellow UFC legend Vitor Belfort, who retired following the fight. Nunes took her down and landed hammerfists until the bout was stopped. A lead leg kick took Pennington's legs right from under her, allowing the Lioness to be the aggressor and back her against the cage.

Although the exact extent of Pennington's injuries coming out of UFC 224 are still unknown, the visible damage to her face indicated a potential broken nose, and perhaps even more.

And even after taking down the former Team Tate star, Nunes was met with more doggedness from Pennington, who was fast running out of ideas of how to dethrone the Brazilian.

The Brazilian won three of her four bouts via knockout, and her reign as the UFC women's bantamweight champion is now the second longest, only behind Rousey who was champion for just under three years in the UFC.

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The people she pays to protect her in moments like this told her to go back out for the last five minutes, imploring her to finish the fight.

She did get back off her stool for the fifth and final round but was brought to the floor and battered as Nunes retained via TKO.

The successful title defense is Nunes' third consecutive one.

"It's sad", Nunes told reporters, including MMAjunkie, through an interpreter at the UFC 224 post-fight news conference. Prior to Torres relocating to Colorado, she was a close friend and teammate with Nunes and her fiancée Nina Ansaroff so the champion admitted afterwards that this was arguably her toughest fight to date because she was facing someone she considered a friend.

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"We tried to make that fight happen because it's a big fight and the fans wanted it, but it couldn't happen at the time so I moved on", she said, per Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. Souza got the fight to the ground in the first round and dominated the grappling exchange, getting to mount multiple times. It was hard to me. Pennington did her best to keep pace.

"I respect this woman so much", the Brazilian said with tears in her eyes after her victory.

It's hard to deny Nunes' place among the likes of Rousey and Cris "Cyborg" Justino. Whether or not there will be fallout from that situation remains to be seen.

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