Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington: UFC 224 Preview and Prediction

Amanda Nunes UFC 215

Amanda Nunes UFC 215

Because if Nunes wins, she could then take on featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, widely considered the best female pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, in arguably the biggest women's event in MMA history (post-Rousey, anyway). Pennington extended her winning streak to four and claimed her spot as a top contender by beating former champ Miesha Tate in November 2016, but has been out of action ever since.

Ronda Rousey was coming off a long layoff when she fought Nunes. So it actually might be worth it to just throw a few bucks on Pennington who is a longshot at +600. Nunes has started to fix some of her conditioning issues as she gets more accustomed to five-round fights, but it's still a concern. Raquel Pennington hasn't fought in two years.

There is no shortage of intriguing storylines around this fight.

Storyline: Two of the biggest questions about Dern as a potential superstar in mixed martial arts are actually quite related. Dern's MMA career thus far can be summarized by two indisputable facts: She has wonderful jiu-jitsu skills, and she struggles to make weight. Both fighters made weight at 135 pounds. That's certainly a red flag.

It's not hard to see the way this fight is "supposed" to go and the weight difference should only work as an advantage in the grappling department which is where this fight will likely take place.

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BC-MMA-UFC 224,226 Brazil's Nunes a favorite to keep title at UFC 224 in RioAP Photo NVLAS301Eds: With AP Photos. He is all power, all the time.

Namajunas was an equally young and interesting prospect but was clearly more established as a fighter as evidenced by her stint on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter which was the strawweight division's showcase and introduction into the UFC as their second female division.

This will be an unofficial Main Event for the Brazilian fans as they get to see Vitor Belfort fight in the UFC for probably the last time as this is the final fight on his contract. Middleweight Jacare Souza arrives in Brazil and has a friendly interaction with the coach of his opponent, Kelvin Gastelum, who manages to enjoy his time in hostile territory.

Nunes (15-4) is now on a six fight win streak, which includes two submissions and two TKO's. "If it's a rival or a friend, you have to step in and fight and get the job done", said Nunes. That seems to be his narrative in every bout. Belfort has explosive power and is coming off a decision win over Nate Marquardt past year. The champion needed a bout and Pennington happens to be the one who has the best resume for a shot at this point.

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