Amanda Nunes (19-4) earned a decision victory over Germaine de Randamie (9-4) to retain the bantamweight championship Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Nunes controlled the pace from the opening bell, striking with ease and eventually taking de Randamie to the ground. De Randamie escaped to her feet but Nunes dropped her yet again, stacking her up and swinging away. For the last two minutes of the round, Nunes dropped bombs — even locking in an arm triangle for about 30 seconds — but the challenger survived the first.
De Randamie came out swinging in the second, looking to take advantage of a clearly tired Nunes. Nunes slipped a punch attempt and took de Randamie to the ground, where the challenger just clung to the champ and awaited the ref to stand them up. De Randamie stung Nunes with a hanging question mark kick, then locked her up with the Muy Thai clinch. De Randamie hurt the champ with a huge knee before Nunes earned a takedown to end the second.
Nunes opened the third with a beautiful level change, shooting in and driving de Randamie into the Octagon cage to earn the takedown. Nunes tried to stack de Randamie yet again, but the challenger stunned the champ with an upkick and looked to have her hurt. De Randamie escaped from the ground position only to be taken down yet again to close the round.
The fourth was much of the same, with de Randamie overextending on a punch and Nunes shooting in for an easy takedown. De Randamie transitioned her leg over Nunes’ head and flipped Nunes, locking in a triangle choke from top position. But Nunes slipped out and the two got back to their feet before the champ took her to the ground yet again. Both fighters, clearly exhausted, spent the rest of the round doing just enough to remain on the ground.
The fifth saw Nunes take de Randamie to the ground again, where she kept the challenger at bay to close the championship round and maintain her title reign.
With eight takedowns, Nunes broke Ronda Rousey’s record for most takedowns in a women’s title fight.
The most dominant woman in UFC history, Nunes entered Saturday’s showdown on a nine-fight win streak. She stepped into the Octagon having beaten the most decorated fighters in the organization’s history, with wins over Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and most notably, Cris Cyborg.
De Randamie eyed Round 2 with Nunes, having lost her first attempt via knockout. Since then, de Randamie earned five consecutive fights, including a featherweight championship bout against Holm. She eventually relinquished the belt, unwilling to fight Cyborg, but continued her winning ways with victories over Raquel Pennington and Aspen Ladd before the loss to Nunes.