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UFC 277: Amanda Nunes dominates gritty Julianna Peña to once again become champ-champ

It was a tough day at the office for Julianna Peña at UFC 277 in Dallas Saturday night.

Pena (11-5-0), who scored a massive upset submission win over Amanda Nunes last year came in again as the underdog against “The Lioness,” (22-6-0), who is considered the female GOAT. It was clear from the beginning that Nunes was prepared for the rematch.

The striking of Nunes knocked down Pena three times in the second round. Pena tried to beat Amanda to the punch early but got caught frequently. Then, Nunes went to the ground.

Although the bloodied Pena absorbed serious punishment on the ground in the third and fourth rounds, valiantly fought for submissions, including a good looking armbar in the fourth round that Nunes powered out of.

Pena even connected on some strikes reminiscent of the first fight, but this time, Nunes ate them and plodded on, looking for the Anaconda and rear-naked chokes in the final round. But she did not emerge from the fight unscathed.

 

The fight was closer than the judges scores of 50-45, 50-44, and 50-43 indicated.

With the win, Nunes becomes a two-time champ-champ, and now has 13 wins in her last 14 contests. Pena has now split her last four bouts.

In the post-fight press conference, Nunes stated that she would like to fight at 145 for her next bout. UFC president Dana White said he was willing to work with Nunes, so we’ll see what happens.

Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France won Fight of the Night, while Alexandre Pantoja and Drew Dober earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC 277 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 

ORION COSCE VS. MIKE MATHETHA

WINNER: ORION COSCE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ORION COSCE VIA UD

Andrews: Blood Diamond continues to be a great name, but he needs to put in the work. Let’s not forget Cosce missed weight.

NICOLAE NEGUMEREANU VS. IHOR POTIERIA

WINNER: NICOLAE NEGUMEREANU VIA TKO (PUNCHES AND KNEES) R2 3:01

ANDREWS PREDICTION: IHOR POTIEIRA VIA TKO

Andrews: Well, it didn’t work out for Ihor. Sometimes, fighting for your country is not enough.

JOSELYNE EDWARDS VS. JI YEON KIM

WINNER: JOSELYNE EDWARDS VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JI YEON KIM VIA UD

Andrews: Hard luck again for Kim. Edwards missed weight.

MICHAEL MORALES VS. ADAM FUGITT

WINNER: MICHAEL MORALES VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R3 1:09

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL MORALES VIA TKO

Andrews: Morales came in there and welcomed Fugitt to the big time.

UFC 277 PRELIMS

DRAKKAR KLOSE VS. RAFA GARCIA

WINNER: DRAKKAR KLOSE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DRAKKAR KLOSE VIA UD

Andrews: Klose was just the better fighter.

DON’TALE MAYES VS. HAMDY ABDELWAHAB

WINNER: HAMDY ABDELWAHAB VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DON’TALE MAYES VIA TKO

Andrews: Hamdy got it done on 12 days short notice. Welcome to the big leagues.

DREW DOBER VS. RAFAEL ALVES

WINNER: DREW DOBER VIA KO (PUNCH TO THE BODY) R3 1:30

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DREW DOBER VIA TKO

Andrews: Great performance by Dober.

ALEX MORONO VS. MATTHEW SEMELSBERGER

WINNER: ALEX MORONO VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX MORONO VIA UD

Andrews: Morono outworked Semelsberger.

MAIN CARD

#4 MAGOMED ANKALAEV VS. #5 ANTHONY SMITH

WINNER: MAGOMED ANKALAEV VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R2 3:09

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANTHONY SMITH VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Wow! Magomed impresses and Anthony disappoints again.

#4 ALEXANDRE PANTOJA VS. #6 ALEX PEREZ 

WINNER: ALEXANDRE PANTOJA VIA SUBMISSION (NECK CRANK) R1 1:31

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXANDRE. PANTOJA VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Quick and excellent win for Pantoja.

#5 DERRICK LEWIS VS. #11 SERGEI PAVLOVICH

WINNER: SERGEI PAVLOVICH VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 0:55

ANDREW PREDICTION: DERRICK LEWIS VIA TKO

Andrews: That was an early stoppage. Hard luck for Derrick.

#1 BRANDON MORENO VS. #2 KAI KARA-FRANCE

Andrews: Moreno had his run but in this rematch, Kara-France seizes the day.

Andrews Prediction: Kai Kara-France via TKO

MAIN EVENT

(C) JULIANNA PENA VS. #1 AMANDA NUNES 

WINNER: AMANDA NUNES VIA UD (50-45, 50-44, 50-43)

POOKY G  PREDICTION: AMANDA NUNES VIA TKO

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JULIANNA PENA VIA SUBMISSION

Pooky G: I definitely knew Nunes was going to win because of the way she represents herself and from watching previous interviews. I felt she needed to restore that inner strength by taking back what is hers and redeem herself … and she did!

Andrews: Amanda Nunes showed up and made the proper adjustments. And still, Pena still landed some good shots and had some good submission attempts. And she had Amanda walking on crutches. The fight was closer than the scores indicated.

The next UFC event is UFC Vegas 59, which is scheduled for Aug. 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Thiago Santos takes on Jamahal Hill in the light heavyweight main event.

@kenaiandrew

KenaiAndrews
KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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