Amanda Nunes successfully defended her title against Germaine de Randamie tonight at UFC 2465 by unanimous decision, but that doesn’t tell the full story as the challenger posed plenty of problems for the champion on the feet and forced her to show off her wrestling skills to get the victory.
Missed leg kicks from Nunes to start. Now she lands an inside leg kick though. Overhand right from Nunes and it connects and backs up de Randamie.
Leg kick from GDR. She tries again and Nunes catches it, but can’t get anything off it. Leg kick for Nunes now.
Jab and then another overhand from Nunes. Just as GDR is trying to deal with that Nunes ducks under and lands a good takedown.
Bad spot for de Randamie, but she manages to stay composed and looks to stand. however, Nunes sinks in a guillotine choke. GDR does well to survive that attempt and escape to her feet.
GDR clinching up against the cage now. However, Nunes manages to go for another takedown and lands it. Now ground and pound from Nunes.
GDR threatening with upkicks as Nunes stands over her. Nunes not concerned though and wades in and launches down big punches. GDR just covering up here. Nunes going back to ground with her and works for an arm triangle choke. That looks very tight, but de Randamie hanging on in there.
Nunes opts to go knee on belly and starts landing punches again. Great effort from de Randamie to stay in the fight despite that onslaught of punches and submission attempts from the champion, and she’ll make it to see round two.
Nunes blocks a head kick from de Randamie. She swings for the fences with a punch and misses. The jab lands though.
leg kick for Nunes. Another lands for her and GDR responds with a big right hook and that definitely got the champion’s attention. Kick for Nunes. Big punch from de Randamie.
Nunes comes into range and GDR threatens with an uppercut. Nicely timed takedown from Nunes gets the fight back to the mat with over three minutes to work.
GDR hanging on for dear life here looking for a stand-up, and the ref is surprisingly quick to stand them up.
Question mark kick for GDR and it connects clean, but Nunes takes it. Nunes smiling, but GDR is pouring on the pressure and lands good punches and a jumping knee that takes the smile right off her face.
GDR lands again. She landing the knee upstairs and Nunes is in real trouble here. GDR clinching her up against the cage and lands a big knee again.
Nunes knows she needs to get out of this bad spot and tries for a takedown. It’s not successful at the first attempt, but she lands it at the second attempt and that was crucial for her.
She’s landing hard ground and pound again here, trying to regain her momentum. GDR tries to threaten with a triangle choke, but Nunes is immediately out of danger from that and stays on top to end the round. Real adversity for the champion in that round though.
Leg kick for GDR and one from Nunes. Overhand attempt from Nunes. Leg kick for Nunes and a punch lands on the counter from GDR.
Leg kick for de Randamie. Nunes ducks under and goes for the takedown. Really nice timing from the champion on her takedowns tonight, and she’s needed that at times against ‘The Iron Lady’, who has been giving her real problems on the feet.
Side control for Nunes against the cage here and she’s looking to ste up the crucifix position. GDR manages to work her way out of that.
Nunes needs to stay busy given that the referee stood them up quickly in the previous round.
GDR trying to tie up Nunes again and work for another stand-up. Nunes in half-guard though and working punches to the body and head to keep this fight grounded.
Nunes drops down a good elbow. GDR landing a few punches from her back. Body punches from Nunes. She lands another elbow. Nunes tries briefly for an arm triangle attempt, but then switches back to big elbow strikes. Nunes stands up and wades back in, but gets caught with an upkick as she does so.
Nunes able to keep on top though and lands a few more elbows. GDR scrambles to her knees and tries to stand, but Nunes manages to keep her down and ends the round on top looking to land more strikes.
Leg kick for GDR and one in return from Nunes. GDR misses with a big punch. Leg kick from Nunes is blocked. de Randamie looks for a punch, but Nunes ducks under and lands another takedown very early in this round.
Solid elbows from Nunes from half guard. A couple of punches get through cleanly. Now another elbow. Another lands.
GDR suddenly catches Nunes by surprise with an arm triangle attempt and she’s almost got that locked up. However, Nunes manages to get her head out and scrambles. GDR looking to stand, but Nunes wants nothing to do with that and works the fight to the mat again.
A little offense from Nunes, but not too much here as she just maintains position and sees out the rest of the round in the safety of top position.
Jab for Nunes. Then she quickly moves in for the takedown and lands it. Smart move from the champion. She needs to stay active though if she wants to keep it down here and GDR is trying her best to stall the fight from full guard.
Nunes with a few punches to the body. She lands an elbow. Nunes just grinding her way to the final bell here, in stark contrast to the spectacular finishes we’re used to seeing from her.
Crowd booing due to the lack of action, but Nunes still keeping just active enough to avoid the referee stand-up.
A minute to go. GDR trying to land hammerfists from the bottom. Nunes getting some space to land more significant punches then opts to stand. GDR hoping for a big upkick, but Nunes avoids it and gets to side control in the final seconds of the final round.
No doubt about the winner here, with Nunes getting a clear unanimous decision verdict (49-44, 49-46, 49-45), but this was definitely the most trouble she’s been in during her title reign – on the feet at least, which is to de Randamie’s credit.