Amanda Nunes battered Julianna Pena for five rounds to score a lopsided win and regain the women’s bantamweight title at UFC 277.
Nunes, who dropped the title to Pena in the pair’s last meeting in December via submission, secured a unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-43) win in the main event.
Pena, who had won two straight and three of her previous four bouts heading into UFC 277, had no answer to the Brazilian’s striking while finding little success with her own.
After a cautious start by both women, Nunes grew into the fight in the second round, landing cleaner punches and flooring the champion multiple times with counter rights. The pattern continued with Nunes having her way till the final bell, drawing blood in the process.
There was no doubt about the result and the scorecards by the judges confirmed what was already known.
With her win at UFC 277, Amanda Nunes regained her status as a two-division champion, with a featherweight belt already in her possession. She did cast doubt about her future though, admitting she is unsure if she will ever fight again.
The Brazilian hadn’t lost a fight since 2014 before she ran into Pena last year but after avenging her loss, she has once again, solidified her case to be considered women’s MMA G.O.A.T.
Earlier on the card, Brandon Moreno beat Kai Kara-France to win the interim flyweight title.
The Mexican was cruising in the first two rounds before a cut below his right eye allowed Kai Kara-France a way back into the fight. But in the dying stages of the round Moreno blasted Kara-France with a kick to the liver and finished him with punches with Herb Dean stopping the contest at the 4:34 minute mark.
The night’s most controversial decision came in the fight between Derrick Lewis and Sergei Pavlovich.
Pavlovich scored the biggest win of his career via TKO at the 0:55 mark of the first round in a heavyweight bout but the referee appeared to call the stop early with Lewis returning back to his in no time to protest.
The early stoppage didn’t sit well with Lewis and his home-state fans.
Pavlovich, who entered the event as the No. 11-ranked heavyweight, has now won his last four fights. Lewis, meanwhile, the No. 5 heavyweight, dropped his second straight after losing to Tai Tuivasa in February in Houston.