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Amanda Nunes to defend title against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the top women’s fighters in the world is heading home to defend her belt.

Amanda Nunes will put the UFC women’s bantamweight title on the line against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 on May 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani confirmed Friday with sources. Damon Martin was the first to report the news earlier this month followed by a confirmation from Combate.

Nunes is a Brazil native, but has lived for years in Florida. This will be her first title defense in her home country. It remains unclear if this will be the main event of the pay-per-view card.

Nunes (15-4) is on a six-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Valentina Shevchenko via split decision at UFC 215 in September. The American Top Team product won the title by submitting Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in 2016. Nunes, 29, also owns a 48-second knockout over Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 in December 2016.

Pennington (9-5) has won four straight, including most recently a unanimous decision win over Tate at UFC 205 in November 2016. The Colorado native sports a 6-2 record in the UFC. Pennington, 29, is coming off a bad leg injury she sustained in a hunting accident, or this matchup likely would have happened last year.

UFC 224 will take place Jeunesse Arena in Rio. Also on the card, Lyoto Machida will take on Vitor Belfort in a battle of Brazilian legends and Ronaldo Souza will meet Kelvin Gastelum in a potential middleweight title eliminator.

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