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UFC 245 results: Amanda Nunes outgrapples Germaine de Randamie to retain title

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Amanda Nunes defended her bantamweight title for the fifth consecutive time but it wasn’t the lopsided fight many expected.

Instead, the two-division UFC champion had to fend off a worthy challenge from Germaine de Randamie by using a suffocating wrestling and grappling attack to get the nod by unanimous decision after five grueling rounds.

The final scorecards read 49-44, 49-46. 49-45, all for Nunes.

“I want to show something different. I want to show I have wrestling and jiu-jitsu as well,” Nunes said after her latest win. “Tonight I proved it, I’m ready for five rounds. Let’s do this again.”

Nunes was out like a ball off fire at the start of the fight and she set the tone immediately with a powerful right hand that blasted de Randamie in the opening exchange. The reigning two-division champion would not give de Randamie a moment to breathe as she was constantly on the attack, threatening with takedowns, submissions and ground and pound.

Almost immediately, de Randamie was in survival mode as she fended off a series of attacks with Nunes hammering down on her with punches. When the strikes didn’t get the finish, Nunes switched to an arm triangle choke but de Randamie somehow resisted the submission to make it to the end of the opening round.

Down but not out, de Randamie came out firing at the start of the second round and she popped Nunes with a pair of right hands that snapped her head back in succession.

After finding some success on the feet, de Randamie started gaining confidence as she unleashed a question mark kick followed by a barrage of knees that had Nunes in a bad spot for the first time since perhaps her first fight against Valentina Shevchenko in 2016.

Knowing that she was not winning the exchanges on the feet forced Nunes to rely on her wrestling, which was far superior to de Randamie’s grappling. Every time the fight hit the floor, Nunes was chipping away at her with punches and elbows while de Randamie was in defense mode, just hoping the referee would stand them back up again.

With each takedown, Nunes was racking up points on the scorecards but it definitely appeared that her gas tank was running low. Unfortunately for de Randamie, she just couldn’t fight off the wrestling from the champion and that essentially ended her bid to win the bantamweight title.

Nunes had been so dominant during her title reign that it was strange to see her pushed all five rounds again but the scorecards still gave her a lopsided victory. Now the question becomes who does Nunes fight next as the list of contenders she hasn’t already defeated is rather short.

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