Amanda Nunes has done it again. The bantamweight champ kept her belt after a five round challenge with Germaine de Randamie in Las Vegas, grappling her opponent into the ground again and again over the course of the twenty-five minute rematch with her old rival. (The pair fought back in 2013.)
The five round title fight started with a dominating performance by Nunes, who spent most of the first dropping strikes on de Randamie from above. She also logged a tight guillotine attempt and and arm triangle, but de Randamie managed to survive both and made it to the bell.
De Randamie did begin to turn the tide in round two, giving Nunes one of the more challenging fights we’ve seen so far and feeding an especially savage knee directly to Nunes face. Nunes ate it and replied, but was notably less aggressive and effective than in her explosive opening.
The third went right back to Nunes with a takedown to mount thwarted somewhat by de Randamie’s height. De Randamie landed one leg-buckling upkick to the face which briefly rocked Nunes, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the champ’s assault from above.
More of the same in the fourth, with an early takedown to top position for Nunes. Hammerfists and short elbows from the top followed until de Ramdamie reversed the position by getting a surprise triangle and then stray arm. She almost armbarred, but lost her advantage as the black belt pulled out of danger and reset back into her comfort zone. Caught in Randamie’s guard she delivered more punishment but no finish.
The eighth takedown of the fight came seconds into the fifth, followed by beating which came in though de Randamie’s closed guard until the final bell rang.
It was the most challenging fight Nunes has been handed in a long while, and Twitter noted that Nunes “should have” been able to finish de Randamie via either submission attempt back in the first round. Ultimately, however, the only one leaving with the belt is Nunes, and she’s pretty familiar with it by now.