UFC 224 Report – Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington for the UFC bantamweight title

John Pollock goes through Saturday's UFC 224 event from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with Amanda Nunes defending the UFC bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington, Vitor Belfort's retirement fight, and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza takes on Kelvin Gastelum on the main card.

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I will be doing a post-show on the site late tonight with a full rundown of the card. You can post feedback and questions on the POST Wrestling Forum.

VITOR BELFORT VS LYOTO MACHIDA

The first round featured minimal engagement with Machida narrowly edging the round with kicks to the body.

In the second round, Machida distracted with the lead leg and then stunned Belfort with a front kick from the left leg and dropped Belfort cold. This was a spectacular knockout, similar to Machida’s knockout of Randy Couture at UFC 129, which was Couture’s final fight.

WINNER: LYOTO MACHIDA BY KO AT 1:00 OF ROUND 2

Lyoto Machida challenged Michael Bisping after the fight.

Jon Anik interviewed Belfort, he took his gloves off, congratulated Machida and left his gloves on the canvas.


JOHN LINEKER VS BRIAN KELLEHER – BANTAMWEIGHT

John Lineker put forth a tremendous outing with big stoppage late in the fight.

Lineker dropped Kelleher briefly in the first after peppering him with body shots and leg kicks. Kelleher stormed back with a rapid spinning back fist. Lineker chased him down in the late moments of the round.

The second round was all Lineker, he went to the body and relied on his power strikes. This could have been a 10-8 round for the power shots that landed for Lineker.

In the third round, Lineker was slowing down and then suddenly, he burst at Kelleher with a flurry of power shots to the head and then dropped Kelleher with a huge left and the fight was over.

WINNER: JOHN LINEKER BY KO AT 3:43 OF ROUND 3

MACKENZIE DERN VS AMANDA BOBBY COOPER – CATCHWEIGHT

Dern missed weight by 7.4 pounds and was deducted 30% of her purse. The silver lining was that it added a lot of attention to the fight and Cooper’s interviews building up the fight.

Dern was more composed on her feet but still has improvements to make. She dropped Cooper with an overhand right, immediately mounted her and then secured an airtight rear-naked choke for the tap.

WINNER: MACKENZIE DERN BY REAR-NAKED CHOKE AT 2:27 OF ROUND 1

Dern stated she had a very hard camp leaving The MMA Lab.


RONALDO “JACARE” SOUZA VS KELVIN GASTELUM – MIDDLEWEIGHT

This was a great fight and razor-close to score.

Jacare was in control of the first round, taking Gastelum down with a single-leg and mounting Gastelum several times. He went for an armbar by the fence and Gastelum escaped just as the round ended.

Gastelum came out fresh in the second round and kept the fight standing, dropping Jacare and swarming him with strikes. Jacare had a lot less energy after the first round. He got back to his feet and made it a close round with strikes of his own.

The final round saw both have moments. Jacare was very tired but still managed two takedowns but Gastelum got back up quickly each time. This was a super-close round and you could have scored it either way.

WINNER: KELVIN GASTELUM BY SPLIT DECISION (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

AMANDA NUNES VS RAQUEL PENNINGTON FOR THE UFC BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE

Nunes came out with a game plan of damaging the leg with repeated kicks and Pennington wasn’t able to adjust in the opening round. She was mixing leg kicks with jabs throughout the round.

In the second, Pennington had her best round, landing some uppercuts in the clinch but was still outstruck. Pennington did score a takedown in the round.

From the third round onward, it was all Nunes loading up on her strikes, mixing leg kicks with punches, and a counter right that stunned Pennington.

Later in the fight, Nunes focused on knees from the clinch to the body and face and Pennington’s nose was in bad condition at the end of the fourth round.

Before the fifth round, Pennington stated she wanted out of the fight and her corner talked her into continuing.

She was destroyed in the fifth round with Nunes attacking the nose and a fountain of blood poured onto the canvas as Nunes struck from the back and got the TKO stoppage.

The corner of Pennington is going to receive a lot of criticism for the decision to send Pennington into the fifth round and disregarding Pennington’s wishes.

WINNER: AMANDA NUNES BY TKO AT 2:36 OF ROUND 5 TO RETAIN THE UFC BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE

PRELIMINARY CARD
*Markus Perez def. James Bochnovic by rear-naked choke at 4:28 of Round 1
*Ramazan Emeev def. Alberto Mina by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Jack Hermansson def. Thales Leites by TKO at 2:10 of Round 1
*Warlley Alves def. Sultan Aliev by TKO due to doctor’s stoppage at 5:00 of Round 2
*Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Sean Strickland by TKO at 3:40 of Round 1
*Davi Ramos def. Nick Hein by rear-naked choke at 4:15 of Round 1
*Oleksiy Oliynyk def. Junior Albini by Ezekiel choke at 1:45 of Round 1
*Cezar Ferreira def. Karl Roberson by arm-triangle choke at 4:45 of Round 1

About John Pollock 393 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.