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‘Cyborg’ On Backburner, Amanda Nunes Meets Raquel Pennington at UFC 224

Written by Tom Ngo
March 9th, 2018

ufc amanda nunes

After UFC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino steamrolled Yana Kunitskaya on Saturday, Dana White said a scrap against bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes made sense.

Even though the super fight would make dollars, it apparently didn’t make enough sense for the UFC president to arrange at this time.

The UFC has announced Nunes (pictured) will defend her throne against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224.

Nunes will enjoy home-cage advantage, as the May 12 event goes down inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Perhaps the biggest snag in having Nunes jump up to featherweight to challenge Justino was that Justino wanted a break after fighting three times in the past eight months. Even though Justino publicly requested a tango with Nunes after annihilating Kunitskaya, she wasn’t prepared for such a quick turnaround.

Nunes is perfect through her past six outings, with the last two bouts being of the title defense variety. She finished off four of those victims before the final horn.

“The Lioness” most recently took a split decision over Valentina Shevchenko in September.

Pennington has won five of her last six, including four straight. However, she hasn’t been seen since retiring former champ Miesha Tate in November 2016.

It’s rare that a fighter who is inactive for 14 months be granted a title shot, but with #1 ranked bantamweight Holly Holm coming off a featherweight loss to Justino, not to mention she’s only 1-4 in her last five contests, and Julianna Pena just giving birth, timing was on Pennington’s side.

No other bouts have been reported for UFC 224.

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