LAS VEGAS — The baddest woman on the planet found herself in a fight Saturday. She showed that she’s far more than a devastating striker.
Two-division champion Amanda Nunes deployed a proficient wrestling game to ground Germaine de Randamie over the course of five rounds and retained her UFC women’s bantamweight title with a unanimous decision victory.
Nunes — who has spent the past three fights mauling her opponents with devastating striking — wasn’t able to overpower the Dutch kickboxer. Instead, Nunes mixed in takedowns that left de Randamie helpless.
Things nearly came to an abrupt halt in the first round when Nunes took down de Randamie, pummeled her with heavy strikes and almost ended the fight twice with submission attempts. De Randamie managed to survive and even turned the fight around in the second frame when she stunned the champion with a wicked knee.
Nunes appeared to expend a great deal of energy looking for an early finish and de Randamie took full advantage in the second. She landed crisp counterstrikes and had the champion in trouble, albeit briefly.
Recognizing that de Randamie wasn’t going to allow her to land the thudding right hand, Nunes opted to utilize her wrestling to ground her opponent. From there, it was a simple rinse and repeat as de Randamie’s back and the canvas got familiar during the final three rounds.
Try as she might, de Randamie had no answers for Nunes’ wrestling and repeatedly found herself looking up at the lights as Nunes pounded on her during the third and fourth rounds. With the fight seemingly in the bag, Nunes took all of nine seconds to ground de Randamie again in the fifth and never gave her the opportunity to get to her feet.
Aside from the second round, it was total domination from the “champ champ” as Nunes earned scores of 49-44, 49-46 and 49-45 from the judges.