Mackenzie Dern entered Saturday night's UFC 224 bout against Amanda Cooper griping about all the questions she has faced about her propensity to miss weight, which had happened twice previously in her six-bout MMA career.
After being taken down in the second, Nunes returned the favor in the third as she slammed Pennington down to the mat.
As time ticked away, Nunes continued to punish Pennington before trapping her against the cage with the clinch as she unloaded a barrage of knee strikes.
Clearly perturbed by being taken down in the second round, Nunes marched forward even more in the third, though she finally encountered some tough resistance.
But Pennington didn't have anything left in the tank, and Nunes went in for the finish, pinning Pennington on her back around the 3:00 mark. "I like and respect these girls so much, especially Tecia". This resulted in Nunes dragging Pennington to the ground and finishing off the challenger.
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Nunes got the back of Pennington in the fifth, the 29-year-old landing a volley of strikes from the top to the head and face of Pennington, who's nose exploded, leaving a bloody mess and forcing the referee to eventually intervene. Nunes took her down and landed hammerfists until the bout was stopped. Instead of calling to stop the fight, her corner encouraged her to compete in the fifth round. It was hard to me.
"It was very hard for me this fight", Nunes said.
Pennington told her corner in between rounds four and five that she was done, but her coach talked her back into going into the cage.
"To defend this belt is something I dream, and I have to do it".
Machida tried to set up a date with former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, who is now looking for a dance partner for his retirement bout.