UFC 277 results: Amanda Nunes dominates Julianna Pena to avenge upset and recapture bantamweight title

Amanda Nunes restored her status as a dual-weight UFC champion on Saturday night, dominating Julianna Pena to regain the women’s bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 277.

Pena submitted Nunes in December to win the belt from the Brazilian, who also holds the UFC women’s featherweight title, in what is seen as one of the biggest upsets in the history of mixed martial arts.

Nunes, however, put things right as far as she was concerned on Saturday, dominating a brave, resilient Pena to secure a unanimous-decision victory (50-45, 50-44, 50-43) over the American and recapture the bantamweight gold.

Nunes is widely considered to be the greatest women’s fighter that MMA has ever seen, but she tired quickly in a meek showing against Pena in December. The 34-year-old was much more recognisable in her performance this weekend, however, dropping Pena multiple times and taking the champion down at will in Dallas, Texas.

Nunes, fighting out of a southpaw stance at the American Airlines Center, dropped 32-year-old Pena to a knee twice in the first round, before scoring three knockdowns in Round 2. The second of those three was the most significant, Nunes clipping Pena with a powerful lead right hook from southpaw and sending her tumbling to the canvas.

The remainder of the five-round fight saw Nunes take down Pena with ease and land heavy strikes from above – particularly slicing elbows that opened a severe cut along Pena’s hairline – while the American tried to throw up submissions in response.

Nunes was a 50-45, 50-44, 50-43 winner against Pena

(Getty Images)

Pena attempted armbars, triangle chokes, omoplatas and a Kimura, but she could not lock in any of the holds. While Nunes did – on occasion – opt to let Pena stand, the Brazilian also did effective work from guard, ultimately easing to victory.

In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno won the interim men’s flyweight title by stopping Kai Kara-France in the third round of their rematch.

Moreno outpointed Kara-France in 2019 amid an unbeaten run for the Mexican that led him to win the flyweight belt last year. Moreno, who drew with Deiveson Figueiredo in a 2020 title fight, submitted the Brazilian in their second clash to become undisputed champion, before losing the gold back to Figueiredo on points this January.

Moreno now looks set for a fourth in-ring meeting with Figueiredo, in a bout that would mark the first time in UFC history that two fighters have fought one another on four occasions under the promotion’s banner.

Kara-France had impressed throughout two close rounds against Moreno on Saturday, and the New Zealander had appeared to have seized the momentum in Round 3 until Moreno dropped him with a devastating step-in kick to the liver. Moreno then forced the stoppage by pouring punches onto a prone Kara-France.

Full results

Brandon Moreno finishes Kai Kara-France on the mat after a devastating body kick

(Getty Images)

Main card

Amanda Nunes def. Julianna Pena via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-43)

Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via third-round TKO (body kick, punches; 4:34)

Sergei Pavlovich def. Derrick Lewis via first-round TKO (punches, 0:55)

Alexandre Pantoja def. Alex Perez via first-round submission (rear naked choke, 1:31)

Magomed Ankalaev def. Anthony Smith via second-round TKO (punches, 3:09)


Alex Morono def. Matthew Semelsberger via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Drew Dober def. Rafael Alves via third-round KO (body punch, 1:30)

Hamdy Abdelwahab def. Don’Tale Mayes via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Drakkar Klose def. Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Early prelims

Michael Morales def. Adam Fugitt via third-round TKO (punches, 1:09)

Joselyne Edwards def. Ji Yeon Kim via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ihor Potieria via second-round TKO (punches, 3:33)

Orion Cosce def. Mike Mathetha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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