UFC 224: "Nunes vs Pennington" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship came to Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil tonight for UFC 224: “Nunes vs Pennington.” The event was headlined by a UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout between Amanda “Lioness” Nunes and challenger Raquel “Rocky” Pennington.

In tonight’s co-main event, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza battled Kelvin Gastelum at middleweight. In a would-be women’s strawweight bout, a significantly overweight Mackenzie Dern squared off against Amanda Bobby “ABC” Cooper. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the UFC 224 main card.


UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship

Amanda “Lioness” Nunes vs Raquel “Rocky” Pennington

Round 1:
Nunes dropped Pennington with the first leg kick of the fight. Pennington stood and Nunes landed two right hands and more kicks. She knocked Pennington down with another leg kick and kept the pressure on with punch-kick combos after Pennington rose to her feet. Both women landed knees to the body and Nunes continued to score with right hands. The round ended with an exchange of power punches. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 2:
Nunes backed Pennington up against the cage with a combination in round two and the fighters traded body kicks. Pennington jabbed and Nunes responded with a kick-punch combo. She shrugged off a Pennington takedown attempt and landed a spinning back kick to the body soon after. Two big knees scored for Nunes, but Pennington took her back on the feet and dragged her down into side control. Pennington landed elbows, but Nunes kicked her off and finished the round with a hard combination. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 3:
The third round began with Nunes landing more leg kicks and a hard left hook. She remained effective with kick-punch combos and dumped Pennington to the mat. Nunes landed a handful of strikes from the top before referee Marc Goddard stood the fighters up. Pennington clinched and Nunes broke free. Pennington’s eyes began to swell up, but she connected with a solid combination and clinched again. Nunes landed a big right hand and a knee that appeared to hurt Pennington before the bell. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 4:
Nunes mixed things up with jabs and overhand rights in round four. She landed a nice leg kick and a one-two that halted Pennington’s momentum, then countered a Pennington clinch by taking her down. Pennington tied Nunes up and battled back up to her feet, where she ate three knees to the body. A right hand landed for Pennington, but Nunes drilled her with two more knees and used a kimura attempt to fend off a takedown. Knee after knee landed for Nunes as Pennington tried in vain for a takedown in the final seconds. 10-9 Nunes.

Round 5:
Nunes punched her way into a clinch in the final round and she took Pennington down. From the top, Nunes landed punches and elbows that caused Pennington’s already broken nose to gush blood all over the canvas. She rolled over and turtled as Nunes landed final punches that ended the fight.

Winner: Amanda Nunes by TKO (Punches) at 2:36 of round five. She improves to 16-4-0 and remains the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.


Kelvin Gastelum vs Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza

Round 1:
Souza initiated a clinch early in the first round and he eventually dragged Gastelum down to the mat after latching on to his leg. He punched from the top in mount until Gastelum scrambled. Souza took mount for a second time and landed elbows, then spun into an armbar attempt. Gastelum defended and Souza looked to soften him up with hammerfists. Souza wrenched back on Gastelum’s arm again, but Gastelum held on until the bell. 10-9 Souza.

Round 2:
Gastelum cut Souza near the left eye with a big flurry of punches in round two. Souza clinched, but Gastelum broke free. Souza kicked to the body and Gastelum connected with lead right hooks. Souza answered back with right hands of his own, but Gastelum dropped him with a one-two. Souza survived a follow-up barrage of punches and got back to his feet. Gastelum landed a three-punch combination and a lead right hook, but Souza cracked him with an overhand right in return. The fighters traded power punches late in the round. 10-9 Gastelum.

Round 3:
Gastelum circled and jabbed in round three as Souza walked forward with single hooks to the head and body. Gastelum bloodied Souza’s nose and stuffed his takedowns, but Souza landed a head kick and dragged Gastelum down against the base of the cage. Gastelum quickly stood up and he backed Souza up with one-twos. Souza lunged in with punches of his own and he secured a very brief takedown. Gastelum stood and rushed at Souza with hooks until time expired. 10-9 Souza, barely. Fight could go either way.

Winner: Kelvin Gastelum by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 15-3-0, 1 NC.


Mackenzie Dern vs Amanda Bobby “ABC” Cooper

Round 1:
Overhand rights were exchanged in the opening minute and Cooper threw quick one-twos while Dern responded with winging hooks. A right hand landed for Dern and she mounted a dazed Cooper on the ground. After flurrying with punches from mount, Dern took Cooper’s back and locked on a rear-naked choke for the tapout win.

Winner: Mackenzie Dern by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:27 of round one. She improves to 7-0-0.


John “Hands of Stone” Lineker vs Brian “Boom” Kelleher

Round 1:
Lineker opened the action with a one-two and a leg kick. He continued to target Kelleher’s lead leg with kicks and also flurried to the body. Kelleher staggered him with a counter hook, but Lineker recovered quickly and pressed forward. Kelleher landed an uppercut and Lineker floored him with a left hook. He dove in with more punches, but Kelleher regained his composure and battled back to his feet. A spinning backfist landed for Kelleher and both men threw spinning back kicks. Lineker swarmed on Kelleher with right hooks that backed him up against the cage. 10-9 Lineker.

Round 2:
Lineker landed a series of looping one-twos to the head and body in round two that kept Kelleher on the defensive. Big punches were exchanged and both men landed. More hooks to the body landed for Lineker and Kelleher winced in pain while firing back with punches of his own. Lineker remained the aggressor with punching combinations and Kelleher answered back with a standing elbow. 10-9 Lineker.

Round 3:
Kelleher shot in for a takedown in round three and Lineker countered with a guillotine choke. Kelleher freed his head and peppered Lineker with punches from the top. Back on the feet, Kelleher jabbed and followed with right hands as Lineker began to slow down. Lineker came back with a big left hook that hurt Kelleher and he followed with more hooks that forced him to backpedal. Seconds after Kelleher regained his footing, Lineker sent him crashing to the canvas with a massive left hook.

Winner: John Lineker by KO (Punch) at 3:45 of round three. He improves to 31-8-0.


Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Round 1:
The fighters were very cautious in the opening two minutes until Belfort fired off a combination and Machida briefly stunned him with a counter axe kick. Machida threw two more kicks to the body and Belfort backed him up with a one-two. Machida scored with a head kick and a body kick in the final few seconds, and Belfort landed two left hands at the bell. Uneventful round. 10-9 Machida.

Round 2:
The second round began with more timidity from both fighters throughout the first minute. In an instant, Machida landed a devastating front kick to the face that dropped an unconscious Belfort to the mat and the fight was immediately waved off.

Winner: Lyoto Machida by KO (Front Kick) at 1:00 of round two. He improves to 24-8-0.