She will be defending her title against American fighter Raquel Pennington in what should be a great fight. Meanwhile, middleweights Ronaldo Souza (186) and Kelvin Gastelum (185) were also cleared for their three-round co-headliner at Friday's official weigh-in. According to the latest oddsmakers, Nunes is the clear favorite, as she is getting odds of -925 to win. She almost beat Holly Holm in the latter's UFC debut and most recently, retired one of the all time greats at 135 pounds, Miesha Tate.
Nunes talks about her dogs, the title, Ronda Rousey and WWE. The rest of the division can't really compete with Pennington's four fight win streak, even it its one that has come against questionable competition. This fight seems like the UFC is giving Dern another tune-up match, bringing her along slowly before facing some tougher competition, similar to what college football programs do at the beginning of the season.
The ferocious striker and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt destroyed Mesiha Tate at UFC 200 to win the belt before doing the same to Rousey in her first defence. Pennington hasn't lost since a decision loss to former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 184 in February 2015. This is the first time that Amanda Nunes is fighting in 2018 and it will be very interesting to see how she will perform after quite a long break. She is more of a grinder that tries to out-work her opponents.
The 25-year-old missed weight by seven pounds, weighing in at 123 for the 115-pound fight. That alone gives her a chance against Amanda Nunes. It is expected that the victor here will get a shot at the UFC middleweight title with current champion Robert Whittaker a sizable favourite over Yoel Romero at UFC 225.
That said, Gastelum's speed and accurate striking does make it tempting to back him for the win, knowing full well that it's not the percentage play.
"It's a celebration all-around for the gay community", says former UFC contender Hardy. As good as Gastelum can be, people are quick to forget that he had no answer for Chris Weidman's ground game and was submitted in the second round.
Tonight's card will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both fighters are former champions, from Brazil and are at the tail end of their careers. Belfort has explosive power and is coming off a decision win over Nate Marquardt past year. Souza is a Brazilian native who has won three of his last four. This fight could be the last scrap for the fighter who doesn't get their hand raised Saturday night.
In the middle of one of her first amateur fights, back in 2009 in Casper, Wyoming, Pennington sensed something had just been thrown into the cage.