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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Amanda Nunes pulled off one of the crucial stunning wins in blended martial arts historical past when she left the world’s most feared feminine fighter face-down on the canvas.
Jon Jones merely did precisely what everybody expects him to do at any time when he manages to get out of his personal means.
Nunes knocked out Cris “Cyborg” Justino 51 seconds into the primary spherical at UFC 232 on Saturday evening, ending the featherweight champion’s 13-year unbeaten run in spectacular style.
Jones additionally reclaimed his gentle heavyweight title in his return from a 17-month cage absence. The 2-time champ stopped Alexander Gustafsson with strikes on the bottom within the third spherical.
Nunes (17-4), the UFC’s bantamweight champion, made historical past after she fearlessly moved up 10 kilos to problem Justino (20-2), broadly thought of probably the most achieved feminine fighter in MMA.
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The undersized underdog dominated her fellow Brazilian from the beginning, buckling Justino’s knees and knocking her down twice earlier than touchdown the overhand proper that ended it.
“Nothing was going to cease me from what I needed to do tonight,” Nunes mentioned. “When she related with a few punches, I simply mentioned, ‘I’m going to stroll proper by her.’”
Nunes is the third fighter in UFC historical past to carry two title belts concurrently, becoming a member of Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier.
“I knew this was occurring, I advised you all!” Nunes mentioned. “I’m the brand new ‘champ-champ.’ I mentioned that earlier than, and now I’m simply attaining this dream.”
Simply six days after the UFC moved all the 232 card from Las Vegas to the well-known Discussion board south of downtown Los Angeles, Jones (23-1, 1 no-contest) closed the present with a methodical dismantling of Gustafsson (18-5). The bout was a rematch of Jones’ hardest battle, an exciting resolution in 2013 over Gustafsson.
However in Jones’ first bout since finishing his second drug-related suspension, the star picked aside Gustafsson with kicks within the first two rounds. He received a takedown within the third and completed the battle with a number of brutal photographs to Gustafsson’s head on the bottom.
“It was at all times about being the champion once more,” Jones mentioned. It was by no means in regards to the opponent, nothing private. I’m simply pleased with my belt, and for now I need to return to the gymnasium and enhance my sport.”
The UFC made the extraordinary resolution to maneuver its present 280 miles to California throughout a vacation week simply to maintain Jones on the cardboard. The previous champion just lately examined constructive for low ranges of a banned steroid, however California regulatory officers didn’t take into account the end result critical sufficient to maintain the long-troubled star out of the octagon, whereas Nevada’s fee did.
The 31-year-old Jones had fought solely twice within the earlier 47 months, shedding an unlimited chunk of his preventing prime on account of his misbehavior. He held the UFC’s 205-pound title twice earlier than, however had it stripped each instances.
Jones returned from his first doping suspension with a stoppage of Cormier in July 2017 to reclaim his gentle heavyweight title, however misplaced the belt once more after testing constructive for steroids.
A capability crowd of 15,862 in Southern California watched one other groundbreaking achievement by Nunes, the ferocious brawler who calls herself “The Lioness.” Nunes additionally knocked out Ronda Rousey in lower than a minute two years in the past, and she or he has victories over bantamweight champion Miesha Tate and future 125-pound champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Nunes’ punching energy is usually an excessive amount of for her male sparring companions, and she or he carved up Justino with astonishing ease regardless of a dimension drawback. Justino had received 20 consecutive fights since her MMA debut in 2005, and she or he had dominated for the reason that inception of the UFC’s 145-pound division, which was created largely as a showcase for Cyborg’s expertise.
“I do know I hit arduous, however typically you by no means know,” Nunes mentioned. “After I hit her, I might see she received rung a bit of bit. I’m pondering, ‘I’m going to be quick, I’m going to maneuver my head, and I do know I’m going to get a knockout.’”
Earlier, Australian featherweight prospect Alexander Volkanovski (19-1) received his 16th straight bout within the PPV opener, stopping veteran Chad Mendes with proper palms within the second spherical of a back-and-forth bout. Michael Chiesa additionally received his welterweight debut with a second-round submission of former champ Carlos Condit, who misplaced his fifth straight battle.
Former UFC light-weight champion BJ Penn tapped out for the primary time in his MMA profession, shedding to Brazilian jiu-jitsu whiz Ryan Corridor on a heel hook within the first spherical. Penn (16-13-2), an MMA pioneer who turned 40 this month, is 0-6-1 in his final seven fights since 2010.
Regardless of the late transfer to LA, the UFC bought out the Discussion board after simply six days of ticket gross sales. The gang included Justino buddy Halle Berry, Dolph Lundgren, David Spade, NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, Travis Barker, Mick Foley and Amber Valletta.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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