Amanda Nunes is the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time. And there is no question about it.
Nunes made history as the first fighter in the UFC — male or female — to hold and defend world titles in two different weight classes as he she dominated Felicia Spencer to retain her women’s featherweight championship Saturday at UFC 250.
The two-division champion met little resistance from Spencer, who proved to be incredibly tough but couldn’t muster up any offense against The Lioness.
The only surprise was that one judge didn’t give Nunes a single 10-8 round as the scorecards read 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 for the champion.
Spencer tried to press the action but was met early and often by Nunes’ powerful strikes. Spencer proved early on that she could take a punch as she ate plenty of leather but kept her senses. The fight could have been stopped at the end of the fourth round after Nunes cut loose a heavy barrage of strikes that busted Spencer open and then nearly finished her with a rear naked choke. The Canadian was sent out for the final round but had absolutely nothing for Nunes.
Rather than put her out to pasture, Nunes opted to take her down and keep her there for much of the final round.
Nunes has effectively cleaned out two divisions and will have to wait to see if a contender emerges.
As dominant as Nunes was, the men’s bantamweights stole the show at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Sean O’Malley and Cody Garbrandt delivered stunning knockouts while Aljamain Sterling punched his ticket to a title opportunity by running roughshod over Cory Sandhagen with a first-round submission.
Former champion Garbrandt delivered a buzzer-beating right hook at the end of the second round to score a scintillating knockout of Raphael Assuncao in the co-main event. The lightning strike is in the conversation of Knockout of the Year. Earlier in the card, O’Malley proved that he’s one to watch with a vicious walk-off knockout in the first round against veteran Eddie Wineland.
Sterling was supposed to be in tough against Sandhagen, but he made short work of his opponent with a beautifully executed rear naked choke.
Here’s how it all went down at UFC 250:
UFC 250 results, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Amanda Nunes dominates Felicia Spencer to retain 145-pound title
Result: The only surprise was that one judge didn’t score a single 10-8 round for Nunes. As expected, she retained with 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 scores. Who will beat Nunes?
Round 5 (12:40 a.m.): Nunes back to work and throttles Spencer before mercifully taking her down. Nunes doesn’t seem to want to hit her anymore but Spencer won’t quit. Another takedown as time expires. 10-9, Nunes (50-44, Nunes)
Round 4 (12:33 a.m.): Spencer charges forward but Nunes picks her off and lands another brutal right hand. Spinning back kick to the body by Nunes. Leg kick and a right hand by Nunes. Spencer is beat up. Nunes with a right hand and lands a three-punch combination. Nunes decks her again. Nunes is smoking her. Rear naked choke and Spencer survives the round. They can stop the fight. Spencer has a monster hematoma on her head. 10-8, Nunes (40-35, Nunes)
Round 3 (12:27 a.m.): Nunes connects with a right hand and Spencer’s mouthpiece flies out to pause the action. This is one-way traffic. Nunes is smiling and playing with her food. Nunes catches a kick and sends Spencer to the mat. Spencer gets to her feet and Nunes continues to throttle her with strikes. Nunes is landing brutal leg kicks that are limiting Spencer’s mobility. They can stop the fight if they want to. 10-9, Nunes (30-27, Nunes)
Round 2 (12:20 a.m.): Spencer just can’t find anything that will give her success. Nunes is totally dominant. Spencer shoots for a takedown, Nunes shrugs it off and gets her own takedown. A brief scramble and they are back to the feet. Spencer has landed nothing of consequence. Easy round for Nunes. 10-9, Nunes (20-18, Nunes)
Round 1 (12:14 a.m.): Nunes lands a pair of right hands to open the fight. Spencer runs right into another right hand but she’s still upright. Spencer clinches but is tossed to the mat by Nunes. Nunes begins to work her over. Spencer is doing well on defense but has had no offense. Nunes is clobbering Spencer with elbows and punches inside of the guard. Total domination. 10-9, Nunes
11:56 p.m.: It’s time for the main event: Amanda Nunes defends the UFC women’s featherweight title against Felicia Spencer. Nunes is a massive favorite at -600 odds, but that didn’t stop someone in Las Vegas from putting down $1 million on the champ-champ. Should Nunes win, that $1 million bet would yield $166,666.70. Is it worth it?
Cody Garbrandt stops Raphael Assuncao with KO of the Year candidate
Round 2 (11:47 p.m.): A much closer round as Assuncao has timed Garbrandt. Assuncao gets dropped briefly with a right hand late in the round. It appears to be a close round that’s hard to score until … BOOM! Garbrandt uncorks a savage right hand with one second left that puts Assuncao out. Might be KO of the Year. Unbelievable. Two of the best knockouts this year in one night between Garbrandt and O’Malley. Everyone lost their minds, including Daniel Cormier.
Round 1 (11:41 p.m.): The speed advantage for Garbrandt is evident throughout the round. With the camp shift to Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida, it seems that Garbrandt is a calming himself down in these fights. Assuncao can’t seem to catch up to Garbrandt and will need to close the distance or be involved in a long night of getting picked apart. (10-9, Garbrandt)
11:36 p.m.: The co-main event is up now with former champion Cody Garbrandt trying to snap a three-fight losing streak against Rafael Assuncao, who has lost two in a row. It’s a must-win situation for both fighters.
Aljamain Sterling chokes out Cory Sandhagen to punch ticket to title shot
11:18 p.m.: It was expected to be competitive, until it wasn’t. Sterling wasted little time taking Sandhagen to the canvas and sinking in a rear-naked choke in under two minutes. Sterling didn’t give his opponent a minute to breathe as he was aggressive from the outset. He closed the distance, took Sandhagen down, slapped on a body triangle and worked his way into a choke that caused Sandhagen to tap out before he went to sleep. Very impressive. He’s next in line for the winner of Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant title but, honestly, it should be Sterling vs. Yan.
11:08 p.m.: For many, this is the best fight on the card as Aljamain Sterling faces Cory Sandhagen, with the winner being next in line for a bantamweight title shot. Sterling has won four in a row while Sandhagen has won five straight. Somebody’s streak will go down in flames tonight. Who will it be?
Neil Magny secures decision victory over Anthony Rocco Martin
11 p.m.: It wasn’t a terribly thrilling fight, but Magny used his supreme conditioning and put the pressure on Martin to earn a unanimous decision. A pair of 30-27 scores were a little baffling, but the right fighter won. Magny had a tremendous third round where he wore down Martin with strikes and pressure. Magny has now won two in a row and is working his way back up the welterweight ladder.
10:40 p.m.: Up next is Anthony Rocco Martin vs. Neil Magny in welterweight action. If this fight follows the trend, it should be a decision. Let’s see.
Sean O’Malley arrives with 1st-round annihilation of Eddie Wineland
10:23 p.m. The Suga Show is here! A significant favorite, O’Malley proved that he’s the goods with a devastating KO. O’Malley found his spacing, feinted an uppercut with his right hand and launched a brutal straight right hand that turned off Wineland’s lights. One of the best walk-off knockouts you’ll ever see by the undefeated O’Malley. If there are any other questions about O’Malley, a majority of them have already been answered. Look out, bantamweights.
10:16 p.m.: And we’re off! The main card of UFC 250 begins with “The Suga Show” as Sean O’Malley faces his toughest test to date against Eddie Wineland. If O’Malley wins, then the UFC will have a possible superstar on its hands. But Wineland is far from a cakewalk.
9:55 p.m.: Chase Hooper was dealt a harsh dose of reality as he was schooled by Alex Caceres and dropped a unanimous decision. Caceres dissected the 20-year-old Hooper throughout the 15-minute affair and earned 30-27 scores across the board.
9:13 p.m.: After nearly getting pulled from UFC 250 after one of his cornermen produced a false positive COVID-19 test result, Ian Heinisch scored a wicked first-round knockout over Gerald Meerschaert. Heinisch delivered a beautiful overhand right that sent Meerschaert to the canvas. Heinisch followed him to the canvas and delivered a hurricane of ground and pound to pick up the victory.
8:59 p.m.: Fighting with a ton of emotion after the death of his 18-year-old brother, Cody Stamann made a successful return to featherweight by pitching a shutout over Brian Kelleher to earn a unanimous decision. Although he battled with a heavy heart, Stamann put on his best performance in a new weight class by consistently beating Kelleher to the punch. Maybe 145 is the place for him moving forward.
8:20 p.m.: We kick off UFC 250 with Maki Pitolo putting a beating on Charles Byrd punctuated by a blistering body assault to earn a second-round TKO. Three of the first four fights tonight have ended inside of the distance. Could this be a sign of things to come?
UFC 250 fight card
- Amanda Nunes (c) def. Felicia Spencer via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45) to retain the UFC women’s featherweight championship
- Cody Garbrandt def. Raphael Assunção via 2nd-round KO (4:59)
- Aljamain Sterling def. Cory Sandhagen via 1st-round submission (1:28)
- Neil Magny def. Anthony Rocco Martin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Sean O’Malley def. Eddie Wineland via 1st-round KO (1:54)
- Alex Caceres def. Chase Hooper via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ian Heinisch def. Gerald Meerschaert via 1st-round TKO (1:14)
- Cody Stamann def. Brian Kelleher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Maki Pitolo def. Charles Byrd via 2nd-round TKO (1:10)
UFC Fight Pass prelims
- Alex Perez def. Jussier Formiga via 1st-round TKO (4:06)
- Devin Clark def. Alonzo Menifield via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Herbert Burns def. Evan Dunham via 1st-round submission (1:20)