Nunes vs. Pennington: Predictions and Tips
On May 12, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reigning bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will put her title on the line. Challenging the Brazilian is American Raquel Pennington, who is ranked second in the division. The title fight will headline UFC 224 and is a must-watch event.
Amanda Nunes is one of the deadliest strikers in the women’s side of the UFC. She is accurate, very powerful, and when she settles in, her aggression can overwhelm the most steady-headed of opponents. She’s on a six-fight win streak which spells over three years.
Raquel Pennington hasn’t been in the Octagon since late 2016 when she defeated Miesha Tate. Technically, Pennington is on a four-fight win streak. But, the long absence due to injury makes her somewhat of an unknown quantity coming into this bout.
Pennington will need to make her presence known early and with regular occurrence. If Nunes gets settled, the American will be in for a world of hurt. The raucous Brazilian crowd will need to be quelled by some timely strikes from Pennington, or some momentum-stifling grapples.
The top UFC bookmakers in Canada back Nunes as the heavy favourite at -600, with Pennington at +350. Nunes is in her element when striking, but Pennington has proven to be a savvy grappler and has displayed strong groundwork.
Nunes is, rightfully, expected to win this, and her strong takedown defence will certainly be of use. Pennington can take a hit and last the rounds, so the bout may go the distance if Nunes controls the octagon. But, if one of Pennington’s takedown attempts comes off, there may be a new bantamweight champion.
Tale of the Tape
Amanda Nunes edges Raquel Pennington on all scales. The Brazilian stands 5’8’’ with a 69’’ reach and 41’’ leg reach. The challenger stands 5’7’’, with 67’’ reach and 37’’ leg reach. Nunes’ extra range will enhance her striking tactics, and even keep Pennington at bay.
Nunes’ power and aggression have earned her a 15-4-0 record. Penningtons’s well-rounded fighting has garnered a 9-6-0 record.
It’s set to be a great fight for the bantamweight title in Brazil. This UFC 224 main event will almost certainly live up to its billing. But, best of all, an upset could very well be on the cards.