Amanda Nunes added more history to her considerable legacy in the UFC 250 main event Saturday night in Las Vegas, becoming the first simultaneous two-division champion of either gender to successfully defend two belts.
Nunes (20-4), a South Florida resident by way of Brazil who also holds the bantamweight title, dominated Felicia Spencer (8-2) of Montreal for the first defense of the featherweight belt that she won in Dec. 2018.
In an absolute mauling of a fight, Nunes took full control for 25 minutes to retain the 145-pound title via unanimous decision. She drew scores of 50-44, 50-44, and 50-45, which might have even understated the one-sided nature of the fight.
Spencer proved perhaps too tough for her own good, as Nunes dished out punishment in all aspects. She cut Spencer open with elbows in the first round; rocked her repeatedly in the second; slowed her down with leg kicks in the third; nearly submitted Spencer in the fourth with a rear-naked choke before the horn sounded; and gave her a hematoma on her forehead.
Nunes landed 90 of 181 head strikes, leaving Spencer unsteady and bloodied on several occasions.
Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo were all simultaneous champions, but each relinquished titles rather than defend both. Nunes, who has been bantamweight champion since 2016, has defended that championship five times, including twice since claiming the featherweight belt.
The biggest item of note aside from the evening’s main event was a play-in round of sorts in the bantamweight division. Cejudo vacated his 135-pound championship last month, and UFC 250 featured a pair of fights with top divisional contenders as the company figures out who will fight for the vacant belt.
Both bouts featured impressive performances: Long Island, N.Y.’s Aljamain Sterling (19-3) submitted Colorado’s Cory Sandhagen (12-2) via rear-naked choke in just 1:28. Former champ Cody Garbrandt (12-3) of Ohio, meanwhile, delivered a buzzer-beater in a knockout of Atlanta’s Raphael Assuncao (27-8), as replays showed his vicious right to the jaw landed at 4:59.9 of the second round.
That wasn’t the only one-punch knockout of the night, as Sean O’Malley (12-0) of Arizona landed a straight right to the chin of Eddie Wineland (24-14-1) of Indiana less than two minutes into the first round of their bantamweight battle. O’Malley knew he didn’t have to follow up to finish Wineland, turning to walk away immediately after dropping him.
In the other main-card bout, Colorado’s Neil Magny (23-8) beat Minnesota’s Anthony Rocco Martin (17-6) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) in a welterweight battle.
–Field Level Media