Amanda Nunes dominates Spencer, defends belt at UFC 250

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Amanda Nunes’ impressive reign atop two UFC divisions is showing no signs of decline.

In fact, her dominance is making history.

Nunes became the first UFC fighter to defend two championship belts while actively holding the titles in both weight classes yesterday, earning a dominant unanimous decision over featherweight contender Felicia Spencer at UFC 250.

Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt also knocked out Raphael Assunção an instant before the second-round bell in the co-main event at a fan-free gym on the UFC’s corporate campus in Las Vegas.

UFC 250 was the second event held at the UFC Apex gym in the promotion’s hometown since its resumption in competition amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Apex octagon is 25 feet in diameter instead of the typical 30 feet, and those close quarters resulted in several entertaining finishes, including spectacular knockouts by Garbrandt and fellow bantamweight star ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley.

Nunes (20-4), widely considered the greatest female fighter in mixed martial arts history, is the UFC’s champion of the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. The list of two-division UFC champions is short, and no one else has defended both belts.

“Guys, no one else ever did that before!” Nunes said. “It’s amazing. I knew something big was going to happen in my life. Sometimes you’re surprised by how big it is.”

While Nunes’ dominance was tested in her last bout against bantamweight Germaine De Randamie in December, the relatively inexperienced Spencer (8-2) provided little danger to the champ, other than the remote possibility of breaking her hands in repeated collisions with Spencer’s face.

Nunes battered the slower Spencer with her fearsome striking power from the start, cutting the challenger’s face and later sending her mouthpiece flying away during the third round. Spencer had a nasty hematoma growing on her forehead after the fourth round.

“I want to go to five rounds with the toughest girls, and tonight I proved it,” Nunes said. “I knew Felicia was the toughest girl in this division, and I know she’s going to handle it exactly how she did tonight. I wanted to prove it. I could go to six rounds. Everything we worked on, I wanted to put in there.”

Nunes comfortably defended her featherweight belt for the first time since taking it from Cris “Cyborg” Justino in December 2018. She has defended the bantamweight belt five times since 2016.

Nunes limped into her post-fight news conference with help from her coaching staff. Her shins are often sore after fights because her kicks are so effective.

The injury likely isn’t serious, but Nunes said she could be out for the rest of the year as she is expecting a child in three months.