UFC 224 Videos: Embedded Episodes & Must-See Preview

Amanda Nunes

Opponents sound off and face off: strawweights Mackenzie Dern and Amanda Cooper; former champions Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort; middleweights Jacare Souza and Kelvin Gastelum; and women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Raquel Pennington. The co-main event features middleweight contenders Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Kelvin Gastelum, while the pay-per-view main card kicks off with a bout between Brazilian mixed martial arts legends Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida.

In the main event, UFC women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes defended her title for a third time when she dominated Raquel Pennington via a fifth-round TKO finish after badly bloodying and breaking her nose. Pennington, meanwhile, is on a four-fight winning streak, but has not seen the inside of the Octagon since November 2016 due to injury. Lineker's only loss in his past eight fights was to Dillashaw in a non-title bout by unanimous decision at UFC 207 at the end of 2016. Not only that, but she came in seven pounds overweight. Pennington hasn't lost since a decision loss to former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 184 in February 2015. He is sharp and crisp in most fights and I don't see Kelleher matching up well with him.

Nunes opened as a -530 favorite on the UFC 224 betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com but is taking huge action and now is set at -1000. With both fighters being inactive lately, look for the first round or two being a feeling out process. The long layoff could be a concern for Pennington here against Nunes, who is a notoriously fast starter. It is expected that the victor will next fight middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, assuming he takes care of business as a solid betting favorite over Yoel Romero at UFC 225 next month. Gastelum has great striking but has shown that he has a weakness on the mat.

Souza (25-5-1) has home field advantage fighting in his country of origin. Consensus says if Souza gets it to the ground, the fight is over.

Brazilian fighters will fight Americans up and down the rest of the card.

Which one of these former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions will return to form in Brazil and which man will move closer to their inevitable retirement?

The decision left most inside the Brazilian arena stunned, as the former Ultimate Fighter victor made it two in a row following his late 2017 win vs. Michael Bisping.

After Saturday night's fight, could Pennington be the next MMA athlete headed to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando?

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