Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington: UFC 224 Preview and Prediction

Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington: UFC 224 Preview and Prediction

Amanda Nunes has no intentions of dropping the UFC's bantamweight title, even if it means having to face her girlfriend, Nina Ansaroff, in the cage. Nunes did require a decision during her most recent title defense against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 in September 2017. Then she utterly destroyed Ronda Rousey. For the first time, Nunes is a favorite - and a big favorite at that.

The Brazilian has won 11 of his last 13 fights but saw his title charge derailed when he was knocked out by now reigning champion Robert Whittaker previous year. In the co-main event, in middleweight action, No. 2 ranked Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza takes on No. 5 ranked Kelvin Gastelum.

Jacare is up there with the best fighters never to have had a title shot in the UFC but a victory here should change that.

Check below for breakdowns, odds and picks on every fight from Las Vegas Sun's Ray Brewer (31-12 year to date), ESPN Radio's Steve Cofield (28-15), KSNV's Randy Howe (27-16) and Las Vegas Sun's Case Keefer (23-20). He lost to Whittaker by second-round TKO last April but bounced back with a first-round knockout victory over Derek Brunson in January.

It's a matchup of Americans here.

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Those questions won't be stopping anytime soon: On Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Dern missed weight for her strawweight fight by more than seven pounds. Dias will be in attendance.

What are we to make of Mackenzie Dern? A third had it for Yoder, 29-28. As good as Gastelum can be, people are quick to forget that he had no answer for Chris Weidman's ground game and was submitted in the second round. 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. And we know how the cookie will crumble if this fight does indeed go to a decision in Rio. I do give Machida a slight edge, but the tide could easily shift to either side when two legendary champions like these collide.

Two Brazilian fighting legends collide in a middleweight contest tonight.

From Michael Bisping to Vitor Belfort to Johnny Hendricks to Nate Marquardt he's made a habit of being the grim reaper to old folks careers. Stylistically, Machida likely has the edge due to his abilities as a counter-striker, which should enable him to weather the anticipated early onslaught from Belfort, who is 0-4 in his last four fights as the underdog. He snapped a three-fight losing streak in February by beating Eryk Anders.

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