Despite her major underdog status, Julianna Pena has shocked the world by dethroning a champion many thought was untouchable.
Julianna Pena has stunned the sporting world to produce the almightiest of upsets, submitting Amanda Nunes in the second round to claim the women’s bantamweight title.
Nunes, who hadn’t lost in her last twelve fights, was looking strong in the first round and many fans were predicting it would be a simple procession from that point on.
Watch UFC 269: Oliveira vs Poirier LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo and Foxtel, Sunday 12th December from 2pm AEDT. ORDER NOW >
However, something must have clicked in Pena’s mind as she began the second round in dominant fashion, catching Nunes with a number of shots that caught her attention.
Nunes answered back with some punches of her own and was constantly looking for some close elbows, but Pena continued her relentless assault.
The champ and the challenger went to the ground, and Pena managed to slip in a choke and win the fight.
The sporting world was in total disbelief once the referee waved off the contest after Nunes tapped out considering many believed her to be almost untouchable, such has been her dominance since taking the belt in 2016.
Kiwi silences Vegas with destructive KO
Kiwi bantamweight Kai Kara-France sent the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas into stunned silence after decimating Cody Garbrandt.
Kara-France, who is ranked #6 in his division, made his title credentials clear as he produced a series of crushing right-hands that sent Garbrandt to the canvas multiple times in quick succession.
Garbrandt put some miles on the odometer as he scurried away to try and buy himself some time after he was dropped the first time, and even gestured for Kara-France to continue coming forward and pour on the punches.
However, the American was probably regretting that decision as he had little say in preventing the New Zealander from ending the fight in the first round.
The crowd was in shock at a former UFC champion being destroyed in such a fashion, but the MMA community was sent into absolute rapture as Kara-France gained plenty of new fans.
Aussie cements cult hero status with huge KO and shoey
Tai Tuivasa continued to cement himself as the UFC’s biggest cult hero after producing a stunning knockout victory over Augusto Sakai at UFC 269 and celebrating in style with a shoey.
Tuivasa, who has now won four fights in a row via KO/TKO, had Sakai’s back on the cage and let his hands go with a beautiful combo that finished the fight.
The Aussie immidately leapt to the top of the octagon and called for a shoe and beer to be thrown his way, catching both with ease.
Gesturing to the crowd with outstretched arms, Tuivasa just about blew the roof off as fans cheered for the heavyweight to smash down a shoey.
Fight fans inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas were pictured waving their own shoe in the air, hoping to get Tuivasa to drink from their piece of footwear.
One ESPN commentator called Tuivasa “crazy” and the online MMA community exploded over Tuivasa’s finish and subsequent celebration.
The main card is scheduled to get underway at around 2pm. You can expect Poirier and Oliveira to enter the Octagon some time around 4pm.
Fans want UFC star cut after ‘gross’ act
The MMA world has slammed an “unacceptable” move from Priscila Cachoeria as she was on the verge of tapping out to a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Gillian Robertson was dominating the first fight of the UFC 269 card in Las Vegas against Cachoeira and took the Brazilian to the mat in the opening round.
Robertson executed some beautiful ground work and took Cachoeira’s back and locked in a submission, but Cachoeira, who failed to make weight for the fight, had one final move up her sleeve to keep the contest alive.
The 31-year-old decided to stick her thumb in Robertson’s right eye in the hope it would get the American to release her choke hold, but her efforts proved fruitless as she tapped out just one second before the bell.
Fight fans were quick to condemn the cheap act.
ESPN combat sports reporter Marc Raimondi didn’t hold back, tweeting: “Those eye gouges should not be overlooked. That could cause a career or life-altering injury. Some kind of discipline needs to be taken on Cachoeira. It’s just not acceptable.”
MMAJunkie writer Danny Segura wrote: “Clear eye gouge by Priscila Cachoeira. That’s the type of stuff that gets you released on the spot. Completely gross and unacceptable.”
ESPN journalist Brett Okamoto wants Cachoeira cut from the promotion. “Yeah, don’t need to see Cachoeira in the UFC again after this. Or another fight period, if I’m being honest,” he posted.
Robertson herself said post-fight she definitely felt Cachoeira’s eye-gouge attempt.
“It was definitely pretty deep in there, I felt some thumb,” Robertson said.
The headline attraction of UFC 269 is the lightweight title fight between Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira, while Amanda Nunes takes on Julianna Pena in the co-main event.
UFC 269 Full Fight Card
Charles Oliveira (c) v Dustin Poirier (lightweight title bout)
Amanda Nunes (c) v Julianna Pena (women’s bantamweight title bout)
Geoff Neal def Santiago Ponzinibbio (via split decision)
Kai Kara-France def Cody Garbrandt (via KO
Raulian Paiva def by Sean O’Malley (via TKO)
Josh Emmett def Dan Ige (via unanimous decision)
Pedro Munhoz def by Dominick Cruz (via unanimous decision)
Augusto Sakai def by Tai Tuivasa (via KO)
Jordan Writght def by Bruno Silva (via TKO)
Andre Muniz def Eryk Anders (via submission)
Miranda Maverick def by Erin Blanchfield (via unanimous decision)
Ryan Hall def Darrick Minner (via unanimous decision)
Randy Costa def by Tony Kelley (via TKO)
Gillian Robertson def Priscila Cachoeira (via submission)