Nunes, a Salvador, Brazil, native who is now based in Coconut Creek, Fla., fought in her homeland on Saturday night and picked apart Raquel Pennington of Colorado Springs, Colo., in the main event of UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.
Before the decisive round, Pennington was heard saying "I'm done", but her coach insisted she should return to the bout. Unfortunately, Nunes wasn't able to do much with the position and referee Marc Goddard was forced to stand them back up again.
Pennington got her chance on May 12, but did not come home with the gold.
After a solid opening round, Nunes realized that Pennington was game. She repeatedly followed leg kicks with head blows early on, backing Pennington up to the edge of the Octagon and leaving the outside of her left leg bright purple and red from the repeated strikes.
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Nunes threw her hands up in celebration as she earned the TKO stoppage at 2:36 into the fifth and final round.
McKenzie Dern lived up to her reputation with a slick first-round submission win over Amanda Cooper after knocking her down with a powerful overhand right.
"I live in the US, but I'm from Brazil and I represent Brazil with the flag and my belt", Nunes told the crowd after her sixth straight win. Pennington wrapped up the arms of Nunes to avoid any damage. That run included her forty-eight second decimation of Ronda Rousey, who has since left the sport well alone, pursuing a career in the WWE.
"I never fight nobody as a friend, this is the first time ever", Nunes said. It was hard to me. I had to do it to defend this belt, defend my biggest dream. Current UFC women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.
As for Pennington, she showed incredible toughness throughout the fight, although her corner didn't do her any favors by not stopping the contest when their athlete said she was done.