A new star in the sport of MMA is emerging.
Last night Amanda Nunes recorded the third defense of Bantamweight UFC Title against Raquel Pennington. Even though her challenger almost went the distance, the fight never seemed beyond her control. Nunes utilized leg kicks to weaken her opponent, and even punctured her nose en route to a decisive TKO victory in the closing minutes of the final round. Pennington did her best to keep pace. ESPN reported that Raquel was so demoralized after the fourth round that she pleaded with her corner to throw in the towel prematurely, only to have her team convince her otherwise. The outcome was never really questioned. A commanding performance such as this one, will do wonders to elevate Nunes to a starting point of conversation as to who on the UFC roster deserves big name recognition. As of right now, it's hard to argue against Nunes.
The Brazilian Nunes first became a household name after defeating Ronda Rousey in her first defense of the Bantamweight crown at UFC 207. It was in shameful defeat that Rousey abandoned the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Since then, it's been hard for Nunes to overcome the tremendous shadow created by Rousey's popularity. It seemed unfair that Nunes' victory played second fiddle to Rousey's fall from grace, but such is life. Nunes has a real opportunity to capitalize on her popularity if she stays active in the sport.