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5 times Amanda Nunes looked vulnerable inside the octagon

Nunes defends her bantamweight title on Saturday
Nunes defends her bantamweight title on Saturday
Ivan Derrick

Amanda Nunes is considered by most to be the greatest women's mixed martial artist of all time. She is the current reigning world champion in both the UFC women's bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

Nunes has successfully defended her featherweight belt twice and her bantamweight belt five times. She aims to make that latter defense number six at UFC 269 when she faces No. 3-ranked Julianna Peña.

Counting down the days until Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Peña at #UFC269 next Saturday! https://t.co/Gj4pIa9GzJ

Nunes is a heavy favorite in that bout as she has rarely struggled in her UFC career. 'The Lioness' is on a 12-fight win streak and regularly overwhelms her opponents while taking little to no damage.

Very occasionally, however, fighters find a measure of success against the dominant champion. Here are five times opponents found a chink in the armor of Amanda Nunes during her UFC career:


#5. UFC 224 - Amanda Nunes vs. Raquel Pennington

Nunes defeated Pennington in 2018 via TKO
Nunes defeated Pennington in 2018 via TKO

It speaks to Amanda Nunes' dominance that a fight she won via knockout still ends up making this list. Nunes fought Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 in the third defense of her bantamweight championship.

May12.2018Amanda Nunes makes the 3rd defense of her Bantamweight title,when she finishes Raquel Pennington by TKO https://t.co/nSHOrmD5iP

While the fight was one-sided, the second round contained moments of Pennington success. After being on the back foot, 'Rocky' tossed the champion to the floor and landed a number of strikes in side control.

Nunes was able to get to her feet and most felt this vulnerable sequence was only a blip in a round she won. The rest of the fight saw Nunes dominate proceedings and stop the fight via elbows and punches in the final frame.

#4. UFC 245 Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie II

Nunes defeated de Randamie in 2019 via unanimous decision
Nunes defeated de Randamie in 2019 via unanimous decision

Amanda Nunes's most recent bantamweight title defense came in a rematch against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245. While this was another one-sided Nunes win, all three judges felt the second round belonged to de Randamie.

After a dominant first round for Nunes, de Randamie outstruck the champion throughout the second round, forcing her to look for takedowns. Additionally, de Randamie came close to catching Nunes in a submission in the fourth round of the bout.

Here's the Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie scorecard #UFC245 https://t.co/wZbLLGhLOi

Ultimately, however, Nunes secured a unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the fight 49-44, 49-46 and 48-45 all in favor of 'The Lioness', who scored her fifth bantamweight title defense in the process.


#3. UFC 196 Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko

Nunes defeated Shevchenko in 2016 via unanimous decision
Nunes defeated Shevchenko in 2016 via unanimous decision

Of all of Amanda Nunes' opponents, Valentina Shevchenko is undoubtedly the fighter who appears closest in skill to 'The Lioness'. The first bout between the pair took place at UFC 196 when neither fighter had yet won a UFC title.

March 5, 20162 years ago today, Amanda Nunes defeated Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision at UFC 196. The win was @Amanda_Leoa 3rd consecutive, earning her a @ufc Women's Bantamweight title shot against Meisha Tate who Nunes submitted in the 1st round. https://t.co/kqhLVOoUFa

While Nunes looked strong early in the fight, particularly in the second round, the third round was a completely different story. Shevchenko was able to take down Nunes as well as dominate the Brazilian in the striking department.

While Nunes' work earlier in the fight was enough to win via unanimous decision, Shevchenko finished well and could've put Nunes in real trouble had they fought five rounds.

#2. UFC 215: Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko II

Nunes defeated Shevchenko in 2017 via split decision
Nunes defeated Shevchenko in 2017 via split decision

While the first fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko was close, the rematch took their rivalry to a new level. Many feel Shevchenko deserved to have her hand raised over Nunes' in 2017.

Shevchenko was able to respond quicker the second time around and circled her larger opponent, out-striking her particularly in the middle portion of the fight. At least two of the three judges scored rounds two, three and four for Shevchenko.

One judge even felt the fifth round belonged to 'Bullet'. To wit, several media outlets felt the run back should've been scored a 48-47 win for the current UFC women's flyweight champion.

Morning Report: Shevchenko goes off on UFC 215 result, promises Nunes ‘we will meet again!’ mmafighting.com/2017/9/13/1629… https://t.co/5o8chCjEjh

Ultimately, however, Nunes was given the nod via split decision. Considering the controversy around this result and Shevchenko's dominance since, hopefully a trilogy bout will soon emerge between the pair.


#1. UFC 179: Amanda Nunes vs. Cat Zingano

Zingano defeated Nunes in 2014 via TKO
Zingano defeated Nunes in 2014 via TKO

Despite Amanda Nunes' UFC dominance, she has suffered one octagon loss. This setback came vs. Cat Zingano in Nunes's third fight with the organization. The Zingano win earned her a shot at Ronda Rousey's bantamweight title.

Nunes was an underdog in this fight but looked capable of pulling the upset as she hurt the more experienced 'Alpha Cat' with her signature early flurry. However, Nunes clearly slowed after her quick start before being finished in the third.

Sep27.2014Cat Zingano becomes the only fighter to defeat Amanda Nunes in the UFC,when she finishes her from full mount at UFC 178 https://t.co/PIUxB9vePu

The TKO loss remains the only blot on Nunes's UFC record, though she won her first title with the company just four fights later. Zingano, on the other hand, now competes for Bellator and is currently undefeated in her first two fights with the promotion.

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Edited by Joshua Broom

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