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Amanda Nunes defeated in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history

Julianna Pena stunned the two-division champion in Las Vegas.

Julianna Pena, right, throws a right to Amanda Nunes.
Julianna Pena, right, throws a right to Amanda Nunes.
Image: Chase Stevens

JULIANNA PENA STUNNED Amanda Nunes overnight in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

The 32-year-old American sensationally submitted two-division champion Nunes at UFC 269 in Las Vegas, landing the women’s bantamweight title and bringing the holders’ 12-fight win streak to a shuddering end.

In a thrilling encounter, Pena eventually broke down the Brazillian, forcing her to tap out and concede defeat in the second round. After dethroning ‘The Lioness,’ Pena said: “I told you. Don’t ever doubt me again. Willpower, strength and determination, it will take you places.

“She tapped and I asked the commissioner, I said, ‘Is it over?’ and he said, ‘Yes, you won’, and I said, ‘Oh, that’s great’. I definitely expected a win and I’m just so grateful. The world is my oyster and you literally have the ability to do anything that you want in this life, and I just proved that tonight.”

ufc-269-mixed-martial-arts Julianna Pena celebrates. Source: Chase Stevens

Another Brazilian fighter’s night ended in glory, however, as Charles Oliveira defended his lightweight title with a third-round submission victory over Dustin Poirier in the co-main event.

Former interim champion Poirier had been favourite heading in, but failed in his second title shot.

Oliviera completed the job in the third round after an opening brawl; finishing with a standing rear-naked choke to force the tap in his first title defence.

It was his 32nd career victory — 29th finish, 20th submission and 20th win inside the UFC octagon. “I’m a world champion. I’m the man. They talk. I do it,” Oliviera said afterwards. “They can hit. They can hit me a lot. But I keep walking forward.”

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ufc-269-mixed-martial-arts Charles Oliveira reacts after winning. Source: Chase Stevens

Defeated Poirier said Oliviera’s “durability” surprised him. “I put some good clean shots on him. I thought that was going to get him away in the first round. I brawled again when I wasn’t supposed to. The gameplan was to take my time and let the fight unfold, take him into the fourth and fifth and pick him apart.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Kai Kara-France claimed a big TKO victory over former bantamweight world champion Cody Garbrandt, rising star in that weight, Sean O’Malley, enjoyed a first-round TKO of Brazilian Raulian Paiva, and there were also wins for Dominick Cruz, Tai Tuivasa and Geoff Neal.

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