UFC 224 Embedded 6: Nunes vs Pennington Vlog Series

Amanda Nunes

Nunes tipped the scales at a fit-and-ready 135 pounds in advance of her bantamweight title defense against Pennington (135) in the UFC 224 main event on Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. She last fought in September and had a split decision win over Valentina Shevchenko. And even though Brazil is not Pennington's first choice as far as the location of this championship fight, it was flawless for one reason.

Note: All odds via OddsShark. It might be better to sit this one out as a bettor and just enjoy the spectacle. She's also coming off a loss to Cris Cyborg. Pennington has a pair of upset wins of her own during a four-fight winning streak that's propelled her into the title fight.

Nunes has faced questions about endurance in the past.

After followup wins over Felice Herrig and Alex Chambers, the UFC gave VanZant her very first main event appearance which would take place on the first event of 2015's International Fight Week. Six of Lineker's last nine fights have gone to a decision and that trend could continue if he focuses on using his punching power to wear Kelleher down early and get a lead on the judges' cards. Nunes hits like a truck and could flatten the challenger in the process. Pennington has dealt with injuries since then; she and Nunes were originally set to fight last December, but Pennington was hurt in a auto accident. The Lioness' athletic advantage should be apparent. On the flip side, if Gastelum keeps it standing then the fight should be his. Middleweight Vitor Belfort and his service dog greet UFC Hall of Famer Minotauro Nogueira, and strawweight Mackenzie Dern does interviews.

The only problem is her corner did not want to hear it.

For one, Souza has only lost to Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero in the past three years. Both fighters are former champions, from Brazil and are at the tail end of their careers.

"I feel like I need to beat him and make a statement", Gastelum said, per Matt Erickson and Fernanda Prates of MMAjunkie. This time around, I think she rolls. "I absolutely believe it, and I think that's why we're going to get a fantastic performance this weekend". What he can't afford to do is try to take Jacare down. Not only that, but she came in seven pounds overweight. It's probably not going to hurt the jiu-jitsu ace at this poing.

Dern's star appeal is easy to see. She is more of a grinder that tries to out-work her opponents. Dern has had three of her six wins via submission, which is coincidentally how Cooper has sustained all three of her losses.