“It should be noted, this is the first time since 2006 that we do not have a Brazilian UFC champion,” said Mike Goldberg during the Fight Pass Prelims portion of the UFC 200 card.
It had indeed been a bad couple of days for Brazilian MMA. Rafael dos Anjos’ lightweight title defeat to Eddie Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 90 on Thursday night had left the country beltless, and Claudia Gadelha failed to recoup their losses the following evening against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
However, Goldberg acknowledged that opportunities lay ahead for the traditional powerhouse of world MMA.
“The Brazilians have two chances to change that later tonight on the main card,” said the UFC’s blow-by-blow man, referring to Jose Aldo’s interim-featherweight title bout with Frankie Edgar and Amanda Nunes’ shot at Miesha Tate’s women’s bantamweight title.
Aldo was given the first opportunity to restore honour to his homeland and he duly obliged, outpointing Edgar over five rounds. However, many would argue that this didn’t amend Goldberg’s aforementioned statistic, as Aldo had merely laid his hands on a paper/interim title. The man who starched him in just 13 seconds last December, Conor McGregor, still holds the legitimate championship belt.
Therefore, it was down to Nunes, a sizeable underdog in the evening’s main event, to salvage the week for her country. Facing off against the woman who beat the woman who beat the woman, she looked to have a tough task ahead, but it proved rather easy in the end.
Nunes looked huge compared to Tate, and she immediately went at the champion, landing powerful bombs. ‘The Lioness’, who had logged eight KO/TKO wins in her twelve career successes prior to this fight, soon hurt Tate with a right-hand from which she never recovered. ‘Cupcake’ wilted to the floor beneath a heavy follow-up barrage of leather, blood and the will to battle on gushing from her seemingly broken nose.
Nunes subsequently took her back and applied a tight rear-naked-choke to finish the fight.
It was yet another stunning upset in the women’s bantamweight division.
— Frontproof Media (@FrontProofMedia) July 10, 2016
And the shock result conjured quite a reaction on Twitter….
Goddamn @Amanda_Leoa hits you like you stole something from her 👊🏾💥
— TyroneSpong (@Tyrone_spong) July 10, 2016
The ups and downs of this sport…..I just don't think people will ever really understand #UFC200
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) July 10, 2016
Just gonna say it looked like Tate didnt want to fight tn. She was on retreat very early which was very surprising. Nunes is STRONG #UFC200
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 10, 2016
— Chito Vera (@chitoveraUFC) July 10, 2016
— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) July 10, 2016
— Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) July 10, 2016
Somewhere, Ronda Rousey is snickering. #UFC200
— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) July 10, 2016