The Rickety Old Shack

Post-Fight Thoughts: Amanda Nunes -vs- Germaine De Randamie 2

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Out of the 3 title fights that capped off the UFC 245 fight card, this one seemed the least likely to go to a decision. As tentative as Germaine De Randamie is capable of being in her fights, Amanda Nunes has been on tear and I figured she would be able to pierce GDR's defences and stop her again.

Instead, what we got was a thorough domination and a fight that showed Nunes has improved in more areas than just her striking. After spending the majority of the first round pistol whipping De Randamie, Nunes was a lot more composed and opted to wrestle for much of the next 4 rounds. De Randamie actually had some success on the feet, in the second round, landing jabs and clinch knees to Nunes' body, but the wrestling — and ground-based grappling that followed — was too much for her to overcome.

It was the performance of a true champion, even if it didn't yield an exciting, definitive finish. Nunes was relentless, demonstrated improved conditioning that allowed her to remain aggressive throughout the fight despite expending a lot of energy, and the outcome was never in doubt. The scores were all over the place, but all of them reflected, generally, the same assessment: total domination from the champ.

Credit to Germaine De Randamie for remaining composed, surviving a savage onslaught in the first round — one that could have reasonably been enough for many referees to stop the fight — and rally back. Even lacking a finish, a 5-minute beatdown has to be demoralising, in addition to the obvious physical discomfort of being punched dozens of times by someone with Amanda Nunes' power.

With this latest victory, Amanda Nunes is officially out of challengers. The only fight that was left, prior to this bout, was a rematch with Cris Cyborg, but the UFC decided to let the former featherweight champion sign with Bellator instead. During this fight, the UFC broadcast showed boxer Claressa Shields in the audience. There has been talk that Dana White is trying to negotiate a boxing and MMA fight between Nunes and Shields — because no one ever learns a god damn thing — but until contracts are signed, that is pure fantasy for now.

GDR's next move is also unclear. She's not the most active fighter, and this is now her second loss to Nunes — who holds the titles in both divisions De Randamie competes in — but she can still headline Fight Night cards. A rematch with Aspen Ladd isn't entirely out of the question, although, if I were Ladd or her management, I'd probably want to delay that for a year or so — enough time to sort out which weight class is appropriate and shore-up her elementary striking.

Amanda Nunes will lose some day. It's just that, right now, in this moment, it doesn't seem like that day is coming any time soon.

—by Derek

Published: December 19th, 2019.