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UFC 224: everything you need to know about the Brazil card

UFC 224 was going to be relatively normal, tame event. However, nothing ends up normal in Rio, where there are reports of an armed robbery and a weigh-in debacle.


Kahron Spearman


UFC 224 is off with a bang in Brazil, in an exceedingly negative context.

 

Several members of the UFC staff were held up in an armed robbery late Thursday night in Rio de Janeiro, according to UFC president Dana White.

 

Several employees were robbed of personal articles including phones, wallets, and passports. Injuries weren't reported.

Whether it's Brazilian fighters or not, they just have a huge appreciation for the sport. They pack these arenas and deal with the conditions -- whether it's fights starting late or non-air-conditioned venues. They make noise and support the fighters, and they are passionate about it and are knowledgeable about the sport. It's just a festive atmosphere that you don't get every day of the week.

Jon Anik
UFC broadcaster

The second big news piece of UFC 224 is the debacle at the scale on Thursday from Mackenzie Dern (6-0), who's challenging Amanda Bobby Cooper (3-3) at strawweight.

 

Dern apparently had other plans with weight class, perhaps even trying to get herself out of a fight, by showing up at weigh-in overweight and not just a pound or two. 7.4 pounds overweight

 

Cooper is a former Golden Gloves champion, and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt was probably going to wash the powerful, but uncoordinated Dern in any case.

Let's briefly discuss the main event: UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship: Amanda Nunes (15-4) vs. Raquel Pennington (9-5).

 

Pennington is a tough customer with excellent takedown and submission ability. But, frankly, short of an event where Nunes dramatically underestimates her opponent or finds herself in trouble with transitions or out of gas late, she should win going away. She's just too talented and too technically skilled. 

 

Nunes retains, by late stoppage.

SOU  RCES