LAS VEGAS — Amanda Nunes needed less than one minute to finish Ronda Rousey with a stunning first round TKO to cap off UFC 207 on Friday night in Las Vegas.
While Nunes entered the fight as the defending champion, she was actually the betting underdog to Rousey, who was stepping back into the Octagon for the first time since losing the title to Holly Holm by knockout last November.
None of that mattered to Nunes once the fight got underway because she came after Rousey with the same kind of aggression that earned her the title back in July when she submitted Miesha Tate at UFC 200.
As soon as the referee said go, Nunes was in Rousey’s face looking for punches and within seconds she started landing on the former champion at will.
When the first combination landed, Rousey backed away after being stunned from Nunes’ powerful shots and she never recovered.
With Rousey clearly rattled, Nunes just poured on the punishment with a flurry of punches that came in like missiles, one after the after with almost all of them landing flush.
Finally with Rousey backed against the cage, Nunes opened up a barrage that absolutely battered the former Olympic bronze medalist and at that point referee Herb Dean had seen enough.
He swooped in to stop Rousey from taking anymore damage while pulling Nunes off her prey as the champion threw her hands in the air in celebration after a dominating performance to defend her title for the first time.
The stoppage came at just 48 seconds into the first round.
The final tally for the fight had Nunes landing 27 strikes to Rousey, who landed only seven in return before the fight was stopped.
When it was over, Rousey wasted no time exiting the Octagon while walking to the back flanked by her mother AnnMaria DeMars, who consoled her daughter after suffering a second straight knockout loss.
Meanwhile, Nunes was both exhilarated and vindicated with her performance after it seemed like the entire world was predicting Rousey to return with a vengeance. Instead, Nunes sent Rousey packing with a vicious first round TKO to retain her championship while claiming the unofficial title as the baddest woman on the planet.
“This is amazing. This moment is my moment,” Nunes said after her victory. “She had her time. Right now, I’m the champion.
“People let’s stop this Ronda Rousey nonsense. I’m the champion here.”
As for Rousey, this second straight loss could signify the end of her career.
Rousey had already stated before the fight even started that UFC 207 would be one of the last times she would ever step into the Octagon. Considering the results on Friday night, this might be the last time Rousey ever competes in the sport of mixed martial arts.
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