The world was a very different place when Amanda Nunes last lost, in 2014. The world was a very different place last week.
But this week, one in which societal structures were questioned and challenged all around the world, a certain established order remained undisrupted: the top of the UFC’s women’s featherweight division.
Nunes, the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time, was expected to dismiss challenger Felicia Spencer with ease in the main event of UFC 250, and the Brazilian did exactly that.
The UFC’s Apex Facility in Las Vegas holds a smaller Octagon than fighters are used to occupying, and that meant even less space for Spencer to breathe as Nunes perfectly combined poise, precision and pressure to secure a unanimous decision win and walk away with the featherweight title still nestled comfortably on her shoulder.
On the other shoulder sat Nunes’ bantamweight title, and Saturday’s victory saw the 32-year-old become the first UFC champion to retain titles in two weight classes while holding both championships at the same time.
Spencer showed resilience to make it to the end of the 25-minute main event after absorbing heavy head strikes and being thrown to the canvas repeatedly, but beyond that, there was little to celebrate for the Canadian, who became just another number in Nunes’ 20-4 record, her 11-fight win streak, and her sparkling legacy.
What’s next for Nunes is unclear. She and fiancee Nina Ansaroff are set to welcome a child later this year, and Nunes has nothing left to prove in the ring.
Her record includes first-round knockout victories over Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm, a stoppage of Raquel Pennington, a submission win over Miesha Tate, and decision victories against Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko – the latter of whom she beat twice.
No one could forgive Nunes for calling time on her unparalleled career after her latest triumph, with few challenges visible on the horizon.
In the card’s co-main event, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt beat Raphael Assuncao with a show-stopping buzzer-beater knockout at the end of the second round.
It was an essential win for ‘No Love’, who ended a three-fight skid of consecutive knockout losses to earn his first victory since beating Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight belt in 2016.
The result will propel Garbrandt back up the 135lbs division, in which there were other impressive moments in Las Vegas. Aljamain Sterling was clinical in submitting Cory Sandhagen early in the first round of their clash, surely establishing himself as No. 1 contender for the vacant strap, while ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley – a star in the making – floored Eddie Wineland for a first-round walk-off KO in the card’s curtain-raiser.
Re-live all the action:
Hello! Welcome along to our live coverage of UFC 250, as Felicia Spencer takes on Amanda Nunes at the APEX in Las Vegas.
Here’s our preview of the night’s headline bout:
We’ll be getting underway with our live coverage at 3am BST, when the main card starts.
The final prelim fight has just finished, and the main card is moments away!
Alex Caceres just beat Chase Hooper via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3) in that final prelim fight.
Elsewhere on the prelims, Ian Heinisch secured a first-round knockout win over Gerald Meerschaert.
An emotional Cody Stamann, who was fighting following the recent death of his brother, earned a unanimous decision win over Brian Kelleher.
First up, we have ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley against Eddie Wineland.
O’Malley is surging up the bantamweight division and is undefeated at 11-0.
In his last fight, O’Malley defeated Jose Alberto Quinonez in March. That fight ended in a first-round finish.
Meanwhile, Wineland is a veteran with a record of 24-13-1. He last fought in June last year, beating Grigory Popov via second-round TKO.
O’Malley fights rarely disappoint and Wineland seems like a good match-up to bring out some fun striking exchanges. This one should be an entertaining opener to the main card!
O’Malley has the height and reach advantage and, at 25-years-old, is 10 years younger than Wineland.
Wineland was WEC bantamweight champion, so certainly has pedigree. Herb Dean is the referee for this one. We’re underway!
Lots of feints early on. Remember the Octagon in the UFC’s Apex Facility is smaller than most cages the promotion uses.
O’Malley flicks out some front kicks to the body, but Wineland is taking the centre and forcing his opponent around the cage.
OUT OF NOWHERE! O’Malley with the walk-off KO!
O’Malley missed a spinning heel kick, but in the next exchange he just floored Wineland with a straight right.
The subtlest of uppercut feints from O’Malley drew Wineland’s attention and the right then caught the 35-year-old square on the jaw. He hit the deck hard. O’Malley didn’t even bother following up with ground strikes.
What time does it start in the UK?
Due to the time difference between Las Vegas and the UK, UFC 250 will get underway in the early hours of Sunday 7 June for UK fans.
The preliminary card begins at 1am BST, with the main card following at 3am BST.
Expect the main event between Brazil’s Nunes and Canadian Spencer to start around 4.30am BST.
How can I watch it?
The card will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK. Viewers will need a BT Sport subscription, though the event itself is not pay-per-view.
The whole card will also be available for subscribers to stream via the BT Sport website and app.
US fans can tune in via ESPN+.
What’s the full card?
Amanda Nunes (C) vs Felicia Spencer (women’s featherweight title)
Cody Garbrandt vs Raphael Assuncao (bantamweight)
Aljamain Sterling vs Cory Sandhagen (bantamweight)
Neil Magny vs Tony Martin (welterweight)
Sean O’Malley vs Eddie Wineland (bantamweight)
Alex Caceres vs Chase Hooper (featherweight)
Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert (middleweight)
Cody Stamann vs. Brian Kelleher (featherweight)
Charles Byrd vs. Maki Pitolo (middleweight)