Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

UFC 224 breakdown, betting odds and picks

UFC 224 breakdown, betting odds and picks

She's been inactive and has a lacking resume but even still, there's an underlying confidence in the admittedly sizable underdog challenger.

How might that fight change things on the women's side of UFC?

However, her aura of invincibility was damaged somewhat in her last fight, edging a closely contested split decision against Valentina Shevchenko, a fight many thought she may have lost.

Pennington has some decent wins to her name, too.

Amanda Nunes heads home to Brazil as a world champion. Each of Nunes' most recent opponents had a knock against them. Because well she was good, but not too good as they say. The Brazilian does to a pretty good job of mixing in body shots and not simply head-hunting, which makes him even more unsafe. Machida, 39, is coming off an impressive decision win over up-and-coming prospect Eryk Anders, giving him his first loss. The answer might lie in the words of one of her coaches, Din Thomas. Former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defended her belt six times, a record for a woman fighter.

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For Pennington, her ability to close the slight reach differential will be key if she is to upset the odds in Rio de Janeiro. Pennington hasn't fought since November 2016 because of multiple injuries.

After a brief hiatus, the UFC returns this Saturday night with UFC 224 featuring Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title vs. Raquel Pennington.

Still, I believe Machida has more spring in his step than Belfort. Souza wants to remain in that mix and he will nearly certainly do that if the fight hits the ground.

Raquel Pennington is in position to give Amanda Nunes her stiffest challenge to date. She's an inactive contender not blessed with tremendous physical assets or a history of elite success. This fight could be the last scrap for the fighter who doesn't get their hand raised Saturday night. I'm going to prove I'm better, prove I'm here for a reason, prove I'm getting better and better, evolving each fight. She may have entered with an underwhelming record but has nearly always exceeded expectations on the big stage, even avenging one of her two UFC losses. But, the comments certainly do reinforce how competitive Nunes is.

Pennington, 29, appeared on reality series The Ultimate Fighter in 2013, and made it all the way to the semi-finals of the tournament before being added to the UFC's bantamweight roster later that year.

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