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Bantamweights Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington to headline UFC 224

A UFC bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington will officially headline UFC 224 on May 12 in Rio de Janeiro.

UFC officials announced the bout on Thursday. The promotion had been targeting the matchup for several months. MMA journalist Damon Martin first reported the latest negotiations, around the UFC 224 pay-per-view.

The 135-pound title fight was nearly finalized for UFC 219 in December, but Pennington suffered a leg injury in a vehicle accident. Pennington (9-5) hasn’t fought since late 2016 due to multiple injuries.

UFC president Dana White cast a shadow of doubt on the matchup last weekend, when he talked up a potential superfight between Nunes (15-4) and featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Justino (20-1) defended her title at UFC 222 on Saturday night via first-round TKO.

That superfight will presumably remain on the table, providing Nunes defeats Pennington. Nunes will be seeking her third title defense. She has defended the title against Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko.

Originally from Salvador, Brazil, Nunes now trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. She has expressed interest on multiple occasions in eventually moving up in weight and challenging Justino.

Pennington is riding a four-fight win streak. Her UFC career got off to a rocky start at 2-2, but she has been impressive since, earning wins over former strawweight title challenger Jessica Andrade and former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate.

Pennington trains out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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