Brandon Moreno wins interim belt by beating Kara-France; Amanda Nunes gets even

Brandon Moreno wins interim belt by beating Kara-France; Amanda Nunes gets even

Tijuana native Brandon Moreno became UFC champion again by defeating Kai Kara-France for the second time on Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 277 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. The victory will allow him to have a fourth contest against Deiveson Figueiredo, the current champion of the division, who is recovering from an injury.

Moreno (20-6-2) captured the 125-pound crown on Saturday by knocking out Kara-France at 4:34 with a body kick. The current monarch Figueiredo was present and when he went up to the Octagon after the fight he asked that the contest be held in Brazil.

The fourth meeting between Moreno and Figueiredo was originally scheduled to take place this summer, but the Brazilian was unable to recover from an injury.

Moreno won the first two rounds comfortably, but then was cut in the third round after an elbow from his opponent. Kara-France began to land punches and seemed to be in control of the fight in that third episode. But the Mexican connected with a kick to the liver, which left New Zealander Kara-France wallowing in pain, while Moreno finished it off with punches on the canvas. Referee Herb Dean ended the fight with less than a minute left in the round.

In the main event, Amanda Nunes avenged her loss to Julianna Peña by defeating her by unanimous decision and regained her bantamweight crown, which she had lost last December. Nunes knocked Pena down three times in the second round, a record in women’s fight history.

After the second episode, Nunes remained in control and managed to hurt the American with an elbow to the head, causing a cut that worsened as the match progressed.

Nunes won by very loose scores of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43.

Melissa Galbraith
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