The UFC women's bantamweight title has proved to be slippery in 2016.
Amanda Nunes became the third woman to hold the belt in the calendar year by upsetting Miesha Tate via rear-naked choke submission in the first round in the main event at UFC 200 on Saturday.
MMAjunkie tweeted out the official result:
Nunes has built a reputation for fast starts in her career, and this fight was no different. The Brazilian immediately started chipping away at Tate's defense with stiff jabs and crosses that found their target.
With her early success came heavier and heavier strikes before Nunes put Tate down. Once there, Nunes didn't hesitate to go to the ground with Tate and lock in the choke that forced the tapout and put the strap around her waist.
Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting summed up the action:
This win continued a streak of unpredictable title fights in a division that was once ruled by Ronda Rousey. Rowdy took over as the division champion and defended the title six straight times.
But the division's last three title fights have ended in upsets. Rousey was shocked by Holly Holm, who was then upset by Miesha Tate before Tate fell to Nunes on Saturday.
A division that was once categorized as a one-woman show is now a revolving door of champions.
And it was Tate who said having multiple champions in the division was ultimately a good thing, per Bill Reiter of CBS Sports.
"We always got criticized for not having enough depth," she said. "And I think having the belt change a couple times is the best thing that could have happened. Instead of singling out one female that has to carry the entire sport, we have to disperse and make more stars, which helps legitimize the sport of women's MMA."
For now, Nunes has taken the spotlight. Given the exposure and marketing that went into UFC 200, there should at least be a temporary boost for her stock.
There's a bevy of options for Nunes, too.
I just saw her recently, talked to her recently and she’s back in training. This isn’t the first time Ronda’s ever lost. She’s been an athlete her whole life, you know… Obviously Ronda is a very unique individual and has her own way of dealing with things. Apparently, this is the way she wants to deal with it. She’ll be back, though. She’ll be back.
Should Nunes choose to fight before Rousey comes back, though, like Holm and Tate did, there are other options.
Holm still has some momentum, although a rematch with Tate might be in order for her. Then, there's the looming specter of Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino. Her UFC debut at 140 pounds resulted in a first-round knockout over Leslie Smith in March.
Regardless of whom Nunes fights in her first title defense, it's safe to say fans can expect the unexpected when it comes to the women's bantamweight division.