The first winner vs winner fight has formally been booked. Amanda”The Lioness” Nunes is currently making the move upward from the bantamweight division to shoot on Cristiane”Cyborg” Justino in the featherweight division at UFC 232 on December 29 at California. Oddsmakers have Cyborg launching as a -250 favorite with all The Lioness coming back at +195 for this superfight in the women’s divisions.
The -260 line for Cyborg may jump at you as a bargain, as in her past five fights in the Octagon she’s been an average -1619 favorite. What I find fascinating about the present chances is that Cyborg entered the fight against Holly Holm as a -275 favored and that I believe Nunes has a much greater chance to sneak the featherweight belt out of Cyborg than Holm ever did. Both have been verbally jousting for weeks and the conversation ends when the two battle later this season.
Nunes at Featherweight
Although Cyborg will be the bigger woman from the Octagon when both meet, Nunes had success at featherweight in her past. She cried in the featherweight division to start her career where she posted a record of 6-1. All six successes for The Lioness from the 145-pound branch came by knockout, including wins within Ediane Gomes and Julia Budd.
Nunes has her problems cutting on the weight at 135 pounds and has appeared to be the larger woman in all of her fights at bantamweight. The Brazilian is riding a seven-fight winning streak and has defended her belt four times, finishing her competitor three of those times, including a fifth-round TKO over Raquel Pennington at UFC 224.
How can Cyborg vs NUNES play out?
This is certain to be a standup war between both Brazilians with 17 of Cyborg’s 20 victories coming by way of T/KO and 11 of Nunes’ 16 wins coming exactly the same way. Together with two fighters coming to struggle with fictitious knockout power, it is tough to give the edge one way or another. Cyborg is going to use her size and strength to try and corner Nunes and look for the finish. The Curitiba native is methodical and aggressive, landing 7.02 strikes a while while protecting 70 percent of attacks against. Cyborg has not suffered a loss since her very first pro fight in 2005 when she was stopped by a kneebar. She’s won five straight UFC fights for example defending her belt twice.
Nunes’ road to success over Cyborg may come on the mat. The Lioness averages 1.82 takedowns per 15 minutes and it’s in her very best interest to stay away from Cyborg’s power from the standup game. Two of Nunes’ four losses came by means of TKO/KO, most recently being halted by Cat Zingano at UFC 178. The Bahia native will seem for her leg kicks to slow Cyborg down and fasten the takedown where she can perform her impressive floor and pound to become the first woman two-division winner.
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