The first female champion vs champion fight is in the works as Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes is moving up from the bantamweight division to take on Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino in the featherweight division. Cyborg opened as the -300 favorite with The Lioness coming back at +230.
The two have been verbally jousting for months and now the talk ends when the two clash later this year. Cyborg is eyeing the headline of UFC 228 in Dallas, Texas on September 8th, while Nunes has her sights set on the December 29th card in Las Vegas.
Nunes at Featherweight
Although Cyborg will be the bigger woman in the Octagon when the two meet, Nunes had success against featherweight fighters in her past. Most notably, The Lioness stopped Germaine de Randamie by TKO in 2013 and also has wins over Ediane Gome and Julia Budd, all of which are featherweight competitors.
Nunes has had her difficulties cutting the weight at 135 and has appeared to be the bigger woman in each of her fights. The Brazilian is riding a seven-fight winning streak has defended her belt four times, finishing her opponent three of those times including her fifth round TKO over Raquel Pennington at UFC 224.
Who Will Win Between Nunes and Cyborg?
This is sure to be a standup war between the two Brazilians with 17 of Cyborg’s 20 victories coming by way of TKO/KO and 11 of Nunes’ 16 wins coming the same way. With two fighters coming to battle with legit knockout power it’s tough to give the edge one way or the other. 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 per minute while defending 70 percent of attacks against. Cyborg hasn’t suffered a loss since her first professional fight in 2005 when she was stopped by a kneebar. She has won five-straight UFC fights including defending her belt three times.
Nunes’ road to victory over Cyborg will come on the mat. The Lioness averages 1.82 takedowns per 15 minutes and it’s in her best interest to stay away from Cyborg’s power in the standup game. Two of Nunes’ four losses have come by way of TKO/KO, most recently being stopped by Cat Zingano at UFC 178. The Bahia native may look to her leg kicks to slow Cyborg down and secure the takedown where she can work her impressive ground and pound to become the first woman two-division champion.
Odds as of July 16 at Bovada