August 24, 2018

UFC 232: The Long-Awaited Women's Superfight Between Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes Is Finally Booked

By Adam Martin

After months of talking and negotiations, the UFC finally got it done. UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com this week that UFC Women's Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg will take on UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes in a true superfight with Cyborg's 145-pound title on the line. The two will fight in the main event of UFC 232, which is set for Saturday, December 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The UFC has been trying to get this fight booked for some time now, as both Cyborg and Nunes have cleaned out their respective divisions. In the case of Cyborg, she's won 20 straight fights (with one No Contest) since losing the first fight of her pro career back in 2005, and has become by far the most dominant female fighter in MMA. She's 5-0 so far in the UFC, and after beating Leslie Smith, Lina Lansberg, Tonya Evinger, Holly Holm, and Yana Kunitskaya, it was getting hard for the UFC to find anyone to fight her.

Cue Nunes, the 135-pound champ of the women's weight classes. Nunes is 9-1 so far in the UFC and currently riding a seven-fight win streak with victories over the likes of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Raquel Pennington, Sara McMann, and Shayna Baszler. Her last fight was particularly of the violent variety, as she was able to break Pennington's nose and finish her late in what was arguably her most dominant performance to date. There really isn't anyone else for Nunes to fight, save for maybe Holm, who has been switching between featherweight and bantamweight, but the UFC figured Cyborg vs. Nunes was the bigger fight and decided to book it instead. It's hard to argue that the UFC was wrong about that.

As far as superfights go, this is arguably the only superfight ever in women's MMA history, as it features two champions at the top of their careers going at it. True superfights are rare in MMA, but this is definitely one of them. The UFC needs big pay-per-view headliners, and this fight is definitely worth looking at that way. It might not feature Conor McGregor or Brock Lesnar, but UFC 232 should still do really well on PPV, particularly if the UFC promotes the event well. As far as matchups go, there isn't a better fight the UFC or any MMA promotion could book between two female fighters, and the MMA world -- and possibly mainstream sports fans as well -- are going to be excited for this one.

There were times when it didn't seem like the UFC was going to get the fight booked, but White and Co. finally got a bout agreement between Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes signed, and this is going to be a terrific fight. It took a while, but the deal finally got done. Not often do you see two amazing fighters on long win streaks collide in this sport, so enjoy this one while you can. The UFC should be given credit for booking the fight the fans wanted to see, but now it's up to Cyborg and Nunes to make it to the event, put on an amazing fight, and set a new bar for women drawing on PPV. Let's hope both fighters stay healthy over the next few months, so we can get this huge fight on the UFC's annual year-end card.






UFC 232 takes place December 29, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.



Click HERE for more UFC 232 Pre-Fight Analysis


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