(Watch on UFC Fight Pass)
He’s one of those “other candidates” for the best performance in UFC history that I talked about earlier.
The crucial takeaway here is that Nunes wasn’t quite the dominant force everyone now knows about in this featherweight title fight – she was the reigning bantamweight champion. , but her last two victories were a split decision victory over Valentina Shevchenko and a beating from Raquel Pennington, whose doors none of the fans kicked down to see “The Lioness” back in the Octagon.
But this one had a different vibe, as Cyborg had captured the featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Holly Holm the previous December and had successfully defended the belt in March against Yana Kunitskaya. She was undefeated in 21 appearances and rode a 10-fight winning streak at UFC 232, and this clash of Brazilian titleholders looked set to determine which of these women would be the best fighter of all time.
Nunes did what no one else had wanted to do in some time, meet Cyborg in the center of the Octagon and willingly trade with her compatriot. A low, sharp kick gave him an opening to land a hard right hand, prompting the featherweight title holder to step forward, looking to claw one back right away.
Cyborg backed Nunes into the fence, both big hitters swinging hooks, and as Cyborg continued to drive forward, Nunes cut her off. Rather than rushing things, Nunes chose her shots wisely, patiently throwing darts that hit the center of the target, dropping her enemy’s health meter in large chunks with each powerful hit.
Cyborg tried to fight back, dropping to his knees and hitting with big rights until one last flare found his mark and sent him spinning to the canvas in a heap.
The queen is dead. Long live the queen.
Alexander Volkanovski defeated. Max Holloway (UFC 245)