Cris Cyborg Agrees to Fight Amanda Nunes in a Champion V. Champion Superfight…
It hasn’t been around for long, but the UFC Women’s Featherweight Division looks set for its first genuine super fight. Unbeaten champion Cris Cyborg has finalized a deal with the UFC to face the women’s bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes.
If Nunes is happy, the fight will take place in Las Vegas, at UFC 226, on July 7th. The news brings to end speculation that Cyborg did not want to defend against the ‘Lioness’. Coming off the back of a win against another former women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, Cyborg made it known that she wanted to fight legitimate featherweights.
The UFC has yet to properly invest in a division that was effectively created for Cyborg to become a champion. This has led to rumors of Cyborg’s frustration with the organization, that were further fuelled when she made an appearance at Bellator 192.
One of the problems of Cyborg’s career has been getting women to fight her. She has been so dominant throughout her career that it has been incredibly difficult for her to get a real challenge. This has real-world implications because it affects her drawing power as well.
The Brazilian is annoyed that the UFC has yet to build a division around her. Cyborg made a controversial statement last week. She told Split Decision MMA:
“If you think about it, I’ve had my belt for 145 for like 1 year. They don’t sign any girl at 145, they don’t put any girl fights on the undercard. They don’t sign any girls 145. How you gonna grow the division if you don’t sign anybody? When Dana White says ‘ah we don’t have girls for the division,’ it just sounds crazy to me.”
Cyborg’s comments suggest that building a legacy is one of the main reasons why she is fighting. She even said the unthinkable, suggesting that she may move to the UFC’s main rival Bellator.
“Every week I see Bellator sign new girls at 145,” said Cyborg. “They make a division for me in Bellator. If I finish this contract, for me to be the real champ at 145 I have to go to Bellator and fight all the girls there.”
These words could very well be a ploy by Cyborg to bully the UFC into getting their house in order. She has fought four times in the UFC, beating Holm, Tonya Evinger, Lina Lansbeg, and Leslie Smith. None of these women can be considered legitimate featherweights.
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I have agreed to fight @amanda_leoa July 7th in Las Vegas as part of #UFC226 and #InternationalFightWeek. I am now waiting for my manager to work with the @ufc on a bout agreement so we can make #CyborgVNunes #TheSuperFight official. #CyborgNation us versus them! =========================== Eu concordei em lutar contra @amanda_leoa 7 de julho em Las Vegas como parte de #UFC226 e #InternationalFightWeek Agora estou aguardando que meu manager trabalhe com o @ufc em um acordo para que possamos fazer o #CyborgVNunes #TheSuperFight oficial. #CyborgNação nós contra eles!
The news that she has now agreed to a deal to fight Nunes does not come as too much of a surprise. It’s definitely likely to be a lucrative fight, although you have to wonder why the UFC isn’t doing it in Brazil. She wrote on Instagram:
“I have agreed to fight @amanda_leoa July 7th in Las Vegas as part of #UFC226 and #InternationalFightWeek. I am now waiting for my manager to work with the @ufc on a bout agreement so we can make #CyborgVNunes #TheSuperFight official.”
It does show that the organization has limited options for Cyborg at the moment. A so-called ‘super fight’ between the UFC’s two Brazilian female champions, gives the promotion more time to start building the division. They can’t say Cyborg hasn’t warned them.