Cris Cyborg proved once against on Saturday night (March 3) that she is the most dominant female fighter in the world, after knocking out Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222.
In front of UFC fans at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, Cyborg defended her women’s featherweight title with a dominant performance against Kunitskaya in her UFC debut.
The champion dropped Kunitskaya multiple times in the first round, who tried to clinch or tie her up to stop the damage. But, Cyborg would keep applying the pressure.
Cyborg knocked Kunitskaya down with the first overhand right she threw, just seconds in into the fight. Kunitskaya recovered and had a shot to taking Cyborg’s back after surprising her with a single-leg takedown. But, despite the attempts, Cyborg was just too physical for Kunitskaya, whose usually fights at 135 pounds. She landed a straight right that dropped the challenger and she pounced with hammer fists that led to a stoppage at the 3:45 mark.
The win was Cyborg’s second straight title defense, and came just two months after she dominated Holly Holm at UFC 219 for a decision win. She wasn’t expected to fight again until the summer, but the UFC called and she accepted the quick turnaround.
“I train all the time,” Cyborg said. “This was ‘Chute Box’ style. Three weeks’ notice. Anytime. Anywhere. Anybody.”
UFC president Dana White says the victory could very well set up a superfight between Cyborg and defending bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (15-4). He says “the fight that needs to happen.”
“The fight to make is her and Nunes,” White said. “She wants the fight, Nunes wants the fight, I want the fight, and I’m sure the fans want the fight.”
Nunes was going to fight Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 in May, but White says he may forgo that matchup and just schedule the Cyborg-Nunes superfight instead. “It could be in [Rio]. [Cyborg] just fought. Once the adrenaline goes down, she needs to get checked out. I think her versus Amanda needs to happen.”