The current bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes has quite a bit riding on her performance at UFC 245. Aside from maintaining her image as the most fearsome female fighter on the planet, there is significant interest in a series of superfights for the UFC star should she get through her rematch with Germaine de Randamie.
Owner of a nine-fight win streak with wins over the biggest icons in women’s MMA, Nunes has already proven to be arguably the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport. Having all but cleared out the bantamweight division and with no genuine threats to her featherweight belt looming, the UFC now has the opportunity to get creative and go after some interesting fights for Nunes – assuming she can get past Randamie at UFC 245.
UFC 245 takes place Saturday, December 14 at 10 p.m. ET in Las Vegas. It will air as a pay-per-view on ESPN+.
Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg 2 in the Cards Following UFC 245 Performance
One possible option for Nunes could be a rematch with Cris Cyborg. The UFC essentially created the featherweight division as a home for Cyborg – who had run rampant on women’s MMA since losing her debut fight in 2005. Known for not just winning but decimating her opponents via vicious knockouts, Cyborg was the most feared commodity in women’s MMA.
Nunes didn’t just beat Cyborg but dispatched of her in under a minute in the first round. Standing toe to toe with the most feared woman in the sport, Nunes walked through some heavy shots from Cyborg and delivered some of the heaviest punches the female side of the sport has ever seen.
Cyborg would leave the UFC shortly after due to a contract dispute and while a cross-promotional fight would be difficult to pull off, the UFC doesn’t have too many quality options left in-house to line up against Nunes. The last time the UFC took part in a cross-promotional event was back in 2003 when the UFC sent Chuck Lidell to compete in the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix.
Cyborg has come out and stated that she would be interested in a rematch with Nunes so it seems the future of the fight now lies in the hands of both the UFC and Cyborg’s current home, Bellator, to get the fight done.
Amanda Nunes’ Most Dominant UFC Finishes
With brutal finishes in seven of her last nine fights, Nunes turned a corner after dropping an early fight to UFC veteran Cat Zingano. Nunes would start to make waves in quick wins over both Sarah McCann and Shayna Baszlar but rose to prominence in a three-fight run to take the belt with wins over Valentina Shevchenko, Meisha Tate, and Ronda Rousey. Her knockout of Rousey was particularly vicious and retired the woman’s MMA legend.
At the time, Rousey wasn’t just the biggest draw in women’s MMA but the biggest draw in all of MMA. Coming off her surprise knockout loss against Holm, Rousey’s return matchup against Nunes was one of the most highly anticipated UFC fights in history. Playing the spoiler, Nunes took the fight to Rosey early and battered the former champion with a series of vicious hooks against the cage, sending Rousey spinning unconscious on her feet around the ring as referee Herb Dean jumped in to call the fight.
Nunes would go on to pick up a considerable number of highlight-reel finishes including her aforementioned knockout of Cyborg as well as her devastating head kick knockout of Holly Holm.
UFC 245 airs December 14 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+. You can order it here.
Cris Cyborg’s Most Dominant MMA Finishes
While Nunes dispatched Cyborg quickly in the first matchup, Cyborg has the punching power to do the exact same thing should the two fighters lock horns again. Making a name for herself on the back of ferocious early knockouts, the only thing Cyborg lacks compared to Nunes is the quality of opponent defeated. That said, Cyborg has taken out some of the notable pioneers of women’s MMA with huge finishes over Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen, and Shayna Baszler.
Her introduction to the UFC was one of the best finishes of her career as she more or less mauled Leslie Smith. Dropping Smith early with some heavy hands, Cyborg would unleash some devastating ground and pound to finish the fight – sending a scary message to the rest of the UFC that she had arrived. Making things more impressive is that Smith was (and still is) one of the toughest fighters on the UFC’s roster to finish – her only previous stoppage came due to a doctor stoppage for a cut above her eye.
However, her most brutal UFC finish came over Tonya Evinger. After sticking to a smart gameplan and avoiding engaging much with Cyborg early in the fight, Evinger got caught up against the cage after a Cyborg superman punch and was subsequently crumpled by a series of devastating knees.
Other Nunes Potential Superfights With UFC 245 Win
While a rematch with Cris Cyborg is one of the available options should Nunes get past Randamie at UFC 245, it is far from the only superfight in the cards. Another route that has seen significant interest from all parties would be a matchup with highly decorated boxing champion Claressa Shields. At just 24 years old, Shields already has two Olympic Gold medals and two world championships from her amateur days and has gone 9-0 with belts in two different weight classes since turning pro.
Shields’ next fight is in January and she is going for a belt in yet another weight class. Should she win, Shields would become the first fighter in boxing history to accomplish that feat in their first 10 fights.
UFC President Dana White has shown interest in making the fight happen, as have Claressa Shields’ promoters. The two fighters have been trading barbs over the internet for some time now and if both women win their upcoming fights, it could set the stage for the biggest crossover fight in the history of female combat sports.
Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie UFC 245 Preview
Before Nunes gets to her potential upcoming superfights, she needs to get through her rematch with Germaine de Randamie. Nunes fought Randamie once before back in 2013 and won via a first-round finish. Nunes has only improved dramatically since beating Randamie and while Randamie is undefeated since the two last met, Nunes has consistently beaten a much higher caliber of opponent.
Expect this fight to play out fairly similar to the first meeting between the two women. Nunes is likely going to pounce on Randamie early and try to pressure her into a corner. From there, Nunes can utilize her incredible strength advantage to either take Randamie to the ground and open her up with some ground and pound or simply batter her up against the cage with her heavy hands.
It will take a heroic effort and masterful gameplan from Randamie to pull off the upset but the fact that the two have squared off once before could help make Randamie a bit more comfortable in the ring. That said, Nunes’ hands have developed into a nearly unstoppable force since their first meeting and she brings a completely different style of attacking to the table compared to the 2013 version of herself.
UFC 245 airs December 14 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+. You can order it here.