UFC: Dana White Says Amanda Nunes, Not Megan Anderson, Next for Cris Cyborg

UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes
UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Another champion vs. champion battle is in the works for the UFC.

Forget that talk of a bout between former Invicta FC featherweight champ Megan Anderson and Cris Cyborg. While that remains the fight to make at 145lbs on the women’s side, it’s not happening yet. And certainly not at UFC 221, despite claims made by UFC featherweight champ Cyborg. Instead, it looks like Amanda Nunes will get the next shot, in a champion vs. champion (and all-Brazil) battle.

That’s according to new comments from UFC President Dana White while speaking to Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole.

“Amanda Nunes wants to fight Cyborg. That is the fight to make and that is the fight I will make. That’s the fight” White told Iole (via MMA Fighting). “Amanda Nunes is a big, strong, powerful puncher. I think she matches up very well with Cyborg too and I think that’s a fun fight and that’s the fight to make.”

This despite Cyborg claiming she was offered a fight at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia in February against Anderson. A claim Anderson quickly denied.

Though it once seemed like Cris Justino would never make it to the UFC, she is now firmly entrenched as the promotion’s first and only featherweight champion. At UFC 219 last month, she battled through a five round war against Holly Holm for the biggest win of her career. The UFC, however, has failed to build a 145lb division around her, instead booking her in one-off fights against the biggest names available.

Nunes, of course, won the UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 200 against Miesha Tate. She has successfully defended her belt against Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko. With a slight drought of opponents at 135lbs, it appears the UFC is willing to give another fighter a chance to become a two-weight class champion.

That leaves Megan Anderson, who vacated her Invicta FC title last Summer for a shot at Cyborg, only to be forced to pull out of the card, in limbo. Anderson (8-2) has not fought in roughly a year, when she defeated Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 21. She’s the most logical contender in the weight class, but it seems we’ll be waiting a while longer to see her compete.

In the meantime, no date was given by White for when Cyborg vs. Nunes might happen. He did, however, suggest sooner rather than later would be likely.

“Cyborg wants to fight so we’ll get her a fight as soon as we can get it done,” White said. “As soon as Amanda can prepare and get ready for this fight, we’re ready to roll.”