Report: Cris Cyborg vs Amanda Nunes Targeted for New Year’s Eve

Cris Cyborg UFC
Cris Cyborg Credit: Dave Mandel/

The LA Times reports that bout agreements have been sent to both Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg for champion vs champion bout on New Year’s Eve.

Could there be another double-champion in 2018?

Lance Pugmire of the LA Times reports that bout agreements have been sent to both UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and featherweight champion Cris
“Cyborg” Justino for December 29.  The fight would be for Justino’s featherweight championship.

The bout has been circulating for several months as the two women have dominated their respective divisions for the last year.  Cyborg has said that she believes she will be done with MMA next year and move on to other ventures such as boxing.  She stated on the MMA Hour earlier this year that she expected to fight Nunes and one more defense of her title after that before possibly bidding farewell to the UFC.

While the UFC appears to be interested in keeping the featherweight division, progress has been slow to materialize. The UFC recently announced the cast of the next season of The Ultimate Fighter which will feature female 145 fighters that were expected to help fill the weight class, but the roster has been criticized for featuring several women who typically fight at 135.

Amanda Nunes is on the verge of a virtual sweep of the bantamweight division since becoming champion in 2016.  Currently, the only women in contention at bantamweight would be the lesser known Ketlan Vieira or former champion Holly Holm who is only 2-4 in the last several years.  A bout with Cyborg would be far more lucrative considering the pedigree of the featherweight champion whom many consider to be the best female fighter of all time.

It should be noted, Nunes shut down a fight with Cyborg in the past stating that she felt she was simply too small to compete with the bigger featherweight champion.  As of late, she has rescinded the opinion and been open about wanting to become a two-division world champion.

As the news broke last night, both women took to social media to challenge the other:

UPDATE: As it stands, the date being offered is December 29 but Justino is publicly challenging Nunes to fight sooner.  On social media, Justino states that she is ready to go much sooner and does not wish to be out of the cage for 10 months before the proposed fight with Nunes would take place on New Year’s Eve.

Should the fight come to pass, it would take place at what is expected to be UFC 232.  A victory for Cyborg would only further the argument that her skills and size are too much for the bantamweight competition that she continues to be matched up with.  For Nunes, upsetting a champion such as Cyborg would cement her as arguably the best female fighter of all time to have defeated two icons in Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in her career.