Cris Cyborg could be ending her UFC career with a bang, while Amanda Nunes could make history. Their fight is finally official for UFC 232 on New Year’s Eve.
The battle of Brazilian champions has finally been made official. ESPN reports that the deal has been finished to have UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg fight bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Nunes will be moving up to face Justino and attempt to become the first woman in the UFC to become a two-division champion.
After several weeks of deliberation, it appears all details have been finalized for Nunes to move up and fight Cyborg at the UFC’s annual New Year’s Eve show. The two had gone back-and-forth publicly for some time with Cyborg pushing Nunes to possibly take the fight sooner. Nunes responded that she was recovering from her fight with Raquel Pennington in May and held firmly to the New Year’s Eve date. The fight now figures to arguably be one of the most historic events in women’s MMA history.
Cris Cyborg is riding an unprecedented decade of dominance, remaining undefeated since her MMA debut thirteen years ago and winning championships in Strikeforce, Invicta, and the UFC. In that time, she came to be considered not just the best women’s MMA fighter in history but one of the best fighters, male or female, of all time. More recently, Cyborg has made headlines stating that the fight with Nunes could well be her last fight in the UFC. She criticized the politics of matchmaking and the desire to fight where she feels “respected.” While she has not ruled out re-signing with the UFC, she did mention her desire to also try professional boxing.
Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has the prime opportunity to gain a historic upset of Justino. But furthermore, she could boast being the only woman to hold victories over the biggest names in the history of women’s MMA in both Cyborg and Ronda Rousey. Recently, Nunes has struggled with the lack of depth in the bantamweight division. Holly Holm is a surprising addition to the title picture after previously seeming focused on her move up to featherweight, and Ketlen Vieira continues to seek a break-out performance that will help sell a fight with Nunes on pay-per-view. However, with the UFC focusing on signing a final fight for Justino before her contract expires, there is no bigger fight to be made for Nunes than an immediate title shot at 145.
Although not announced, it is believed that the fight between Justino and Nunes will be the main event of UFC 232 in Las Vegas, Nevada.