On December 29, 2018, Amanda Nunes was attempting to become the first woman in UFC history to win championships in two divisions. Already the Women’s Bantamweight Champion, she was looking to also add the featherweight crown. The big problem, however, was that she had to defeat one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history, Cris Cyborg, to do it. But as it turns out, it wasn’t a problem at all.
Coming into her fight with Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg hadn’t lost a fight in more than 13 years
Coming into her fight with Amanda Nunes at UFC 232, Cris Cyborg hadn’t lost a fight since her MMA debut in 2005. Over the next 13 years, Cyborg became one of the most decorated fighters in MMA history, winning 20 straight fights (there was a controversial no-contest in there as well) and racking up championships left and right.
In 2009, she won the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Championship by soundly defeating the legendary Gina Carano via first-round TKO. In 2013, she won the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship with a TKO victory over Marloes Coenen. In 2017, she won the vacant UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship by knocking out Tonya Evinger, a title she defended twice before she stepped into the octagon with Amanda Nunes.
Amanda Nunes was on a winning streak of her own leading into the showdown with Cris Cyborg
While Cris Cyborg had won 20 consecutive bouts leading into UFC 232, Amanda Nunes was on a nice winning streak of her own. Following a loss to Cat Zingano at UFC 178 in September 2014, Nunes reeled off 10 straight wins, including victories over some of the biggest names the women’s division has ever seen.
In March 2015, she submitted Shayna Baszler. The following year, she captured the Women’s Bantamweight Championship by destroying Miesha Tate. Later that year, in the biggest fight of her life, she destroyed Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds. After defending her bantamweight crown two more times, Amanda Nunes wanted more and set her sights on Cris Cyborg’s featherweight title.
The champion vs. champion bout lasted just 51 seconds
While technically headlined by Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, the Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg bout was looked at by many as the real main event of the evening. The champion vs. champion showdown was supposed to be a back-and-forth battle but it was only that way for about 10 seconds before Amanda Nunes went off.
The two went toe-to-toe in the opening seconds of the fight with both landing a few good shots. But then Amanda Nunes hit a big leg kick that startled Cyborg. As the two backed into the cage, Nunes hit a hard right hand that dropped Cyborg to her knees. She got back to her feet but was down again just a few seconds later after Nunes hit another big right. She got up again but Nunes pounced and ended it with one last monster right. The fight lasted just 51 seconds.
The debate was over. Amanda Nunes had officially become the greatest women’s fighter of all time. She became the first woman in UFC history to win titles in two weight classes and just the third fighter to hold two championships simultaneously.
Amanda Nunes defends her UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship tonight at UFC 250 against Felicia Spencer.