Post-Fight Thoughts: Cris Cyborg -vs- Amanda Nunes
There's wrong and then there's dead wrong, the latter of which accurately describes my assessment of how this fight would play out. I thought Cyborg would have every advantage, and would utilise her technique and physical strength to handily defeat Amanda Nunes. That didn't happen, instead the bantamweight champion needed under a minute — 51 seconds, to be precise — to separate Cris from consciousness. No one I am aware of predicted a quick KO win like that, for either fighter; I had to see the replay a few times to let things settle in and I could accept what I had seen.
There really isn't much to discuss, as the fight was so brief. Cyborg came out uncharacteristically aggressive, and immediately paid for it. It looked as though Nunes' hand speed was the difference maker. Once Cyborg got blasted with the first hard shot, she tried to use her jab defensively but Nunes just kept firing hard shot after hard shot. Cris took about a half-dozen heavy shots that could have KO'ed just about anyone, before finally having her lights put out. Cyborg's chin wasn't the problem, Amanda Nunes just happens to have bricks for fists.
In a way, I suppose it's a fitting result; Nunes has been overlooked, underpromoted and generally ignored by the UFC throughout her career. Now she boasts wins over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg — all of whom she either rendered unconscious or bludgeoned into a stupor — as well as 2 wins over Valentina Shevchenko and also holds a win over Bellator's featherweight champion, Julia Budd. In short: Amanda Nunes is clearly the greatest WMMA fighter of our time, and it's actually kind of ridiculous that it took everyone this long to even consider how good she actually is.
I regret not giving Nunes more credit prior to the fight, but I am not alone in that failure. As much as I like Cyborg as a fighter, it was nice to see such a huge underdog completely silence the critics and make such a bold statement. This fight was amother reminder that no one is unbeatable, and auras of dominance can be crumbled with a few properly placed punches. I'm sure Cyborg will rebound from this loss, and approach a rematch with a much better set of tactics, but for now Amanda Nunes stands alone atop the mountain of WMMA. At this point, I am not sure if the UFC will try and run this fight back again, which would be fair given Cyborg's past dominance, but that fight would make sense.
But really, at this point who is going to actually be a challenge for a Amanda Nunes? I, for one, have no idea...
Published: December 30th, 2018.