The penultimate fight for UFC 259’s main card and co-main event is a fight for the women’s UFC featherweight championship between Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes (20-4-0) and Megan Anderson (11-4-0).
Both fighters have BJJ and boxing credentials
If you’re a fan of UFC or MMA in general, you already know how dominant Amanda Nunes is in both stand-up and on the ground.
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Nunes’ strength has been far too great for her opponents during her 11-fight win streak, in which her ability to take anyone down and control the fight is second-to-none. In addition, she is superb at keeping her distance from fighters with ferocious leg and body kicks as well as being able to throw absolute bombs with her fists.
Similarly – albeit not at the same level as Nunes – Megan Anderson is a former Invicta featherweight champion and purple belt in BJJ, earning 3 of her pro MMA wins via submission. In addition, Anderson’s powerful striking has earned her 6 wins by KO in her pro MMA career, utilising her strong right hand as well as using her long legs (6-foot tall) to attack the legs and body of her opponents.
Ground or stand-up; pick your poison against Nunes
Despite Nunes’ reputation as a lethal striker, her last two fights have been unanimous decision wins – against Germaine de Randamie and then Felicia Spencer – after Nunes took both fights to the ground, totalling a control time of 26 minutes and 31 seconds over the two fights.
Nunes recorded 6 takedowns against Spencer and 8 against Randamie – emphasising how skilled of a BJJ artist she is as well as a punishing boxer.
Can Anderson go toe-to-toe with Nunes’ power?
Anderson was able to showcase that she also has elite knockout power, when last time out, she knocked out Norma Dumont in the first round with a huge right hand that dropped the Brazilian and thus earned her a title shot against The Lioness.
This was her second first round finish in a row, after defeating Zarah Fairn with a triangle choke at UFC 243 in 2019. Fairn could only manage two strikes against Anderson before being taken down and submitted expertly.
Prediction – Sorry betters, there will be no upset here
There is a valid reason why Megan Anderson heads into the fight as a +700 underdog – she’s fighting Amanda Nunes, arguably the greatest combat sportswoman of all time.
Nunes, who currently holds two title belts in the UFC (women’s bantamweight and women’s featherweight) has defeated everyone there is to defeat in the women divisions.
Her impressive resume includes current women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Randemie (twice), former bantamweight champions Meisha Tate and Holly Holm as well as her destruction of Rousey and Cyborg as previously mentioned.
Although Anderson is a good fighter on a 2-fight win streak, who has plenty of upside to her, she has already lost twice in her short-spanned UFC career (to Holm by decision and to Spencer by submission). Both of whom got dominated by Nunes.
The question isn’t whether Nunes will win or not; it’s how she’s going to win.