UFC 232 saw the greatest women’s fight in the history of mixed martial arts take place – and it did not disappoint.
Fans were hoping for fireworks when arguably the two hardest hitters in women’s MMA finally met. It didn’t take long for the fight to reach its conclusion, but there was plenty of excitement to be enjoyed by the crowd in attendance and those watching at home.
Cris Cyborg, the featherweight champion, had been undefeated for over a decade – imposing her will on every woman she’d entered the Octagon with year after year. After making waves in Strikeforce and Invicta, Cyborg made her way to the UFC and eventually became the promotion’s inaugural 145-pound champion.
But Amanda Nunes had also garnered a reputation for being a fierce female fighter, winning the bantamweight title and voicing her desire to move up in weight to challenge Cyborg. It was a big moment, given the UFC had never hosted a female champ-versus-champ fight before.
The bout began with both fighters landing, but Nunes seemed to wobble her foe with a hard leg kick. The strike seemingly put Cyborg into overdrive, as she began chasing her opponent down and throwing wildly. Nunes was ready, landing crisp counter hooks and dropping Cyborg multiple times. After trying for a takedown, Cyborg continued to throw leather with little in the way of defensive tactics.
Nunes continued her attack, landing a perfectly placed overhand to the temple that closed the show. With the win, she becomes the first woman to ever KO Cyborg, and the only woman to ever KO Cyborg and former UFC poster girl Ronda Rousey. Both wins came in under a minute.
Nunes is now the sixth fighter to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes, the third fighter to hold two titles simultaneously, and the first female fighter to accomplish either task. And while Cyborg’s dominance over such a long span of time led many to believe there would be cause for an immediate rematch, UFC president Dana White isn’t sold on the idea.
Nunes also has two wins over the current flyweight champion, making her an easy pick for the women’s MMA GOAT. She’s currently riding an 8-fight winning streak.
Despite tasting defeat for the first time since her professional debut, Cyborg was extremely professional in dealing with the loss. She congratulated Nunes right after the stoppage, and simply mused that losing was part of the game. She also said she believed God had a plan for her.
The only part of the fight that didn’t sit well with her was what happened after – she was hurried out of the cage and not allowed to speak to her fans. She’s also questioned whether Nunes can be called the true GOAT, given she has four losses while Cyborg only has two.
Nunes has been a superstar in the making since she came to the UFC, and this win catapults her into the upper tier of the sport permanently.