Main Event: Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya (UFC Featherweight title)
Betting odds: Cyborg -1400 or 1/14, Kunitskaya +800 or 8/1
What more can you say about the most dominant woman in MMA history, there will always be criticism about the controversial P.E.D violation & the resulting permanent physical benefits but purely judging her performances in the cage you’ll struggle to find a single fault since her only loss in her first professional fight back in 2005.
Cyborg fought Holly Holm in the final UFC event of 2017 who on paper at least was her hardest test to date. Cyborg never looked threatened, it was a pretty comfortable win in my eyes considering Holm is the more accomplished striker, Holly just couldn’t match Cyborg’s physicality.
Making her promotional debut Yana Kunitskaya isn’t getting the warmest welcome, she’s not only going up a weight division from the one that she’s been competing in with Invicta, Cyborg is also a huge step up from the opponents Yana has fought up to now. The odds accurately reflect how little of a challenge Kunitskaya is expected to mount, Yana is currently the biggest underdog ever in a UFC title fight.
I’m unsure how such a lopsided fight on paper is headlining a PPV event but then again with the odds as wide as they are this is almost a position with nothing to gain for Cyborg which comes with its own complications.
Amanda Nunes the current UFC Bantamweight Champion is the only woman who has any chance against Cyborg, apart from Nunes the rest of the women are so far behind it’s hard to get excited about Cyborg’s fights right now, its a matter of how she’ll win rather than if she’ll win
Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega
Betting Odds: Edgar -200 or 1/2, Ortega +170 or 17/10
This is all things considered the real main event, Edgar hasn’t lost a non-title fight in nearly 10 years, the four losses he’s suffered in that timeframe have been against only two men, Benson Henderson & Jose Aldo. The unfortunate scenario Edgar has faced thus far is he deals with the top-ranked guys in the weight division with ease but keeps falling short at the championship level.
Yair Rodriguez, a promising young talent tasted defeat at the hands of Frankie Edgar last May in a one-sided contest ending in a second-round stoppage which put Edgar right back at the top of the featherweight rankings. This fight won’t be for the title but should be seen as the final eliminator for Max Holloway’s UFC Featherweight Title.
There have been some memorable moments produced by Frankie Edgar in his UFC tenure, initially snatching the lightweight title from legend B.J. Penn then coming back from the brink of defeat against Gray Maynard & everything in between. One more vintage performance will secure the fight with Max Holloway which was originally the fight planned for this card.
Brian Ortega is somewhat of an enigma, an undefeated fighter who has a distinct talent of finding ways to end fights, he has an unbelievable six finishes in six fights with the UFC (one overturned to a no contest for a P.E.D violation).
He’s Dangerous everywhere but specifically on the ground is where Ortega is in a different league to anyone else in the division, irrespective of the situation Brian Ortega has a knack for creating something from nothing sometimes completely against the momentum of a fight.
The most recent win in Ortega’s career earned him this fight against Edgar, I’m referring to the exquisite submission finish of Cub Swanson which put Ortega over as a genuine threat to anyone at 145lbs.
In Edgar, you’ve got a former champion who’s never been finished before in his professional career, in Ortega an undefeated fighter who specializes in finishing fights, this combination creates ideal conditions for a perfect storm.
Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya (Cyborg Ko/Tko)
Frankie Edgar vs Brian Ortega (Ortega Submission)
Sean O’Malley vs Andre Soukhamthath (O’Malley Decision)
Stefan Struve vs Andrei Arlovski (Struve Ko/Tko)
Cat Zingano vs Ketlen Vieira (Zingano Decision)