Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya UFC 222 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 3/3/18
Kunitskaya vs. Cyborg
UFC: Saturday, March 3, 2018 (T-Mobile Arena)
The Line: Kunitskaya +600 / Cyborg -1050 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya fight Saturday during UFC 222 at the T-Mobile Arena in what will be the women’s featherweight title fight.
Cris Cyborg enters this fight with a 19-1 record and has won 84 percent of her fights by knockout. Cyborg has won her last 19 fights and is coming off a December win over Holly Holm. Cyborg is averaging 6.92 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Cyborg is averaging 0.71 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 57.1 percent. Cyborg is now 3-0 under the UFC banner and will be defending her belt for the second time. Cyborg is coming off a five round bloodbath against an elite striker in Holm, a bout that earned fight of the night honors. There’s really no surprises with Cyborg, as she’s a power striker with relentless aggression, ridiculous pop and a proven chin that allows her to stand in there and trade blows. Cyborg is a brawler in the octagon who has produced knockouts in 13 of her last 14 fights and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Cyborg has wresting ability and can grapple when needed, but when she’s allowed to fight her fight and delver strong strikes, nobody on the women’s side can hang with her. Cyborg is in a class of her own right now. This will be Cyborg’s third professional fight in Las Vegas.
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Yana Kunitskaya enters this fight with a 10-3 record and has won 70 percent of her fights by knockout. Kunitskaya has won six of her last eight fights and is coming off a August win over Raquel Pa'aluhi. Kunitskaya will be making her UFC debut with this fight after just winning the Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship and putting herself on the map. Kunitskaya is a 28-year-old Russian who has a background in taekwondo and boxing, and she’s made a living with her striking. Kunitskaya has produced knockouts in six of her last eight victories and does a good job of fighting out of the clinch. Kunitskaya doesn’t appear to have much power behind her strikes when you watch her tape, but she did knockout Cindy Dandois, so she certainly can’t be underestimated. The downside with Kunitskaya is her takedown defense can be improved, and she’s been submitted in two of her three losses. This will be Kunitskaya’s first career fight in Las Vegas.
Nothing like making your UFC debut against a pitbull in Cyborg who shows no mercy for her opponents and hits like a truck. Those who have followed along know I don’t pick against Cyborg, as she’s in a class of her own in terms of striking and has yet to really be put in danger up to this point. There’s no many who can eat the shots that Cyborg delivers, and you’re forced to fight her fight given her takedown defense. Kunitskaya doesn’t have the resume that makes you think she can hang around in this bout, and she lacks the pure power to trade strikes. No disrespect to Kunitskaya, but I question why this fight is even happening. This should be quick work for Cyborg.
The champion will keep her belt.