Two of the biggest names in women's mixed martial arts go head-to-head in the co-main event of UFC 239 when double champion Amanda Nunes defends her Women's Bantamweight crown against former women's 135-pound champion Holly Holm.
Here's everything you need to know about this Women's Bantamweight title fight:
Amanda Nunes' Last Fight
UFC 232 was headlined by the highly-anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, but the co-main event between Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg stole the show. Nunes, the Women's Bantamweight Champion, entered the fight with history hanging in the balance, aiming to become the first woman to hold two UFC belts and the first to do so simultaneously.
In a fight that was coined as the biggest in the history of women's mixed martial arts, the unexpected happened. Cyborg came out hot, pushing the momentum and moving in on Nunes. The two exchanged strikes throughout the first 20 seconds, with Nunes putting on a proper display of counter punching.
As Cyborg pushed the momentum, Nunes spammed her right hook and after just 30 seconds she landed a clean left-right combo on the then-Women's Featherweight champion, knocking her down. As Cyborg got back to her feet, still visibly dazed, Nunes swung for the fences, connecting with a monster right hook followed by a flurry of combos against the fence that forced referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight after just 51 seconds.
The loss ended Cyborg's 20-fight winning streak and propelled Nunes into the stratosphere as the most accomplished woman in mixed martial art’s history.
The most memorable part of the victory? Watch Nunes' reaction after she receives her second belt.
Holly Holm's Last Fight
Oddly enough, the fight that earned Holly Holm her UFC 239 title shot wasn't even at 135 pounds. Holm was chosen as one of the main faces of the Women's Featherweight division upon its inception in 2017 and has only gone back down to 135 once since.
In her last bout, Holm dominated Megan Anderson at UFC 225 for all three rounds. Known for her kickboxing prowess, Holm surprised everyone by opting to wrestle with the bigger opponent. Over the course of 15 minutes, Holm spent most of the fight in top position and controlling Anderson against the canvas.
While it was considered a less than flashy victory, Holm put on display that she's more than a one-dimensional fighter, proving that her game is still evolving at 37-years old.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|Amanda Nunes||Holly Holm|
|Fighting Out Of||Salvador, Bahia, Brazil||Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|Weight||135 lbs.||135 lbs.|
|Reach||69 inch.||70 inch.|
STATS THAT MATTER
- Holm has lost four out her last six fights
- Nunes is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak
- While Holm is known for her kickboxing past, Nunes actually has a three-inch leg reach advantage
- Nunes averages 4.65 significant strikes per minute, while Holm averages 2.82
What to Watch For
With two masterful strikers like Nunes and Holm, most fans want to see a striking match between these two. Nunes is aggressive with her hands and has yet to falter against any opponent on her feet, while Holm is also more comfortable with two feet on the mat.
While Holm put on a wrestling showcase against Anderson in her last fight, Nunes will not be an easy opponent to shoot against. With an 80-percent take down defense, Nunes is difficult to get to the ground and her Brazilian jiu-jitsu makes her a threat even in guard.
So basically -- expect these two to throw hands for the first two rounds. While famous for her flashy head kick knockout of Ronda Rousey years ago, Holm has become a more conservative striker in her last handful of fights. She’s more comfortable sticking and moving in an attempt to grind out the fight rather than go for the home run shots that make up her highlight reel.
Nunes isn't afraid to attack and has the skill to expose Holm is she holds back combos and stays relatively inactive. 'The Lioness' uses her left jab to set up the huge overhand right, and Holm backing up against the cage would only give Nunes a more stationary target to land on.
See Nunes vs. Holm at UFC 239 with an Official Ticket Package
Be there live at the T-Mobile Arena when Holm and Nunes clash for the first time with an Official Ticket Package from the UFC VIP Experience. Packages offer fans seats anywhere from the lower level rows all the way to the arena floor while also including access to pre-fight hospitality, fighter meet-and-greets, the Mic'd Up with Modelo Q&A session and much more. Secure your access to UFC 239 before it's too late.