Cris Cyborg makes one of the shortest turnarounds in her career when she places her UFC featherweight championship at stake vs Yana Kunitskaya in UFC 222 on March 3. Cyborg will go into this most important event as one of the biggest favorites the UFC has seen in years.
However, when you get beyond the lopsided main event, the rest of the main card is piled with tough-to-call, aggressive bouts. At the time of this writing, none of the four conflicts on the main card beyond the title bout has a favorite bigger than -190.
Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya
We observe Cyborg (-1600) because she’s made a career out of destroying her enemies. Cyborg has always been among the most competitive fighters in the business but the featherweight champion has learned to harness that and become much more patient. The real meat to her match is your jab, as Cyborg will throw the jab out before an opponent feels the necessity to fire back — then she will counter with quick, fight-ending intentions.
Cyborg is a massive fighter who owns huge strength for demanding clinch battles, though she’s technically well served in this area too. Her normal equilibrium and core strength make takedown attempts typically ineffective.
Yana Kunitskaya (+800) is an unknown to many but she is far from a novice. The challenger has spent her entire life practicing martial arts and has a well-versed striking repertoire due to her extensive training in Muay Thai and taekwondo. Kunitskaya does her best work when she can dictate the speed and distance of a fight, working from the outside with her shouts.
In terms of grappling, Kunitskaya is strong although largely depends upon her sneaky strength. The technique still hasn’t caught up fully, though there were noticeable improvements. If Kunitskaya can get high control on the ground, she moves well and has good ground and pound.
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