clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Why Cyborg’s argument not to fight Nunes doesn’t make sense

Bringing you the weird and the wild from the worlds of MMA each and every night of the week

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

UFC 219: Cyborg v Holm Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

When Tyron Woodley, on the Fox desk after the UFC pay-per-view in his role as analyst, heard that Amanda Nunes wanted to fight Cris Cyborg, his response reflected a good portion of the MMA fanbase.

“Oooh! I’m with that. I want to talk about the Amanda Nunes fight! Because she actually has the power to potentially hurt Cyborg! She’s the only female fighter that I can think that’s on the roster that has the tenacity, that ornery enough to get in her face, and actually has the accuracy to hit her in a spot that can hurt her.”

Woodley is, as far as I can tell, right in his analysis. Nunes has immense raw power and considerable skill to apply it, she’s aggressive, and a superfight with Cris Cyborg would be by far the most compelling matchup north of 125 pounds. Dana White immediately said he wanted to make the fight. Cyborg, however, has other plans, pushing a fight with Megan Anderson. Anderson was quick to quash rumors that this bout could take place at UFC Perth, though, saying it might happen further down the road.

There is no reason to rush the matchup. Megan, while talented, is still a developing prospect, a point Meisha Tate made recently:

The problem I have with that fight is, um, the quality of opponents Megan has beat, I don’t feel they’re even remotely close to Cyborg,” she said Wednesday on SiriusXM’s “MMA Tonight.” “I think she’s a bit green at this point.”

I think Megan will probably be the next one to get it. I think she’s the most marketable,” Tate said. “She’s very tall. She’s very long. She’s very rangy. … She’s going to have a height advantage. That makes it interesting. She’ll be the first woman who has that much of a reach and size advantage, you could say, on Cyborg.

But I don’t think she’s experienced enough yet. There’s a big difference in the women she’s been fighting and beating, and then Cyborg.

Amanda Nunes herself got on social media today making a case for the bout. Cyborg, however, wasn’t interested in hearing her argument. She stipulated that anyone she fights needed to have a win at featherweight within the past year. Yet, the entire dilemma with bringing Cyborg into the UFC in the first place was that there weren’t enough fighters at 145 to sustain a division.

With all due respect to Cris Cyborg, who has proven she is among the best female fighters in MMA history, contesting that rankings matter in a division that is too thin to have any rankings isn’t an argument that makes sense. I said as much on to whoever is running her social media account. She was quick to respond by saying the UFC pillaged 125 and 145 to make “Ronda weight”. Instead of disputing that, I pointed out that this means the best fighter at 135, Amanda Nunes, is Cyborg’s most credible challenger.

Moreover, it isn’t as though there is a Khabib Nurmagomedov or a Tony Ferguson knocking down the door at women’s bantamweight demanding a title shot either. Nunes narrowly defeated Valentina Shevchenko on the judges’ scorecards to retain her title, and no other standout contenders have since emerged. This is the one division, with the possible exception of men’s flyweight, where there is no threat to the sport’s integrity by putting on a champion vs. champion superfight. If Nunes loses, she simply returns to bantamweight. We the fans, win by getting to see possibly the two hardest hitters in women’s MMA throw down, and the UFC wins because yes, we would pay to see that.

In fact, there are no losers if this fight is made- except, perhaps, for Cyborg herself. She is the only one who faces potential downside here, unlike Nunes. If she loses, the belt is gone, and likely so are her aspirations to box professionally. But what are fighters here for if not to test themselves and their limits as long as possible against the best competition they can face, in the biggest money fights available? Cyborg may not want this fight, but we do.


Or do we? Who should Cyborg fight?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Amanda Nunes
    (562 votes)
  • 16%
    Megan Anderson
    (117 votes)
  • 4%
    Pam Sorenson
    (30 votes)
709 votes total Vote Now


This drama right here is funny, because it reveals how childish Dana White can be.

Malignaggi, who has opinions on everything, naturally has opinions on Dana White getting into boxing.

John Kavanagh laughing at something McGregor is telling him.

It’s cool that Khabib is called the Eagle, but he grew up wrestling bears, which is exactly what he does to his opponents.

Uhh... Emil... why are you having sex at UFC Headquarters?

Dustin Poirier is calling Eddie Alvarez every running name in the thesaurus.

Easy come, easy go.

Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov sounds fun.

Karate kicks.

A post shared by Raymond Daniels (@rd_goat) on

Podcasts and Video

The MMA Outsiders are back! Check us out on SoundCloud as well as iTunes and Stitcher on the official MMA Mania channel! And Follow MMA Mania on Youtube

Heavy Hands

Jack Slack’s Fights Gone By:

History on Fire is running a series on Jack Johnson, which is fascinating:

Random Land

The more you know...

Dad catches are the best catches.

Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania