A champion vs. champion match between Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes may be the fight everyone wants, but first Nunes will have to get past Raquel Pennington in the main event of UFC 224 in Rio. But if Cyborg is worried about the way that fight may go down, she’s not showing it. In fact, she’s already putting together a camp with the intention of facing Nunes at UFC 226 on July 7th in Las Vegas.
As for who’ll be a part of that camp? None other than Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko, who went the distance twice against Nunes.
“After Holly Holm, I contacted Valentina for she can help my camp with Amanda,” Cyborg said. “And she is going to be part of my team when I fight Amanda Nunes.”
Shevchenko has since moved on from the bantamweight division to the new flyweight division where she made her mark in a one sided destruction of UFC newcomer Priscila Cachoeira. It was a violent and hyper-aggressive side of “Bullet” we didn’t see much of during her boring second fight with Amanda Nunes. But the strategy she employed in that bout almost won her the title, with the split decision scorecards coming down in Nunes’ favor by a single point.
For Cyborg, fighting Nunes is another chance to show the world that she’s more than just a can crusher. Her technically impressive victory over Holly Holm at UFC 219 showed she’s more than just a bruiser, but she needs more opponents on that level to prove just how good she really is. The UFC may not have an issue serving her up more Yana Kunitskayas, but a proper legacy requires big wins over top names.
With the UFC women’s featherweight division currently non-existent, Nunes is as good as it’s going to get. Now we just have to wait and hope Raquel Pennington doesn’t spoil things.