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UFC 222 results from last night: Cris Cyborg vs Yana Kunitskaya fight recap

Cris Cyborg defeats Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222
Photo Credit: Esther Lin

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight knockout artists Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya clashed last night (March 3, 2018) at UFC 222 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cyborg has a pair of previous title fights inside the Octagon, both opposite Bantamweights who tried to rise up to the occasion. That pattern continued last night, as Cyborg entered the cage an absolutely massive favorite opposite an Invicta FC Bantamweight champion. Kunitskaya was the latest massive underdog to attempt the impossible. An experienced kickboxer with an offensive submission game, “Foxy” was far from the worst fighter to face Cyborg in recent years, but it was still hard to see her path to victory.

As it turned out, we were all right to question the match up.

Cyborg immediately cracked her opponent with a heavy right hand, but Kunitskaya’s tackling low single sent her to the mat. Kunitskaya tried to take her back in the following scramble, but Cyborg got back to her feet and eventually created separation from the clinch.

Back in the open, Cyborg immediately battered her opponent with right hands. Kunitskaya hit the mat once but bounced backed up and tried to kick Cyborg away. Instead, Cyborg caught one of those kicks and smashed her with another right hand, sending Kunitskaya to the mat once more.

This time, Cyborg followed her to the ground in pursuit of the finish. She ended up in a smash pass position, flattening Kunitskaya’s hips to the mat and leaving her unable to move. From that position, Cyborg dropped bombs on her opponent, and the referee quickly called the stoppage.

What is there really to talk about? The fight pretty much went exactly as we all expected. Cyborg was way too powerful for Kunitskaya, and she was able to walk her foe down and whip right hands with impunity. Kunitskaya surprised everyone with a neat low single, but that moment of success was singular.

Cyborg’s combinations are nasty, and she was always going to stop “Foxy,” who couldn’t hope to stand up to Cyborg’s power punches.

Moving forward, it appears that Amanda Nunes is next up for Cyborg. Of all the women in the world, Nunes seems to me to have the best chance at dethroning Cyborg. I’m not saying it’s a good chance, but it’s the best anyone has, so that should be the fight to make.

Kunitskaya tried. She went for a takedown and tried to take the back, which is a great position to score an upset from. Unfortunately, Cyborg shook her off pretty quickly, and from that point on, she was unable to find any success against her bigger and better foe.

On the bright side, Kunitskaya showed some skill and can now look forward to a career at 135 lbs. She very likely gained some fans in this ordeal, and her next fight will be a far more reasonable challenge.

Last night, Cris Cyborg quickly dominated another challenger to her title. Can anyone take her belt?

For complete UFC 222: “Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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