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UFC 250 card: Amanda Nunes vs Felicia Spencer full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer will clash TONIGHT (Sat., June 6, 2020) at UFC 250 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s hard to imagine a better half-decade than Nunes’ vicious rise in the last five years. “Lioness” has captured two belts, battered all the former champions in her division, and generally elevated herself to a unique position. Now, Nunes will look to defend her Featherweight crown for the first time, making her an ultra rare double champ who also defends each belt. Similar to all recent Nunes foes, Spencer enters as a massive underdog. “Feenom” has generally impressed in her trio of UFC bouts thus far, but it’s not hard to understand why most expect her to struggle against a far more athletic and experienced foe.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:

Amanda Nunes

Record: 19-4
Key Wins: Cris Cyborg (UFC 232), Ronda Rousey (UFC 207), Holly Holm (UFC 239), Miesha Tate (UFC 200), Valentina Shevchenko (UFC 215, UFC 196), Germaine de Randamie (UFC 245), Sara McMann (UFC Fight Night 73), Raquel Pennington (UFC 224)
Key Losses: Cat Zingano (UFC 178), Sarah D’Alelio (Invicta FC 4), Alexis Davis (Strikeforce: Barnett vs Kharitonov)
Keys to Victory: There isn’t anything crazy complicated or difficult to understand about how Nunes wins fights. First and foremost, she’s a strong athlete who hits tremendously hard — that makes everything easier. Otherwise, Nunes is pretty sharp in all areas, sticking largely to fundamentals.

Though the fight differently, the closest easy comparison to Spencer on Nunes’ resume is Raquel Pennington. Pennington likes to box while Spencer wrestles, but otherwise they pose a similar question for “Lioness” in the form of grit and durability across five rounds.

Spencer is unlikely to just go away, she’s going to stay in Nunes’ face until she succeeds or crumbles. Regardless of ability, opponents like that are always threatening.

Fortunately, Nunes found a solution against Pennington, and it’s likely to work well against Spencer too: kick the hell out of her leg. It’s all well and good to shake off head punches and keep pushing, but consistent attrition to the calf or thigh causes a major drop-off in effectiveness.

If Nunes destroys the leg, Spencer’s chance at scoring the upset evaporates.

Felicia Spencer

Record: 8-1
Key Wins: Megan Anderson (UFC Fight Night 152), Pam Sorensen (Invicta FC 32), Zarah Fairn dos Santos (UFC Fight Night 169)
Key Losses: Cris Cyborg (UFC 240)
Keys to Victory: A Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Taekwondo black belt, Spencer is primarily a grappler. She’s tough and creative on the feet, willing to jump through the air and slash with elbows if need be.

There are reasons to believe in Spencer. For one, she already fought Cyborg, which is basically the best possible preparation fight for Amanda Nunes. Second, Spencer is used to fighting strong Featherweights, so Nunes’ physical prowess should be less shocking. Lastly, grit and conditioning can even a lot of technical disadvantages — Spencer has those traits in spades.

To dethrone the queen, Spencer has to force the fight. Against de Randamie, Nunes was hit most while back up. Spencer is no “Iron Lady” when it comes to kickboxing prowess, but she also does her best wrestling work when driving her foe into the fence. Therefore, striking and wrestling her way straight into the fire is the way to go.

Nunes’ conditioning was once her fatal flaw. While she has largely fixed it at 135 pounds, this is a different situation. Nunes will be carrying some extra weight, and it’s likely that her diet was a bit more relaxed as a result of an easier cut. Spencer gives herself the best shot by staying in her face and forcing takedowns, which could tire Nunes and shift the momentum.

Bottom Line

Massive odds differential or not, a title is on the line.

The women’s Featherweight division is kept around almost solely for Nunes, as the roster continues to remain at less than five full time members. “Lioness” is trying to accomplish an admirable goal in attempting to defend both titles, but it’s hard not to view Nunes’ work at 145 pounds as a mere extracurricular activity — a vacation from a hard weight cut and opportunity for fans to watch Nunes’ throw heat against whomever they can find.

That’s the benefit of double champ status; Nunes is still an undisputed champion in defeat. It would be shocking though ....

The stakes are much higher for Spencer. At a certain point, one has to view Featherweight challengers as fighting for the future of their division. If Nunes decided to drop to Bantamweight and remain there, would the division exist? Not likely. As such, Spencer should be extra motivated to capture the crown, because shedding an extra 10 pounds doesn’t seem an option for her.

Beyond that, being the first woman to defeat Nunes since 2014, capturing a title in the process? That would be a pretty legendary moment.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 250 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 250: “Nunes vs. Spencer” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC 250, Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer will throw down in the main event. Which woman will earn the victory?

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