Combat Sports

UFC 259: Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Fight Preview

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Amanda Nunes looks to defend her featherweight belt for a second time this Saturday night as she takes on Megan Anderson in the co-main event of UFC 259.

Last time out Nunes became the first UFC fighter to actively defend two championship belts while simultaneously holding the titles in both weight classes in a unanimous decision victory over Felicia Spencer.

Now it will be Anderson hoping to shock the world and defeat what many recognize as the “GOAT” of women’s MMA.

UFC 259 is headlined by a clash of champions as Jan Blachowicz will be aiming to defend his light heavyweight belt against middleweight champion Israel Adesanya who is hoping to become a two-division UFC champion. Petr Yan defends his bantamweight champion status for the first time against the #1 ranked challenger Aljamain Sterling, in a real settlement of bad blood which has been at boiling point for months.

Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes punching Felicia Spencer
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 06: (R-L) Amanda Nunes of Brazil punches Felicia Spencer of Canada in their UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes will be roaring in the face of yet another challenger to not only her featherweight belt but also to her greatness.

Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey, Meisha Tate, Germaine de Randamie (twice), and most recently Spencer, are just a few names on a long list of victims who have fallen to the “The Lioness”.

She captured the featherweight belt in monumental fashion when she obliterated Cyborg in just 51 seconds back in December 2018. Heading into that title fight, Cyborg had won 20 fights in a row, dating back to her MMA debut in 2005.

Nunes stepped up to the plate to face Cyborg as one belt wasn’t enough for the bantamweight champion, greatness was what she desired. She achieved exactly that when she overwhelmed and conquered Cyborg in less than a minute to prove she was the undisputed “Baddest Woman On The Planet” as she became the first women’s double champ in UFC History.

In her first defence of the belt, she took on Spencer who had actually defeated Anderson in her title run for the belt. Spencer, similar to Anderson in the build-up to Nunes’ latest title defence, was overlooked heavily and this was justified in the result of the fight. Nunes put on a show of complete dominance as she took home a unanimous decision victory in her first defence of the featherweight title.

Megan Anderson

Megan Anderson celebrating in the octagon after defeating Norma Dumont
NORFOLK, VA – FEBRUARY 29: Megan Anderson reacts after defeating Norma Dumont in their women’s featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Explosive. That is the word many would use to describe title challenger Megan Anderson. Her stand-up has blown away many a fighter during her career, which has seen her compete in Invicta before making it into the UFC. The kickboxing credentials make her a threat to anybody across the octagon.

At a height of 6’0 and a reach of 72.5 inches, she will be the biggest physical threat that “The Lioness” has faced. She is also coached by the excellent James Krause, who understands exactly what is required from his fighter for victory. This makes Anderson a bigger threat than many have seen her in the build-up to this co-main event. Granted she is 3-2 in UFC, with those two defeats coming to Holm and Spencer. Those losses will have forced her to refine her work, making her a more seasoned fighter when facing Nunes.

Despite how many have downplayed Anderson due to the sheer greatness of Nunes and many believing that “The Lioness” will come out on top, she is no pushover. Anderson will be guaranteed to leave it all on the line and make sure the champion makes hard work of defending her belt.

Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Breakdown

Nunes should outshine Anderson in the stand-up. However, that is not a given. Nunes will be expecting a fired-up Anderson coming her way as soon as that first round starts. It looks as if Anderson’s only way of getting through the featherweight champion is just to completely blow her away. Fight fire with fire, bring the fight to Nunes, and try to put her away fast.

She needs to be confident that she has what it takes to defeat the champion and get the Brazilian worrying on her back foot. If she allows “The Lioness” to pounce forward then the Australian should look to use her jab effectively, use her reach to her advantage, and keep the champion at bay. It’s poised that the outcome of this fight will be determined within the first few minutes depending on how Anderson approaches it.

The path to victory for Nunes is pretty simple. Put Anderson where she is least comfortable, on her back. Take her down, as Nunes’ last opponent Spencer did against Anderson, and submit her. Although it may not be as simple as it sounds, Nunes would avoid having the potential risk of Anderson making full use of her kickboxing ability with significant height and reach advantages.

Nunes could even decide just to hold her opponent in the clinch. Her excellent judo skills mean Anderson’s advantages turn into disadvantages as the Brazilian would slowly work away in the clinch.

If she decides to take the title challenger down she can showcase her excellent black belt Jiu-Jitsu skills, which many are not accustomed to seeing.

Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Prediction

Nunes could win this fight in whatever fashion she desires. That’s what the difference is between her and her competitors. Anderson will know she will need to get Nunes out of there early, otherwise the Brazilian will have her way with the challenger.

Nunes may look to take this to the mat and submit Anderson, as have Cindy Dandois and Spencer have done in the past. She may, however, just look to control and dominate her into the late rounds if she doesn’t put away the challenger any earlier with her horrifying power.

It’s likely we see Nunes getting Anderson down as soon as she likes and forcing the Aussie to give up her back up through her sheer ruthlessness in the ground-and-pound. From there, Nunes can work for the rear-naked choke or look for another position from which to submit the challenger.

Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson Prediction: Amanda Nunes via submission

Amanda Nunes celebrating in the octagon after defeating Felecia Spencer.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 06: Amanda Nunes of Brazil celebrates after her unanimous-decision victory over Felicia Spencer of Canada in their UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Do you see Amanda Nunes reigning supreme once more? Or does Megan Anderson cause one of the biggest upsets in UFC history? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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Dion Williams is a Combat Sports writer for Overtime Heroics covering mainly UFC but also Bellator and Cage Warriors!