At UFC Vegas 58, Nina Nunes (10-7, 4-4 UFC) will step in to fight Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1, 6-4-1 UFC). Both fighters will be looking to secure victory as each is coming off of several losses.
Nina Nunes or Cynthia Calvillo: Looking for That Win
Cynthia Calvillo was a serious prospect at 125lbs, with a victory over Jessica Eye keeping her in the top 5 of the rankings back in 2020. Since that victory, Calvillo has not had any luck, dropping three fights to the other top contenders of the division.
The San Jose Native simply could not get anything going, with her kicking game not creating any pressure for her opponents. Getting outworked by Chookagian, blasted by Jessica Andrade, and falling victim to the combo game of Andrea Lee. Suddenly, now faced with a three-fight skid, this next fight at UFC Vegas 58 is a must-win for Calvillo.
On the other hand, Nunes has found herself in an interesting, but tough situation. After her 2019 loss to Tatiana Suarez, it wouldn’t be until April of 2021 that Nunes would step into the octagon again at UFC on ABC 2, getting subbed by Mackenzie Dern in the first round. This move to flyweight seems like Nunes is striking while the iron is hot, considering Calvillo is still ranked.
UFC Vegas 58: How the Matchup Plays Out
Many people view Cynthia Calvillo as a wrestler, with all of her finishes coming by submission. However, over her last few fights, Calvillo has not had an urgency to get the fight to the ground, using a more kick-heavy style.
Nunes is a purebred striker with a lot of striking volume and solid takedown defense, stuffing the takedown at a rate of 76%. To be fair, there have not been many fighters with the game plan to take Nunes to the ground, and in her last loss to Dern, the audience saw a lack of ground game overall.
On paper, this is not an easy fight for Nunes, and who knows what her prospects might be with a change in scenery at 125lbs.
The Implications of a Loss at UFC Vegas 58 for Cynthia Calvillo and Nina Nunes
Both these fighters have seen their ups and downs in fighting, with both needing wins now more than ever. It seemed that Nunes was flirting with retirement after her last loss and the long layoff. On the other hand, Calvillo has also arguably seen better days.
If Cynthia Calvillo wants to set the ship right, a loss here is bad news, as she would be dropped from the ranking most likely, and at worst be cut from the promotion.
A victory for Nunes at UFC Vegas 58 may give her career a second wind, but who knows where Nunes goes with a loss. This fight marks an interesting turning point for both fighters and is a must-watch for those invested in WMMA. The main event of the prelims is definitely putting up a fight worth watching.