Amanda Nunes will defend the UFC women’s featherweight title for the first time when she faces Felicia Spencer at the main event of UFC 250 on Saturday, June 6, 2020, at the UFC’s Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The two were originally set to face off last May 9, 2020, in Brazil but that event was one of the six that the UFC canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the NSAC allowed the return of combat sports recently, the UFC 250 event was rescheduled for June 6 at the UFC’s Apex Facility.
Nunes made history when she won the UFC featherweight title from Cris Cyborg at UFC 232. The Brazilian is the first female fighter to win titles in two different weight classes and the first to hold both concurrently. On Saturday, she will be looking to add more history as she aims to become the first female fighter to successfully defend two different UFC titles.
Interestingly, Nunes has been the underdog in seven out of her 13 UFC bouts. Despite not being favored often, the Lioness has won 12 out of those 13 bouts and has won two UFC belts during that period. However, the Brazilian has been favored in three out of her last four fights with her title challenge against Cris Cyborg the only time she was an underdog since 2018.
On the other hand, Spencer saw Cris Cyborg end her unbeaten run at UFC 240, and seeing the plus sign beside her name is nothing new to her. The Feenom has been the underdog in two out of her first three fights inside the octagon and her last bout against Zarah Fairn Dos Santos was the only time she was favored. She is however 1-1 as an underdog as she closed as a slight +167 underdog against Megan Anderson in her UFC debut.
Amanda “ The Lioness” Nunes
Amanda Nunes is the current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion. She is the first female fighter to win two UFC belts and also the first to concurrently hold two UFC titles. The Lioness won the bantamweight belt by submitting Miesha Tate at UFC 200 and she annexed the featherweight belt by knocking out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232. She has made four successful defenses of the bantamweight title and will be defending her featherweight belt for the first time at UFC 260.
The Lioness stands 5-8 tall and has a reach of 69 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. She has won seven consecutive title fight with five of those victories by stoppage, including four in the first round. Nunes has a 49% striking accuracy and she lands an average of 4.34 significant strikes per minute while only taking 2.63 significant strikes per minute with a 55% striking defense. The women’s #1 pound for pound fighter has a 47% takedown accuracy and completes an average of 2.33 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 06/02/2020
Felicia “Feenom” Spencer
Felicia Spencer is the former Invicta FC featherweight champion who vacated her title to join the UFC in 2019. The Feenom had an auspicious UFC debut when she submitted former Invicta FC undisputed featherweight champion Megan Anderson in May 2019. Spencer suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Cris Cyborg in her second UFC appearance. She bounced back with a knockout win over Zarah Fairn Dos Santos last February to earn a shot at the Lioness.
The Feenom stands 5-6 tall and has a reach of 68 inches while fighting as a southpaw.
She lands an average of 4.54 significant strikes per minute at a 55% accuracy but absorbs a high 6.27 significant strikes per minute with a 47% striking defense. The Canadian completes an average of 1.36 takedowns per 15 minutes and has a 16% takedown accuracy. She has a record of 8-1 with two knockouts and four wins via submission.
Feenom bounced back nicely from her loss to Cris Cyborg as she knocked out Zarah Fairn Dos Santos inside of Round 1 last February. Spencer dominated the fight from start to finish outstriking Dos Santos 40-13 in significant strikes landed. Despite that knockout win, she isn’t the most polished striker in the business and although she has improved over the years, Spencer prefers to fight on the canvass with her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu credentials. Not only is she an excellent submission artist, but she also has a very good ground and pound attack when she gets on top of her opponent.
Nunes though is a tough woman to put down on the ground. The Lioness has an excellent takedown defense of 80%. Since she was taken down thrice by Cat Zingano in 2014, only two out of the last 10 opponents have been able to put the Brazilian on her back. If Spencer can’t take Nunes down, she’s going to struggle against the champion on the feet.
The Lioness is an excellent striker who cuts off the ring nicely while landing big bombs on her opponents. She has knocked four out of her last six opponents including Cris Cyborg who dealt Spencer her first professional loss at UFC 240. I’m sure Spencer has worked on her striking since the Cyborg loss but based on what we saw against a common opponent, Nunes should run away with this fight if it becomes a striking battle.
Spencer displayed her toughness when she went the distance with Cris Cyborg, But not only does Amanda Nunes have Cris Cyborg’s ferociousness, the Lioness is also quick on her feet and fast with her hands. I don’t think Spencer has seen anyone like Nunes and the combination of speed and power will overwhelm her. I’m going with Amanda Nunes here by stoppage. I think it’s going to be a knockout win but I won’t discount a submission victory for the champ.
Prediction: Amanda Nunes. However, the Lioness is priced too high here and I won’t blame you if you wait for the prop bets to start coming out. I would like to look at the odds of Nunes winning this bout by knockout.