CURITIBA, Brazil — The UFC has yet to hammer out a deal and set a date for a planned superfight between female champions Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, and Cyborg’s longtime mentor thinks all the anticipation will eventually lead to a quick bout.
Cyborg trained for years inside the Chute Boxe gym in Curitiba, Brazil, and still represents the team even though she has moved full-time to the United States years ago. With the fight being planned for the last card of the year on Dec. 29, despite Cyborg’s intention to fight earlier, Chute Boxe founder Rudimar Fedrigo wonders why Nunes won’t agree to meet sooner.
”I don’t understand it,” Fedrigo told MMA Fighting. “Amanda has done all the promotion, kind of trashed talk, her coaches also talked about it, said it would be an outstanding fight, and then… she ran. Cris doesn’t run from anyone. Cris accepted the fight. It didn’t look good for Amanda.”
”I think this fight will happen,” he continued. “I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I think people are interested, there’s a demand for it, and I don’t see any reason why this fight wouldn’t happen. I think it will happen, and Amanda will finally know the power that Cris has inside the Octagon. She’s not fooling around, she goes for the finish. Cris is no easy fight, she goes in there to stop her opponent.”
Nunes is riding a seven-fight winning streak with five stoppages, defending the bantamweight gold three times. Cyborg, UFC’s featherweight champion, won five straight since joining the company in 2016, including four knockouts, and would score her third title defense if successful against her countrywoman.
”Amanda is an excellent fighter,” Fedrigo said. “I was one of the first people to promote her back then. She fought in an event in Curitiba and did well, showed she had future, but Cris is in another level in every sense. Technique, emotional, Cris is in a higher level.”
One of the promoters of Samurai FC, who had success in the local scene years ago, Fedrigo had Nunes competing in his promotion’s first edition in 2009. “The Lioness”, who was 2-1 in MMA going into a fight with Deise Lee Rocha, won her debut by TKO, and returned three months later to stop Vanessa Porto.
”I noticed that she fought well, aggressively, but I didn’t imagine she would get to where she is,” Fedrigo said. “She’s a good fighter, no doubt, but, like I said, I don’t think she is… If this fight happens, I don’t think it goes past the first round. I think Cris knocks Amanda out.”
Speaking recently with MMA Fighting, Cyborg didn’t sound impressed by Nunes’ most recent win, a late finish against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224, and said the bantamweight queen doesn’t handle pressure well.
”Amanda has many qualities, has beaten a lot of girls, but she hasn’t fought a girl like me,” Cyborg said. “In fact, she used to fight in my weight class and didn’t have much success. If she had success we would have fought already, right? Moving up [in weight], I believe it’s a tough fight because she like to move forward, but I see that Amanda doesn’t handle pressure. She puts pressure, but can’t handle the pressure back.
”When I put pressure, she will feel it. You see in my fights, when you pressure me I come back with even more pressure. You saw her fight with Cat Zingano. I don’t think she can take the pressure. But I believe it will be a great fight.”