UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya Odds, Tickets, Predictions and Pre-Weigh-in Hype
A women’s featherweight title fight between Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Yana Kunitskaya isn’t exactly the main event that UFC brass envisioned for UFC 222, but it’s the one that’s going to have to do.
When a title fight between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar fell through due to an injury to Holloway, the UFC was left to put together a short-notice main event that would attract viewers.
Fortunately, Cyborg, as her nickname might suggest, is usually prepared to offer up more violence when called upon, so viewers will get another title defense against Invicta FC featherweight champion Kunitskaya.
Edgar is still on the card despite the loss of Holloway. He’s one-half of the co-main event. Undefeated Brian Ortega will meet him in a high-profile featherweight bout that could determine who next challenges Holloway for his title.
Here’s a look at the entire card along with odds and predictions for the biggest fights.
Main Card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Cris Cyborg (-1600) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (+800) – women’s featherweight championship
Frankie Edgar (-175) vs. Brian Ortega (+145) – featherweight
Sean O’Malley (+115) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (-150) – bantamweight
Andrei Arlovski (+155) vs. Stefan Struve (-190) – heavyweight
Ketlen Vieira (-160) vs. Cat Zingano (+130) – women’s bantamweight
Prelims (Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Mackenzie Dern (-450) vs. Ashley Yoder (+325) – women’s strawweight
Beneil Dariush (-375) vs. Alexander Hernandez (+285) – lightweight
John Dodson (-170) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+140) – bantamweight
CB Dolloway (+120) vs. Hector Lombard (-150) – middleweight
Prelims (Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET)
Zak Ottow (-280) vs. Mike Pyle (+220) – welterweight
Bryan Caraway (+130) vs. Cody Stamann (-160) – bantamweight
Jordan Johnson (-305) vs. Adam Milstead (+235) – light heavyweight
Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Kunitskaya is trying to sell this fight.
“I know that she’s strong, but I don’t think she has that strong of knockout power,” Kunitskaya said, per Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMAjunkie. “She has no clean knockouts where girls go down, like Holly (Holm) have. But yes, she’s very tough. She finishes all the fights by technical knockout. I think I’m strong, too, strong enough to compare with her.”
To say Cyborg doesn’t have “that strong of knockout power” is akin to saying Tom Brady doesn’t throw “that good of a spiral.”
It’s difficult to find fighters that can challenge Cyborg in any real way. Her combination of power, speed and technical skill is too much for most fighters in the division to handle.