UFC 222 was this past Sunday and Cris Cyborg was dominant as always, Brian Ortega shocked the world, and Sean O’Malley kept the sugar show hype train going.
Now for my recap of the fights and my take on what possible fights we may see in the near future.
Cyborg vs Kunitskaya:
Cris Cyborg is the most dominant woman in MMA history and she proved this Saturday night.
I predicted Cyborg to win in round two; but she only needed one round. Kunitskaya only had one bright moment in the fight where she took Cyborg down and had her back for a brief moment, but nothing came from it. Cyborg got back up pressured Kunitskaya against the cage and landed some vicious punches. Kunitskaya went down and Cyborg won via TKO. When Cyborg hits women they want no part of Cyborg for the rest of the fight. Finding challengers for Cyborg is difficult, but I have two matchups in mind.
Amanda Nunes is the current UFC women’s bantamweight champion and she wants to fight against Cyborg. Cyborg and UFC president Dana White also are interested in this fight. I think Amanda Nunes would be a tough opponent for Cyborg, but I think it’s going to take a real featherweight to really challenge Cyborg. The fight I want to see is Cris Cyborg taking on Megan Anderson. This fight was rumored to happen numerous times but it never came to fruition.
Megan Anderson is a legit featherweight; she is the current Invicta featherweight champ. Anderson has a record of 8-2, and six out of her eight wins are finishes. The thing that interests me most about this fight is the size of Anderson. Megan Anderson stands at a whooping 6 feet tall and Cris Cyborg is only 5’8. It’ll be interesting to see how Cyborg faces a much taller opponent. Hopefully the UFC makes this fight soon, because in my opinion, it will be Cyborg’s biggest challenge to date.
Edgar vs Ortega:
After Saturday night Brian Ortega should change his nickname from T-city to Upset City.
Ortega became the first man in MMA history to finish Frankie Edgar. Many people thought if Ortega was to win by finish it would be by submission but he proved everyone wrong again. Edgar came out looking good in the first round and was hitting Ortega with some clean shots. Towards the end of the first round Ortega hit Edgar with an elbow, which stunned Edgar. Ortega followed that up with a vicious uppercut. Edgar went down and Ortega won via KO.
Ortega is currently 14-0 in MMA and is definitely next in line for a title shot. Ortega has proven he’s a finisher. His last win was by far his most impressive. He did what 27 other opponents couldn’t do and that’s finish Frankie Edgar. Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega will most likely be happening in the summer, and trust me when I say this, it will be one of the best fights of the year.
O’Malley vs Soukhamthath:
Sean O’Malley definitely proved he is the future of the UFC men’s bantamweight division.
He can trash talk, he acts like his legitimate self out side the octagon; but most importantly he’s exciting to watch in the octagon. O’Malley was out striking Soukhamthath on the feet and even staggered Soukhamthath at one point early in the fight. O’Malley is always pushing forward and trying to get the finish. Some adversity came in round three for O’Malley as he sustained a foot injury and couldn’t even stand. Soukhamthath made a huge error and instead of making O’Malley stand up, Soukhamthath was constantly going for takedowns. This left the MMA world stunned as Soukhamtath’s decision making was costly. Even Soukhamthath’s corner was screaming at him to keep the fight on the feet because O’Malley couldn’t stand up.
At the end Soukhamthath’s poor fight IQ was his downfall as he lost via decision. Not counting the third round, O’Malley out struck Soukhamthath and looked very impressive in this fight. O’Malley delivered one of the most memorable post fight interviews of the year. Laying on his back due to his foot injury O’Malley left us with the line “welcome to the sugar show” which made the crowd go electric. O’Malley looks like he is going to be pushed as the next big thing so it will be interesting to see who the UFC will give him next. One thing is certain after Saturday night ‘Sugar” Sean O’Malley is must watch TV if you are an MMA fan.
Written by: Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)