Cyborg cruises to another title defense at UFC 222


UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg stepped up to save Saturday’s UFC 222 card after the original main event between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar was scrapped due to a Holloway injury, but she didn’t stick around for long, as she scored a punishing first-round TKO of former Invicta FC bantamweight titleholder Yana Kunitskaya at T-Mobile Arena to retain her crown for the second time.

“I train all the time and I took this fight Chute Boxe style,” said the longtime member of the legendary fight team, who now has her sights on a SuperFight with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.

Cyborg stunned Kunitskaya with the first right hand she threw, yet just when it looked like the challenger was in trouble, the Russian took Cyborg to the mat. Cyborg eluded serious trouble and rose to her feet, but the challenger kept the champion locked up against the fence until Cyborg punched her way free. Moments later, Cyborg scored a knockdown with her left hand, and a Kunitskaya takedown attempt came up empty, setting the stage for the Brazilian’s final attack, as a right hand dropped the challenger, with a series of follow-up strikes bringing in referee Herb Dean to stop the fight at 3:25 of the opening round.

With the win, Curitiba’s Cyborg ups her record to 20-1 with 1 NC. Kunitskaya, who was making her UFC debut, falls to 10-4 with 1 NC.

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