The UFC women’s featherweight title will be on the line at UFC 250 which is currently booked for May 09, 2020, at the Ginasio de Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The reigning champion, Amanda Nunes, will look to become the first woman in UFC history to defend a title in two different weight classes. Nunes is also the defending UFC women’s bantamweight champion and has been such since UFC 200 when she dethroned Miesha Tate. The Lioness became the first female fighter in UFC history to win belts in two different weight classes when she knocked out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232. Nunes has defended her bantamweight belt successfully five times. This will be her first defense of the featherweight title.
As of March 15, the top MMA betting sites were showing Nunes (-450) as the favorite against Spencer who came back at +350. If the lines stay that way, this will be the fourth time in her last five fights that she will be the betting favorite. The only time she was an underdog during this stretch was when she challenged Cris Cyborg at UFC 232. Nunes knocked out Cyborg in just 51 seconds. Overall, Nunes has closed as the underdog in seven out of her 13 octagon appearances. That’s weird because she is 12-1 during that span with two different belts won.
Spencer was a highly touted fighter when she entered the UFC. She was undefeated when she won the Invicta FC featherweight title and vacated the belt to join the UFC banner. Spencer submitted Megan Anderson in her UFC debut but her unbeaten streak was halted when she lost a three-round unanimous decision against Cris Cyborg at UFC 240 in July 2019. Spencer knocked out Zarah Fairn Dos Santos last month at UFC Fight Night 169 to earn the first crack at Amanda Nunes’ featherweight belt. She was an underdog in two out of her first three Octagon appearances and that is most certainly going to become three out of four.
Felicia Spencer is a former Invicta FC featherweight champion who hails from Montreal, Quebec in Canada. The 29-year old known as the Feenom trained in Tae Kwon Do at the age of four, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 12, and kickboxing at 17. She began her MMA career at Jungle MMA in 2009 and she attended the University of Central Florida. Spencer won the first “Tuff-N-Uff” future stars of MMA tournament before she was signed by Invicta FC in 2015. Spencer defeated Pam Sorenson to win the Invicta FC featherweight title in her sixth fight. She joined the UFC after that win and submitted Megan Anderson in her octagon debut. Spencer went the distance with Cris Cyborg but lost the fight via unanimous decision. She returned to the winning column with a TKO of Zarah Fairn Dos Santos last month.
Spencer stands 5-6 tall and she has a reach of 68 inches and is an orthodox fighter. Her professional MMA record is 8-1 with two knockouts and four wins via submission. She is 4-1 with four stoppage wins in her last five bouts, including 2-1 with two stoppages inside the UFC octagon. On a side note, Spencer has a degree in from the University of Central Florida and when she isn’t fighting or training for a bout, she works as a 6th-grade algebra teacher at Florida Virtual School. You bet she is hoping to teach Nunes a lesson or two but inside the cage.
Amanda Nunes is currently the #1 ranked pound for pound female fighter. Known as the Lioness for her ferocity, Nunes is the first woman to hold two different UFC belts simultaneously, and the third overall to achieve that feat. The 31-year old from Pjuca, Bahia in Brazil trained at the AMA Fighting Club in New Jersey before moving to Miami to train at MMA Masters. She made her professional MMA debut at Prime MMA Championship 2 and after five consecutive wins, she transferred to Strikeforce and then Invicta FC before arriving in the UFC in 2013. Nunes holds the record for most title fights among female fighters ( 7 ) and most wins in UFC history by a female fighter ( 12 ). Nunes holds wins over six current or former UFC women’s champion.
Currently, Nunes is on a 10-fight winning streak as she has not lost since she was knocked out by Cat Zingano at UFC 178. The Lioness has won seven straight world title fights and she has finished five of those. Nunes has a record of 19-4 with13 knockouts and three wins by way of submission. She defeated Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm in succession. Nunes stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 69 inches and is an orthodox fighter. In her last bout, Nunes was held to a unanimous decision by former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245 last December 14, 2019.
I don’t think that this is a one-sided fight as the oddsmakers are seeing it right now. Spencer might have been handily beaten by Cris Cyborg but we’ve seen her improve her striking over the years. Feenom is most dangerous when she is on the ground where she can work towards a submission. However, she is averaging just 1.36 takedowns per 15 minutes and is just 16% accurate with her attempts. That is going to be a problem against Nunes who has an 80% takedown defense and who has been taken down just twice in her last 10 bouts. The Lioness was able to get back up from those two takedown attempts.
As for Nunes, she is currently on the longest winning streak by a female UFC fighter at 10 bouts. During that period, she has recorded seven finishes including five by knockout.
The Lioness is the best and most powerful striker in the female game. She was able to knock out the feared Cris Cyborg in just 51 seconds. Nunes averages 4.34 significant strikes landed per minute. That’s fewer than Spencer’s 4.54 average but Nunes gets hit by only 2.63 significant strikes per minute while the Canadian absorbs 6.27 significant strikes per minute which isn’t ideal when you’re facing a power puncher like the Lioness.
I think that Spencer will try to take the fight to the ground but she will not have much success given Nunes’ ability to defend takedowns. What will most likely happen here is that Nunes forces a stand-up fight and she will have her way with her challenger. Nunes is very skilled on her feet and she also is a very powerful puncher. We saw Spencer get outclassed by Cris Cyborg in the striking game and we’re going to see it again versus Nunes. I won’t be surprised at Nunes gets a stoppage here. She was able to knock out a beast like Cyborg and I think she can stop Spencer as well. The pick here is Amanda Nunes but at -450, you might find that too expensive. If so, wait for the prop bets to come out and pick Nunes by knockout. But yeah, it’s hard to see Amanda Nunes losing her belt in this bout.
PREDICTION: AMANDA NUNES
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