UFC 222: Cris Cyborg blasts through Yana Kunitskaya to retain title

(Getty Photographs)

Many thought Cris Cyborg was loopy for taking a struggle on three 1/2 weeks discover towards Yana Kunitskaya in the primary occasion of UFC 222. 

Cyborg (20-1, 1 NC) silenced these individuals and confirmed why she’s the best feminine fighter of all time, beating Kunitskaya by TKO at three:25 of the primary spherical to retain her ladies’s featherweight title and prolong her unbeaten streak to 21. 

“I took this battle, previous chute field type,” Cyborg informed Joe Rogan in her submit-struggle interview. “Three weeks discover. Anyone, any time, anyplace.” 

Early on within the battle, issues obtained dicey when Cyborg landed a strong proper hand however Kunitskaya secured a single leg takedown. Kunitskaya (10-four) stored Cyborg down for a second. However Kunitskaya was relentless and stayed on prime of Cyborg and had her again towards the cage within the clinch. Cyborg bounced proper again and simply related on a collection of proper palms till she dropped Kunitskaya to the mat. A pair hammerfists later and the referee stepped in to put a halt to the motion and proceed her reign of terror.

Rogan requested what could possibly be subsequent and assist develop Cyborg’s legacy as she actually has nobody to face at this level. Cyborg made it abundantly clear in wanting bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes who just lately challenged her.

“Now, I watch for Amanda Nunes,” Cyborg advised Rogan. “She referred to as me out. Once you name Cyborg out, you have got to deal with it.”

Nunes competed at one hundred forty five kilos for the primary seven fights of her profession, so a transfer again up to that weight should not be an issue for her. She’s been engaged on including extra weight to be sure she’s correctly ready to face Cyborg later this yr. First although, Nunes has a rumored title protection towards Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 on Might 12. Can be fascinating to see if the UFC does not make the struggle and as an alternative makes Cyborg and Nunes for UFC 226 on July 7.

(All occasions are Japanese.)

UFC 222 outcomes

eleven:20: Now it’s time for the primary occasion of UFC 222, for the ladies’s featherweight championship, Cris Cyborg defends her title towards Yana Kunitskaya. The primary occasion was made when males’s featherweight titleholder Max Holloway had to bow out towards Frankie Edgar to Holloway struggling a leg damage. 

Cyborg simply fought sixty three days in the past, defeating Holly Holm at UFC 219. Kunitskaya, the previous Invicta FC bantamweight champion hasn’t fought since profitable the title towards Raquel Pa’aluhi in August. 

Cyborg and Kunitskaya have a standard opponent in Tonya Evinger. Cyborg blasted through Evinger at UFC 214 to turn out to be the champion whereas Kunitskaya misplaced to her by second-spherical submission in March. 

Will the fast turnaround be an excessive amount of for Cyborg? Can Kunitskaya spring the upset? We’re about to discover out.

Brian Ortega knocks out Frankie Edgar to grow to be No. 1 contender for featherweight title

12:thirteen: Ortega def. Edgar by knockout at four:forty four of the primary spherical. Ortega informed Sporting Information he can be the one to cease Edgar and he did simply that. Edgar was controlling nearly all of the spherical till Ortega discovered his groove with about ninety seconds left within the spherical.  

The top got here when Ortega related on a vicious elbow which staggered Edgar. Smelling hassle, Ortega landed a knee, a left hand and uppercut for the ages to develop into the primary man to ever cease Edgar. There is a new primary contender for the featherweight championship. Actually excited to see Holloway vs, Ortega afterward this yr. 

eleven:fifty seven: It is time for the co-primary occasion of UFC 222, in featherweight motion, former light-weight champion and No. 2 ranked Frankie Edgar takes on No. three ranked Brian Ortega. Since a title loss to Jose Aldo, Edgar who was supposed to face champion Max Holloway in the primary occasion of this present has gained again-to-again fights. Ortega, unbeaten in 14 fights is coming off a second-spherical submission victory over Cub Swanson in December changed Holloway.

This battle is the previous lion vs. the younger lion. Actually wanting ahead seeing this in what has been dubbed by MMA pundits because the battle of the night time.

Sean O’Malley turns in gusty efficiency in win over Andre Soukhamthath

eleven:forty nine: O’Malley def. Soukhamthath by unanimous determination (29-27, 29-27, 29-28). What a gutsy efficiency by O’Malley within the third spherical. He threw a head kick which hit Soukhamthath within the elbow and appeared to break his foot. He stored making an attempt to rise up to his ft. Someway he did by connecting. on a proper hand and a spinning again fist. And when the struggle was on the bottom, O’Malley was making an attempt for submission. Then in one thing I’ve by no means seen, Joe Rogan interview O’Malley whereas he was in large ache. 

A star was born tonight. Such and coronary heart and want which you do not see in younger fighters. Most would have give up and referred to as it a day. Not this child. Like he advised Rogan, ‘Welcome to the Sugar present’.

eleven:34: O’Malley could be very enjoyable to watch. Related on a gorgeous spinning again fist, head kick mixture close to the top of the primary spherical. Did not like seeing Soukhamthath stumbling and never figuring out the place he was going on the finish of the primary spherical. 

eleven:29: Arising subsequent at UFC 222, in bantamweight motion, Sean O’Malley faces Andre Soukhamthath. O’Malley is undefeated in 9 fights and made a reputation for himself on Dana White’s Tuesday Night time Contender Present, notching a spotlight-reel KO over Alfred Khashakyan. Soukhamthath’s misplaced two of his final three however is coming off a victory in his final battle over Luke Sanders by second-spherical TKO at UFC Battle Night time 123. The UFC could be very excessive on O’Malley. Can have all of the hype you need however he has to ship.

Andrei Arlovski goes to new trick, beats Stefan Struve

eleven:25: Arlovski def. Struve by unanimous determination (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). Superb to see Arlovski carry on making changes contemplating he made his octagon debut at UFC 28 in Nov. 2000. By no means seen Arlovski safe so many takedowns in a single struggle. Exhibits he a lot he nonetheless loves the sport. He advised Joe Rogan in his submit-battle interview that he is needs to make one other run to as soon as once more develop into the heavyweight champion. Would love to see Struve change coaching camps and study to simply use the jab and let every thing come after that. No purpose Struve can be a prime contender. He beat present heavyweight champion. Change in coaching would do him good.

The win for Arlovski now ties him with Frank Mir for many wins within the heavyweight division at sixteen.

eleven:15: Do not like the very fact Dean did not give a tough warning to Arlovski for the attention poke like he did for Struve. Have to be constant.

eleven:10: Struve given a tough warning by Herb Dean within the latter half of the second spherical for an eye fixed poke. Like what Struve stated to Dean although about not giving Arlovski a warning about grabbing the highest of the cage when Struve tried to take him down. Seems like even struggle heading into the ultimate spherical.

eleven:04: Thoughts boggling to see somebody as tall and with the attain of Struve that he does not make the most of the jab by any means. He might win each struggle utilizing it. But, he’s content material throwing kicks and getting taken down by Arlovski.

10:fifty four: Up subsequent at UFC 222, in heavyweight motion, No. 10 ranked Stefan Struve goes up towards former UFC heavyweight champion and No. 12 ranked Andrei Arlovski. regardless that his misplaced his final struggle towards surging contender Alexander Volkov at UFC Struggle Night time one hundred fifteen in September, Struve lastly seems to stepping into groove, profitable of two of his final three. Arlovski acquired again into the winners circle, beating Junior Albini to snap a 5-battle dropping streak. A should-win for Arlovksi to maintain his job and for Struve, that is the most important struggle of his profession. 

Do not go to the toilet. You’ll miss a knockout.

10:forty eight: Actually just like the online game simulation of UFC 223 important occasion struggle for the light-weight title as champion Tony Ferguson lastly faces Khabib Nurmagomedov. Is it April 7 but?

Ketlen Vieira outgrapples Cat Zingano to stay undefeated

10:forty five: Vieira def. Zingano by cut up-choice (28-29, 29-28, 29-28). What’s going on with these judges tonight? Good first spherical for Vieira. Her putting has improved drastically whereas Zingano stored her head up, palms down each time she threw a kick and Vieira made her pay for it. The strikes helped setup a takedown to safe the spherical. The second spherical started and Zingano went proper at Vieira, who secured a phenomenal takedown. Zingano had no reply to getting up. Each time she obtained Vieira again to her ft, Vieira would discover a approach to get again to the bottom and maintained place.

Zingano began the third spherical aggressively with a head kick and a flush proper hand. Vieira checked a Zingano kick and one thing with Zingano’s leg gave out. Vieira seized the chance to get a takedown. Dissatisfied Vieira did not attempt to reap the benefits of Zingano’s damage when she had the prospect as by some means Zingano popped up to land two flush knees. Zingano let all of it hangout within the last forty seconds, throwing the whole lot however the kitchen sink nevertheless it did not show to be sufficient. Fascinating to see Joe Rogan point out a Bellator fighter on the present as he talked about former light-weight champion Michael Chandler when evaluating what occurred to Zingano earlier within the third.

I do not know what the judges are taking a look at it. The struggle wasn’t even shut. Vieira dominated 14 of the quarter-hour of the battle. Zingano did not do a lot in any respect. Exhibits you’ll be able to’t battle as soon as each 20 months and anticipate to win. Have to be lively particularly in a deep division like the ladies’s bantamweights. Vieira’s now 10-zero and appears to be one struggle away from preventing for the title presently held by fellow Brazilian Amanda Nunes.

10:sixteen: Kicking off the primary card of UFC 222, in ladies’s bantamweight motion, former title challenger and No. 6 ranked Cat Zingano battles No. 5 ranked Ketlen Vieira. Zingano returns after a 603 day layoff, dropping to Julianna Pena at UFC 200 in July 2016. Vieira has shortly risen through the ranks within the division, going undefeated in 9 profession fights with three of these within the UFC. Good way to start the pay-per-view.

10:01: Lovely tribute by the UFC to Bruce Connal to kickoff the pay-per-view. Connal was the lead producer for the UFC for over 20 years beginning at UFC 17, handed away yesterday. Arduous to see Joe Rogan cry which exhibits how a lot he meant to the UFC broadcasts.

9:fifty five: Dern def. Yoder by cut up-choice (28-29, 29-28, 29-28). As soon as once more Adalaide Byrd with a head scratching. Dern clearly gained the primary and third whereas Yoder captured the second. Dern confirmed she has some methods to go however was impressed by her putting and prepared to hold it on the struggle. Dern lastly secured a takedown with 1:forty five left to convey him the victory. The UFC wants to let Dern develop slowly and feed her good opposition however not towards world beaters. In the event that they do, she could possibly be a star. 

9:30: Within the featured preliminary bout at UFC 222, in ladies’s strawweight motion, Mackenzie Dern makes her extremely anticipated debut when she squares off with Ashley Yoder. Dern is the premiere feminine jji-jitsu practioner on the planet and is undefeated in 5 profession fights. Yoder is available in on a two-battle dropping skid. Can Dern stay up the hype? Or, does Yoder derail the practice?

9:15: Hernandez def. Dariush by knockout at zero:forty two of the primary spherical. What an upset. Hernandez had a terrific recreation plan. He began out quick and Dariush could not get well. An attractive straight left hand despatched Dariush’s knee buckling and it was throughout. Could not ask for a greater UFC debut. to see how the UFC brings him alongside now since he beat a ranked opponent. That is seven straight wins for the native of Texas. 

9:08: Arising at UFC 222, in light-weight motion, No. 12 ranked Beneil Dariush faces off towards Alexander Hernandez. Dariush is coming off an awesome battle in a draw towards Evan Dunham at UFC 216 again in October. Hernandez steps in on eight days discover changing Bobby Inexperienced is making his UFC debut. He earned the chance, profitable six consecutive fights. This can be a win-win state of affairs for Hernandez. He made weight and is preventing within the UFC. It is a lose-lose for Dariush. He wins, it is anticipated. Has to win and do it impressively.

eight:fifty eight: Dodson def. Munhoz by cut up-determination (28-29, 30-27, 29-28). Battle got here down to the third spherical as Dodson had gained the primary and Munhoz the second. The previous winner of ‘The Final Fighter’ managed the third spherical utilizing his velocity, lateral motion and straight left hand. As soon as once more, Adalaide Byrd placing in a horrific card, giving Dodson the second spherical when he clearly misplaced the spherical. Nice win for Dodson. His subsequent struggle although is make-or-break. Cannot maintain buying and selling wins. Have to turn into extra constant if he needs to get into the title image at one hundred thirty five kilos.

eight:34: Up subsequent at UFC 222, in bantamweight motion, No. eight ranked John Dodson battles No. 10 ranked Pedro Munhoz. This struggle was initially scheduled for UFC Struggle Night time one hundred twenty five at the start of February. However, Munhoz missed weight by an inexcusable 4 kilos. Dodson refused to struggle him and the bout obtained pulled and rescheduled for this card. An ideal struggle between two guys ranked inside the highest ten. Dodson’s gone 2-2 since his return to one hundred thirty five kilos. Munhoz is on a great run, profitable 4 consecutive bouts. Let’s hope we do not get a repeat of the final struggle.

eight:20: Dollaway def. Lombard by disqualification. On the finish of the spherical, Dollway threw a physique kick which Lombard caught it. The bell sounded and Lombard nonetheless related on a proper hand and straight left hand which despatched Dollaway packing to the canvas. The suitable name was made the officers. No purpose for Lombard to do this when the bell already sounded. Dollaway had no concept the place he was at and you may see him constantly saying, ‘What occurred?’ 

Good to see the security of fighters being put first as an alternative of wanting the struggle to proceed.

eight:05: The UFC 222 preliminary card continues, in middleweight motion, CB Dollaway battles Hector Lombard. In his final battle, Dolloway snapped a 3-struggle dropping streak, defeating Ed Herman at The Final Fighter 25 Finale in July. Lombard is in determined want of a win, dropping 4 in a row. Lombard is a man who begins fast and fades down the stretch. If Dollaway can climate the early storm, it is his to win.

7:forty nine: Ottow def. Pyle by TKO at 2:34 of the primary spherical. Was a slugfest to start the battle as Pyle and Ottow have been buying and selling heavy leather-based. Together with his again towards the cage, Ottow blasted Pyle with a vicious proper hand. A pair floor and pound punches later and it was all she wrote. Smart way for Ottow to get again on monitor and a disappointing method for Pyle to finish his profession. Pyle was a former WEC welterweight champion ends his profession going 27-thirteen-1. 

7:forty: Closing out the prelims on UFC Struggle Cross, in welterweight motion, Mike Pyle takes on Zak Ottow. Pyle introduced earlier than the struggle this would be the remaining bout of his profession. Ottow’s misplaced two of his final three fights. Anticipate Pyle to put all of it on the road and depart all the things he has within the octagon.

7:35: Stamann def. Caraway by cut up-determination (28-29, 29-28, 29-28). An in depth battle. Caraway gained the primary, Stamann gained the second and the third was actually shut. Stamann managed the primary half of the ultimate spherical and Caraway poured it on within the last half. Thought Caraway did extra vital injury in his dominance. Stamann’s a really spectacular 17-1 and will now be within the UFC rankings. 

7:23: Salaries for UFC 222. Fairly disturbing Arlovski is getting paid greater than three of the 4 fighters in the important thing two fights. That is method pay wants to be higher throughout the board so issues like this do not hold occurring. No cause why Cyborg should not be making a million dollars and Kunitskaya must be at $500k.

7:10: Arising subsequent at UFC 222, in bantamweight motion, No. 7 ranked Brian Caraway faces Cody Stamann. Caraway’s gained 4 of his final 5 fights however hasn’t competed since his win over Aljamain Sterling at UFC Battle Night time 88 due to an undisclosed damage and unknown causes. Stamann’s on a tear, profitable 9 consecutive fights together with his first two fights within the UFC. That is the place I’ve an issue with UFC rankings. How might a man nonetheless be ranked after solely have one battle within the final 32 months. Fascinating to see how the lengthy hiatus impacts Caraway since he hasn’t been lively whereas Stamann’s been preventing.

7:00: Johnson garners the cut up-determination victory over Milstead 27-30, 29-28, 29-28). Would love to know which decide gave Milstead a spherical. Can see the place a spherical can be given for him however all three rounds? A horrid scorecard. Hopefully, that individual won’t be scoring the remainder of the cardboard. The secret for Johnson was his wrestling and landed extra photographs than Milstead. Johnson stays undefeated in 9 contests.

6:38: Kicking off UFC 222 on UFC Struggle Cross, in mild heavyweight motion, Adam Milstead takes on Jordan Johnson. Milstead is making his debut at 205 kilos after a one-yr layoff due to a torn ACL. Johnson is available in undefeated in eight fights together with his first two contained in the octagon. Johnson has a one hundred good takedown protection price. Good way to kickoff what ought to be an ideal night time of motion.

6:15: In about quarter-hour, UFC 222 will start. Let’s have a look again at Cyborg’s final battle at UFC 219 towards Holly Holm.

four:30: We’re inching nearer to struggle 10pmET/7pmPT three, 2018

12:forty five: Hiya, struggle followers, I am Steven Muehlhausen of Sporting Information. In a number of hours, UFC 222 will begin from the T-Cellular Area in Las Vegas that includes a ladies’s featherweight title struggle between champion Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya. Keep locked into SN all day lengthy for news on UFC 222 as we strategy bell time of 6:30.

UFC 222 battle card

Major Card

  • Cris Cyborg (c) vs. Yana Kunitskaya for the UFC Ladies’s Featherweight title
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega; Featherweights
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath; Bantamweights
  • Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski; Heavyweights
  • Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira; Ladies’s Bantamweights

Preliminary Card 

  • Ashley Yoder vs. Mackenzie Dern; Ladies’s Strawweights
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Alexander Hernandez; Lightweights
  • John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz; Bantamweights
  • C. B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard; Middleweights 
  • Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow; Welterweights
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann; Bantamweights
  • Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead; Mild Heavyweights

UFC 222 newest news 

– Assume headliner Yana Kunitskaya cares about being the underdog? She provides a message to them.

– Rather a lot is on the road at UFC 222. We breakdown what’s at stake in the important thing fights.

– Do not know a lot about UFC 222? This is every part you want to know.

– Who will emerge victorious at UFC 222? SN’s MMA specialists give their picks.

– Brian Ortega admits to SN he is stunned at his sudden rise within the featherweight division.

– Is Frankie Edgar an all-time nice within the UFC? We rank the place he is at.

– Mackenzie Dern makes her extremely anticipated debut at UFC 222. We discover why endurance would be the key to her success.

Steven Muehlhausen is an MMA and boxing author and contributor for Sporting Information. You’ll be able to pay attention to his podcast, “The Struggle Junkies” right here . You possibly can e-mail him at [email protected] and may discover him on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA .