UFC 250: Nunes vs Spencer Prediction
By Alex Conway
The UFC pay-per-view schedule resumes tonight with a women’s featherweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and former Invicta featherweight champion Felicia Spencer.
While this card doesn’t have the sizzle most fans are looking for when trying to decide if they should shell out $65 (in the United States anyway), the fights themselves have interesting angles and of course, long-term ramifications for the fighters involved.
Amanda Nunes vs Felicia Spencer
To the untrained eye this fight might feel like a stay busy fight for Amanda Nunes and the UFC. While the UFC has been eager to get their schedule back into a regular rhythm, booking fights is going to largely depend on who is available.
While Nunes and Spencer is a fine fight, it would almost certainly be a co-main event for most pay-per-view events. But don’t let the fan sentiment around its price tag fool you, this is a historical fight.
Nunes is attempting to become the first fighter in UFC history to defend titles in two separate weight classes while holding both belts. Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo have also defended belts in two divisions but had already relinquished their second belts before making that effort.
This is also the first women’s featherweight defense that doesn’t involve Cris Cyborg. This speaks to the lack of depth and commitment the UFC has made to the weight class.
While the UFC hasn’t done much to build this division into a marquee attraction, Felicia Spencer has all the tools to make the division one of the bigger storylines of the year 2020.
Spencer has been highly impressive in her UFC career with two stoppage wins and a gritty performance in a losing effort against the aforementioned Cyborg.
Her skills also seem to line-up perfectly to exploit Nunes’ weaknesses. She’s got a top-heavy grappling game, is tough to put away and is the naturally bigger fighter.
Nunes is dramatically better on the feet. She clearly hits harder. She has also gassed in the past.
In her last fight when she wasn’t able to put away Germaine de Randamie, it took everything in her not to give away her bantamweight belt to an uncalculated error from exhaustion.
Her only UFC defeat was against Cat Zingano in 2014. She got off to a big start where she almost finished Zingano, but then when the finish didn’t materialize Zingano was able to take her down and finish her with vicious ground and pound.
Spencer has been really good at pushing opponents behind the two black lines and then clinching her opponents against the cage. Against Cyborg, she was able to cut her opponent with a nice elbow to the forehead. She is also adept at getting to her opponents back and then putting in her leg hooks and dragging the fight to the ground.
If Spencer can weather the early storm, this fight will get real dramatic. I’m predicting a knockout finish for Nunes simply because I can’t bring myself to pick Spencer when Nunes has the best body of work of any female fighter ever.
But I will not be entirely surprised if Spencer pulls off the upset in the most unpredictable year the UFC will ever see.