UFC 259 Preview & Predictions Nunes vs Anderson
By Cathal Geeney
The only reigning two-weight champion in the UFC takes to the octagon on Saturday night to defend her featherweight title for the second time.
The Brazilian is regarded by many as the greatest female martial artist of all time and has amassed a very impressive eleven fight win streak (eight consecutive title victories).
Her sole UFC loss came against Cat Zingano back in 2014 where Nunes was comprehensively defeated and her grapping was exposed somewhat.
The Lioness has clearly worked extremely hard since and has evolved into a different fighter. Nunes has added a high-level grappling game to her powerful striking. Working off her jab, she will add powerful hooks and an array of kicks, while constantly walking her opponent down. And if required, she will mix in a takedown to exert her dominance, as she demonstrated against accomplished strikers such as Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie.
This will be the biggest test of Megan Anderson’s MMA career to date. The female featherweight division is without doubt the weakest division in the organisation in terms of depth and this has worked in the favour of Anderson in being presented with a title shot with a UFC record of three wins and two losses.
The Australian will hold a four-inch height and three-and-a-half-inch reach advantage heading into the octagon on Saturday night and utilising her reach to fight long will be her best chance of success. Her confidence will be growing coming off two consecutive victories, particularly after demonstrating in her last outing that that she has got the power to finish a fight with one shot.
However, Anderson has struggled to dictate the terms of engagement in the past and preventing the takedown has been a weakness. In Anderson’s last two losses, against Holm and Spencer, she was outclassed in the grappling department and Nunes will be confident that she can enjoy success here.
This is a big ask for Anderson. A victory for the thirty-one-year-old would go down as one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.
But I can’t see her coming out on top. Nunes should have the advantage wherever this fight goes- striking, in the clinch, on the mat, so I am taking the Brazilian two-weight champ in this one.