A women’s featherweight title fight between current Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Yana Kunitskaya will now headline UFC 222 in Las Vegas on March 3rd.
The UFC had struggled hard to find another title fight to fill the void when the originally planned headliner between the men’s featherweight champion Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar fell through with only a month to go until the event.
In the end they’ve ended up with a curious match-up given that all the talk recently had been of Cyborg engaging in a superfight with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes later this year.
Instead, the 145lb queen will go hunting for her fifth UFC win in a row against a UFC newcomer, the 28-year-old Kunitskaya, who does have experience of fighting at featherweight, but in recent time has been plying her trade at bantamweight.
The Russian fighter joins from the Invicta FC promotion, where she had just won the vacant bantamweight title against Raquel Pa’Aluhi by way of unanimous decision.
Prior to that Kunitskaya had fought on two other occasions for Invicta, with her debut back in November of 2016 having led to an upset title victory by submission over Tonya Evinger that was later amended to a no-contest due to controversy over the referee’s involvement in the stoppage, followed by an immediate rematch, which she lost by submission.
Now she’s faces a daunting prospect going up against Cyborg, who is unbeaten in the past 12 years and is coming off title victories over the aforementioned Evinger and Holly Holm inside the Octagon over the course of the past year.
Along with Cyborg Vs Kunitskaya being confirmed as UFC 222’s main event, it’s also now been confirmed that Frankie Edgar will also stay on the card with a previously reported match-up against rising star Brian Ortega.