Cyborg Stops Kunitskaya, Ortega Finishes Edgar

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Cris Cyborg successfully retained her UFC Women’s Featherweight Title against Yana Kunitskaya in the main event of UFC 222 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was the UFC debut for Kunitskaya, the former Invicta bantamweight champion. This bout was set up on three weeks’ notice following the cancelation of Featherweight Champion Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar.

Cyborg got off an overhand right away, putting Kunitskaya down almost immediately. But Kunitskaya was able to transition to top game. Cyborg tried to stand up, but Kunitksaya got behind Cyborg in a back clinch, unsuccessfully attempting a choke.

The two got into a clinch war against the cage. After a couple of minutes, on the break of the clinch, Cyborg landed a strong knee and over the top hand to knock Kunitskaya down. While the challenger got up, Cyborg nailed another overhand and unleashed some big ground-and-pound before the fight was stopped.

“Three weeks notice. Anybody, anytime, anywhere,” Cyborg said after the fight.

This now gives Cyborg 20 professional wins, including a perfect 5-0 record in the UFC. Cyborg has not lost since her 2005 professional debut.

Following the win, Cyborg called out UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. The two are rumored for a match later in the year, possibly at UFC 226 this summer.

“I wait for Amanda Nunes. She called me out,” Cyborg said. “When you call Cyborg out, you have to handle it.”

In the co-main event, Brian Ortega provided quite possibly the highlight of the night by finishing Frankie Edgar in a featherweight title eliminator. This was Edgar’s first time getting finished and his first loss in a three-round bout since 2008.

Edgar was the aggressor early on in the fight during the feeling-out process. Ortega fired a three-jab combo, but Edgar came back with a flurry of punches. After a couple of overhand rights from Edgar, the two traded leg kicks and a brief exchange. Ortega attempted a jumping knee, followed by a kick; however, Edgar grabbed the kick but doesn’t get the takedown.

Then, Ortega suddenly fired off a head kick and combination, that rocked Edgar and sent him to the mat, with the referee forced to stop the bout.

UFC 222 Main Card (10 p.m. ET, PPV):
UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship: (c.) Cris Cyborg def. Yana Kunitskaya via TKO (Rd. 1, 3:25)
UFC Featherweight Title Eliminator: Brian Ortega def. Frankie Edgar via KO (Rd. 1, 4:44)
Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley def. Andre Soukhamthath via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Andre Arlovski def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira def. Cat Zingano via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

UFC 222 Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1):
Women’s Featherweight: Mackenzie Dern def. Ashley Yoder via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Alexander Hernandez def. Beneil Dariush via KO (Rd. 1, 0:42)
Bantamweight: John Dodson def. Pedro Munhoz via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Middleweight: C.B. Dollaway def. Hector Lombard via DQ (hit after the bell) (Rd. 1, 5:00)

UFC 222 Early Preliminary Card (6:30 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass):
Welterweight: Zak Ottow def. Mike Pyle via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:34)
Bantamweight: Cody Stamann def. Bryan Caraway via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Light Heavyweight: Jordan Johnson def. Adam Milstead via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)

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