Published: Sun, March 04, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

UFC 222 Embedded, Episode 2: Heading Off To Battle

UFC 222 Embedded, Episode 2: Heading Off To Battle

Four weeks ago, featherweight champion Max Holloway pulled out of a main-event title defense against Frankie Edgar, due to a bum ankle. She wanted to judo throw me, and I go, 'I don't know. As she showed in her last fight, she has one weakness. I said that I needed to check my weight, train first and see how I'm feeling. "But she called me out and wants to fight me and now she has to fight and defend the belt". The Russian Kunitskaya will be making her Octagon debut following a title-winning performance over Raquel Pa'aluhi at Invicta FC 25 in August.

She has risen to the pinnacle of women's MMA after her first documented fight in 2005, when she suffered her one and only loss. "And at the same time, there were people who wanted to see me fight in the UFC and people who said I'm not ready for the UFC, so both ways, they want to see how I'm gonna do".

AP Images
AP Images

The odds were stacked against UFC 222 from the beginning, and now the top of betting boards across the valley reflect as much.

On episode two of UFC 222 Embedded, women's featherweight title challenger Yana Kunitskaya packs for her road trip to Las Vegas, as does reigning champion Cris Cyborg. She had -1700 odds when she defended her women's bantamweight title against Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on August 1, 2015.

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The 32-year-old's victory over Holm marked the first time she has gone the distance during her current nine-fight win streak. "I feel very blessed for this opportunity to fight again". However, even an incarnation of "Cyborg" in less-than-ideal shape presents as stylistic poison for Kunitskaya. She's a professional. She's more professional than I was when I was there.

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MMA has truly come along way as this is yet another pay-per-view that is being headlined by female fighters. If Justino wants to put the undersized Kunitskaya on the fence, she will do so.

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