UFC 222: Cyborg vs Kunitskaya Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

 

UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya will air on March 3, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(C) CRISTIANE “CYBORG” JUSTINO (19-1-0, 1 NC) vs YANA “FOXY” KUNITSKAYA (10-3-0, 1 NC)
This is a five-round main event for the women’s featherweight championship. Cyborg brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving her aggressive knockout power and grappling control. She is a former Strikeforce Featherweight Champion and the current UFC Featherweight Champion. Kunitskaya brings boxing, Muay Thai and taekwondo giving her knockout power with little grappling control. Two knockout artist is always fun to watch: Cyborg is no one to joke around with. Her Muay Thai and boxing are downright dangerous and could be a brutal beating waiting to happen to Kunitskaya. Kunitskaya has Muay Thai and taekwondo to give her edge, but it doesn’t look to be close to enough. Cyborg does not look to be losing the gold and in this fight, she will prove once again why she is the most dangerous female athlete in the world. My prediction: Cyborg wins via TKO in Round 1.

#2 FRANKIE “THE ANSWER” EDGAR (22-5-1) vs #3 BRIAN “T-CITY” ORTEGA (13-0-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round co-main event in the featherweight division. Edgar brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him great knockout power with grappling control and cardio. He is also a former lightweight champion. Ortega brings boxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control leading him to remain undefeated. A striker versus a grappler is always terrible matchup; this one─on the other hand─might be interesting to watch. Ortega might not stand up to the striking ability to Edgar, but he has great jiu-jitsu to outclass Edgar. Edgar will be pressuring him harder than ever. If Ortega does not keep his defense up then this fight will be over for him before he knows it. My prediction: Edgar wins via unanimous decision.

SEAN “SUGAR” O’MALLEY (9-0-0) vs ANDRE “THE ASIAN SENSATION” SOUKHAMTHATH (12-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. O’Malley brings boxing, kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control leading him to a perfect record. Soukhamthath brings striking with some grappling giving him knockout power and grappling control. Both have great striking: O’Malley’s boxing is just beyond Soukhamthath’s level. Soukhamthath does have more wins but does not have any focus of striking or grappling for the matter. In that case─O’Malley will unload heavy strikes until Soukhamthath can no longer take it and goes right to sleep. My prediction: O’Malley wins via knockout in Round 2.

#10 STEFAN “THE SKYSCRAPER” STRUVE (28-9-0) vs #12 ANDREI “THE PIT BULL” ARLOVSKI (26-15-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Struve brings kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. Arlovski brings boxing, kickboxing, sambo, judo and jiu-jitsu giving him deadly knockout power with grappling control. He is also a former heavyweight champion. Two heavy hitters─Arlovski has shown to have lost his striking power from previous fights. Yes, Struve has not been able to withstand strikes lately either; Arlovski looks much slower than his usual self. With that in mind, Struve will be using his reach advantage making the fight harder on Arlovski. Unless Arlovski somehow lands a massive uppercut this fight looks to be over with one punch from Struve. My prediction: Struve wins via TKO in Round 2.

#6 CAT “ALPHA” ZINGANO (9-2-0) vs #5 KETLEN “FENOMENO” VIEIRA (9-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Zingano brings Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving her knockout power and grappling control. Vieira brings kickboxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu giving her knockout power and grappling control. Two aggressive female athletes will collide, however, Vieira seems more well-rounded.  Zingano has great Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu; Vieira─on the other hand─has greater kickboxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Even with Zingano being away from the octagon for almost two years will probably have an effect on her performance. If Zingano can get the top control she’ll take the fight. Though she does not seem to have the ability to outclass Vieira in this fight. My prediction: Vieira wins via submission in Round 3.