Get ready for a champion versus champion fight in 2018.
“First of all, Amanda Nunes wants to fight her. Amanda Nunes wants to fight Cyborg. That is the fight to make and that is the fight I will make. That's the fight,” White told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday.
Following her win over Holly Holm this past weekend at UFC 219, Cyborg said she was happy to fight Nunes, but also mentioned a showdown with former Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson.
Cyborg had put out a post on Wednesday claiming she had accepted a fight with Anderson for UFC 221 in Australia, but then later that same day, Anderson denied ever being offered the fight and said that work was still being done to put the match-up together.
Now it appears the UFC is going in a completely different direction with Nunes getting the next shot at Cyborg instead.
While the UFC has been hesitant to do champion versus champion fights in the past, it appears 2018 will be filled with them as Cyborg vs. Nunes joins flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who is expected to take on bantamweight king T.J. Dillashaw later this year as well.
It's unfortunate for Anderson to have the fight dangled in front of her for a moment and then pulled away, but the match-up between Cyborg and Nunes makes sense for the UFC.
Not only does Cyborg get another huge fight, but Nunes is stuck without an opponent right now at 135 pounds after top contender Raquel Pennington suffered a broken leg that forced her out of action for an undetermined amount of time. Add to that, Nunes has competed at 145 pounds previously and a fight with Cyborg would be just about the biggest possible bout the UFC could put together in either of the women's divisions.
“Amanda Nunes is a big, strong, powerful puncher. I think she matches up very well with Cyborg, too, and I think that's a fun fight,” White said. “That's the fight to make.”
By the sound of things, White plans to move quickly to get that match-up made as the UFC starts to put together plans for the next few pay-per-view cards to kick off 2018. UFC 222 in March still needs a main event and the UFC hasn't even scheduled anything for April yet so Cyborg vs. Nunes would seemingly fit on either of those events.
“Cyborg wants to fight so we'll get her a fight as soon as we can get it done, as soon as Amanda can prepare and get ready for this fight,” White said. “We're ready to roll.”
(Video courtesy of Kevin Iole | Photo courtesy of UFC)