UFC returns to Las Vegas this weekend for another show behind closed doors. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse previews the main fight...
"It’s worth noting Spencer lost to Cyborg recently but Nunes beat the same opponent in convincing fashion"
Amanda Nunes v Felicia Spencer
Live on BT Sport
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas this weekend when staging UFC 250 at the new UFC Apex. A promotion that was originally scheduled to take place in Brazil, it'll be the second show staged in Sin City following the sport's return from lockdown.
Five bouts make up the main card and that's supported by a busy preliminary card. The event will take place behind closed doors meaning the only way to keep up to speed is through the live TV coverage. In form Amanda Nunes takes on the progressive Felicia Spencer in a top of the bill bout from the women's featherweight division.
Nunes brings red hot form
Brazilian MMA star Nunes arrives in Vegas enjoying the best form of her career and the 32-year-old will be desperate to extend her winning run. The Lioness from Bahai is a former bantamweight who has moved up a division. She enters the octagon with a fearsome professional record reading 19 wins against four defeats. Even more impressive is the fact she hasn't suffered defeat since 2014 when losing to Cat Zingano on UFC 178.
Since that reverse, Amanda has rhymed off 10 impressive wins on the bounce, driving her through the rankings. On closer inspection we note no less than half of those have come by knockout. Of the other five there have been three points victories and two submission. The fighter in red hot form was last seen beating Germaine de Randamie on the scorecards late last year in Las Vegas on UFC 245. That win saw her defend the UFC bantamweight championship belt.
Her winning ways hasn't gone unnoticed amongst bettors making their call on the outcome of this weekend's bout and Nunes is favourite on the Betfair Exchange. Those looking to stick with the Brazilian will find 1.21/5 available. There's more to get excited about in the method of victory. Another KO/TKO is 1.4840/85 with a second points verdict in two fights 43/1.
Spencer bounced back to winning ways
Spencer may prepare for this challenge as the underdog in the betting but her stats prove she is here on merit and more than good enough to spring a surprise. The 29-year-old Canadian fighting out of Florida has a background in BJJ, Taekwondo and kickboxing. She has experience fighting in the lightweight division but has moved down a category, establishing herself as a featherweight.
Feenom's pro MMA card details eight wins against one defeat. Of her victories, four have come from submission, two by knockout and the other couple on the scorecards. The single loss in her career was inflicted by Cris Cyborg on UFC 240 in Canada last summer. That was a unanimous decision but Spencer showed character to bounce back to winning ways at the earliest opportunity, beating Zarah Fairn Dos Santos by KO earlier this year.
This represents a major step up in class from her last outing but Felicia has been the busier of the two fighters of late and will hope that sharpness pays off when this bout gets going. She is a 5.59/2 underdog on the betting but that shouldn't put you off. We've seen several high profile upsets behind closed doors since UFC returned last month.
Favourite has won three of four by KO
The pre-fight betting suggests this will be a one-horse race but that won't be the case. Spencer is a strong fighter with great technique who has her own career goals. She certainly won't be happy to simply make up the numbers and prove a good name on her opponent's card.
It's worth noting Spencer lost to Cyborg recently but Nunes beat the same opponent in convincing fashion in late 2018. The jolly is a real pound-for-pound star capable of boosting her stock with another impressive win. Three of her last four wins have come by KO and that leads us to a method of victory bet. With four of her last seven won in the opening round, more of the same is worth an interest bet at 2.727/4.
Nunes in round 1 @ 2.727/4