Cris Cyborg makes first defense of women’s FW belt, faces former women’s BW champion Holly Holm at UFC 219

Cristiane Justino

No ranking for the women’s featherweight division is available at this time but the defending champion Cris Cyborg makes her first defense of the belt by taking on former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm.  UFC 219 takes place December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, NV with one prelim webcast at UFC Fight Pass, four broadcast on Fox Sports 1, and five fights broadcast as a PPV.

18-1 Cris Cyborg, aka Cristiane Justino, hasn’t lost a MMA fight since her pro debut in May 2005.  Santos’ one “no contest” in December 2011 was due to flunking a post-fight drug test for stanozolol, since then the specter of performance enhancement has followed her but she has tested clean.  After five wins in Invicta FC Cyborg made her UFC debut in May 2016 with a TKO of Leslie Smith followed by a TKO of Lina Lansberg, both at a catchweight of 140 pounds.  Finally moving back to featherweight Cyborg won the inaugural women’s featherweight title with a TKO of Tonya Evinger in July.  Holly Holm seemed on top of the world in November 2015 when she defeated Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title, a fight that elevated her MMA record at that time to 10-0.  Unfortunately Holm then took three losses in a row first losing the belt to Miesha Tate then dropping decisions to Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie.  Holm’s most recent fight was at bantamweight against Bethe Correia in June, a bout Holm won by KO.

Holly Holm

The lightweight division takes the co-main event with #2 ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov facing #4 Edson Barboza.  24-0 Nurmagomedov holds eight wins in the Octagon since January 2012.  After taking just shy of two years off from April 2014-16 Nurmagomedov returned to defeat Darrell Horcher and #10 ranked Michael Johnson with the Johnson fight being his most recent from November 2016.  19-4 Barbosa is on a three-fight win streak with decisions over #13 Anthony Pettis and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez followed by a KO of #12 Beneil Dariush.

Prelims at UFC Fight Pass

  • BW: Tim Elliott vs. Mark De La Rosa

Prelims on Fox Sports 1

  • Flyweight: Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau
  • MW: Marvin Vettori vs. Omari Akhmedov
  • FW: Myles Jury vs. Rick Glenn
  • LHW: Khalil Rountree vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk

Main card

  • WW: Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • W Strawweight: Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carlo Esparza
  • LW: Dan Hooker vs. Marc Diakiese
  • LW: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Edson Barboza
  • W FW title: Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm