UFC 250: Nunes vs. Spencer (TV: ESPN/ESPN+ PPV)
Saturday, June 6th, Early Prelims 6:00 PM ET, Prelims 8:00 PM ET ESPN/ESPN+, Main Card 10:00 PM ET ESPN+ PPV, UFC APEX (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Bantamweight Fight: Aljamain Sterling (18-3) vs. vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1)
Fight odds: Aljamain Sterling -115 Cory Sandhagen -105
Bantamweight Fight: Cody Garbrandt (11-3) vs. Raphael Assuncao (27-7)
Fight odds: Cody Garbrandt -140 Raphael Assuncao +120
Women’s Featherweight Title Fight: Amanda Nunes (19-4) vs. Felicia Spencer (8-1)
Fight odds: Amanda Nunes -650 Felicia Spencer +475
UFC 250 will once again be held from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada as it kicks off its June slate of fight cards. Following these fights a clearer picture of the bantamweight division will unfold with top contenders battling it out for supremacy after Henry Cejudo’s surprising retirement. Last Saturday, Tyron Woodley put on a disappointing performance against up and coming challenger Gilbert Burns. Woodley didn’t fight with the necessary heart and determination needed to once again regain the Welterweight Title. Burns fought with more energy, youth and urgency as he dominated the rounds, nearly submitting Woodley at the end of the 4th Round. Burns is now the #1 contender in the welterweight division, but it remains to be seen who current champion, Kamaru Usman will fight next. Burns set himself up nicely for a Title shot and appears to have the wrestling and striking skills to compete with anyone in the division. Woodley needs to decide on whether to retire or continue fighting and at 38 years of age his best days look to be behind him.
In the 3rd fight on the UFC 250 card, Aljamain Sterling will fight Cory Sandhagen in a matchup of top bantamweight contenders. Sterling is 30, 5’7 and 136 lbs. with a 71 inch reach. Sandhagen is 28, 5’11 and 135.5 lbs. with a 70 inch reach. Both these fighters are talented and this should be a close, competitive fight. However, Sandhagen may have the edge in stamina, striking and punching power. Sterling will need to fight with discipline because Sandhagen is capable of landing unorthodox attacks such as flying knees and can adapt quickly to out-maneuver his opponents.
Sandhagen is 12-1, with 4 wins by knockout and 3 by submission having beaten Raphael Assuncao by unanimous decision in his most recent fight back in August of 2019. Sandhangen has quickly impressed fight fans, but will have a tough challenge when he faces Sterling who has a similar body type and also possesses great speed and timing. Sterling is 18-3, with 2 wins by knockout and seven by submission. If Sterling is getting out-landed on the feet he will have to rely on his grappling, but Sandhagen has an advanced ground game as well making this a close fight wherever it is waged. Sandhagen should edge out a decision in a competitive fight because of his overall octagon activity and ability to push the pace.
In the Co-Main Event, Coby Garbrandt will take on Raphael Assuncao in a matchup of two bantamweights that are hungry to get a win after suffering some recent losses. Garbrandt is 28, 5’8 and 136 lbs. with a 65 inch reach. Assuncao is 37, 5’5 and 136 lbs. with a 66 inch reach. Garbrandt is the former bantamweight champion, winning the Title after putting on a virtuoso performance against Dominick Cruz back in 2016. Garbrandt is 11-3 and is coming off three straight knockout losses. Losing to T.J. Dillashaw twice and most recently to Pedro Munhoz in a back and forth fight has shown some weaknesses that Garbrandt has been working to correct. If he can’t beat an older and grizzled veteran in Assuncao, then his days as a top bantamweight are likely over. With 9 knockout wins, Garbrandt possess some scary power, but after his recent losses he doesn’t seem like the same fighter.
Assuncao is 27-7, with wins over Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, T.J. Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz, Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes. However, he is coming off two straight losses to Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen and will need a better performance to beat Garbrandt. With 4 wins by knockout and 10 by submission, Assuncao does most of his damage on the ground or grinding out decision wins with great fundamentals and compact strength. Assuncao has the experience and grappling advantages. Garbrandt has the height and punching power advantages.
Garbrandt needs to stay disciplined because his suspect chin can get clipped when he gets into a brawl as we’ve seen in his past 3 fights. Assuncao has only been knocked out once back in 2011 and has proven to be a durable fighter capable of competing with the best in the division. Despite his older age, Assuncao may have the edge in this fight, especially if he can control the distance and land some takedowns. However, Garbrandt is a decent grappler as most of his fights are fought on the feet because of his solid takedown defense. Assuncao should get the upset win by decision because Garbrandt is no longer the same fighter that beat Dominick Cruz.
In the Main Event the G.O.A.T. of women’s MMA, Amanda Nunes defends her Featherweight (145 lbs.) Title against Canadian challenger, Felicia Spencer. Nunes is 32, 5’8 and 145 lbs. with a 69 inch reach. Spencer is 29, 5’6 and 144.5 lbs. with a 68 inch reach. Nunes has fought the biggest names in women’s MMA and beaten everyone. Nunes is 19-4 with 13 wins by knockout, having beaten Valentina Shevchenko twice by decision and knocking out Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
Nunes is coming off a unanimous decision win over Germaine de Randamie in December of 2019 and will be making her first defense of her UFC Featherweight Title as she continues to be the champion at bantamweight simultaneously. The fact that Nunes can dominate two divisions puts her in rarefied air when it comes to combat sports and its great for women’s MMA and the UFC. The only fighter that has really tested her was Valentina Shevchenko when they fought in 2017 and Nunes won by split decision. A third fight is warranted especially because both Nunes and Shevchenko have struggled to find quality opponents since fighting each other. Shevchenko is the current champion at Flyweight (125 lbs.) and would likely want to avenge those two decision losses to Nunes. However, Nunes first needs to take care of Felicia Spencer.
Spencer is a powerful and large fighter than can overwhelm her opponents with force and grappling dominance. Spencer is 8-1 with 2 wins by knockout and 4 by submission. Submitting Megan Anderson in the 1st Round and fighting 3 Rounds against Cris Cyborg has made her a contender at 145 lbs. Despite losing by unanimous decision to Cris Cyborg, Spencer gained a lot of respect for not getting finished and showing she can compete against elite opponents. Coming off a 1st Round TKO win over Zarah Fairn Dos Santos, Spencer is facing her toughest challenge against Nunes. Nunes should have the edge in speed, punching power, striking variability and experience. Spencer may have the advantage in size and will need to take this fight to the ground, because she will likely get picked apart on the feet. Showing durability and a great chin, Spencer won’t be easy to finish and Nunes will likely have to work hard to land her most devastating strikes. Expect Nunes to find her timing against the slower Spencer and get another knockout win to further cement herself as the great women’s fighter in the history of MMA. Tune in for a great night of fights with UFC 250 on ESPN+ PPV.