In the main event of UFC 222, Yana Kunitskaya didn't blink at the tall task in front of her, but Cris Cyborg proved she's in a completely different stratosphere with a dominant first-round TKO win to defend her UFC featherweight championship. Cyborg (20-1) hasn't lost a fight in the past 13 years.
Kunitskaya (10-4) came out and immediately forced the clinch and was very aggressive in the grappling exchanges. But Cyborg was able to defend each takedown attempt and eventually worked her way off the fence. Once she was back in striking range, Cyborg began landing right-handed bombs and Kunitskaya went down. Cyborg jumped on her and landed some devastating ground-and-pound to force the stoppage. In her post-fight interview, Cyborg said she will face UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in a super-fight. Cyborg said she initially didn't want to fight a fellow Brazilian, but, "she called me out and when you call out Cyborg, Cyborg will answer."
In the co-main event, Brian Ortega became the first man to finish Frankie Edgar in the UFC with a first-round KO. With the win, Ortega (14-0) earned a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway. It's Ortega's fifth straight win, all of which have been finishes.
Edgar (22-6) came out with his trademark pace and pressure, utilizing footwork and movement to get inside and land strikes. Ortega had a visible size advantage and was able to defend well. As Edgar rushed in, Ortega caught him with a hard elbow that wobbled him. Edgar is known for being able to survive when he's hurt, so Ortega remained composed as he closed in for the finish. He landed a devastating uppercut floored Edgar and landed a couple punches on the ground before the referee stepped in. Ortega took the fight on three weeks' notice when Holloway was forced to withdraw from UFC 222 with a leg injury. Edgar now presumably loses his title shot, so it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Cris Cyborg def. Yana Kunitskaya via TKO (punches) at 3:25 of Round 1
- Brian Ortega def. Frankie Edgar via knockout (punch) at 4:44 of Round 1
- Sean O'Malley def. Andre Soukhamthath via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
- Andrei Arlovski def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Ketlen Vieira def. Cat Zingano via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Mackenzie Dern def. Ashley Yoder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Alexander Hernandez def. Beneil Dariush via knockout (punch) at 0:42 of Round 1
- John Dodson def. Pedro Munhoz via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- C.B. Dollaway def. Hector Lombard via disqualification (late punches) at 5:00 of Round 1
- Zak Ottow def. Mike Pyle via TKO (punches) at 2:34 of Round 1
- Cody Stamann def. Bryan Caraway via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jordan Johnson def. Adam Milstead via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)