What’s next for Megan Anderson after loss at UFC 259?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Megan Anderson (11-5) finally got her shot at the featherweight title. Anderson was originally supposed to get her title fight back in December, however, Amanda Nunes (21-4) had to push back the fight a couple of months.

When the UFC brought Megan Anderson in, many considered her to be a future title contender. Anderson was the Invicta featherweight champion and she had a lot of skills that made her a formattable opponent for anyone at 145 pounds.

Up until Saturday night, Anderson was 3-2 inside the octagon with losses to Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. However, she was coming off of back-to-back first round stoppages which earned her the shot at the UFC‘s two-division champion.

Anderson had an extremely tall task on Saturday night. Amanda Nunes has looked unstoppable over her last eleven fights. The two-division champion also seems to do her best work at 145 pounds when she doesn’t have to cut extra weight.

Megan Anderson was a massive betting underdog entering UFC 259 and the fight played out that way. Anderson looked extremely nervous and tentative in the cage. As soon as Nunes hit her clean for the first time, you knew she was in trouble.

Anderson retreated and Nunes swarmed. The UFC champion pummeled Anderson with more shots that forced a desperate takedown attempt. Nunes easily defended and locked up a triangle armbar to get the first round submission and retain her title.

What’s next after UFC 259?

Unfortunately for Megan Anderson, there are not a lot of options for her at the moment in the UFC. The women’s featherweight division is extremely shallow and they don’t even have a rankings system due to the lack of fighters.

With that, it’s hard to tell what’s next for Anderson. Dana White’s Contender Series makes it’s return in June and perhaps the UFC will look to add more 145 pound women through the upcoming season. More talent means more options for Megan Anderson.

When it comes to current UFC options, one fighter to look at is Leah Letson (5-1). Letson was a semifinalist on season 28 of The Ultimate Fighter. She hasn’t fought since her 2018 win over Julija Stoliarenko, but she’s gearing up for her return to the octagon.

However, the most likely option would be the winner of the Felicia Spencer – Danyelle Wolf fight. This matchup is expected to take place in May. Whoever wins won’t likely warrant a title shot so a fight with Anderson would make sense. No matter how you slice it, there aren’t a lot of options at featherweight.

After another dominant title defense at UFC 259, what’s next for Amanda Nunes?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Amanda Nunes (21-4) defended her featherweight championship against Megan Anderson (11-5). Anderson’s physical attributes figured to give Nunes a new challenge that she wasn’t used to.

Anderson is very tall and she has good range striking as well as submissions. However, were those attributes going to be enough was the big question. The answer was emphatically no at UFC 259.

From the opening bell, Anderson looked extremely tentative. Her eyes were very wide and she had the look of someone who didn’t want to be there. Shortly into the first round, Nunes landed her first big bomb.

Anderson took the shot well, but she looked horrified. Nunes pushed forward and landed more shots that had Anderson hurt badly. Anderson shot for a desperation takedown, but Nunes ended up on top.

Once the UFC‘s two-division champion was on top, it didn’t last long. From the top, Nunes was able to lock up an inverted triangle choke. She transitioned that to a triangle armbar and Anderson was forced to tap. A beautiful performance by Nunes.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After this performance, it appears that the featherweight division will be put on ice for a bit. The UFC has no plans to close the division with Nunes’ desire to remain a two-division champion, but there simply aren’t any challengers there at the moment.

With that, Nunes will return to bantamweight for her next fight. As of now, it appears that the UFC is leaning towards having former Ultimate Fighter winner, Julianna Pena (10-4) challenge Nunes. This is a decision that I don’t personally agree with.

While Pena has been vocal about her desire to fight Nunes, she’s ranked sixth in the division. She was put to sleep by Germaine De Randamie (10-4) just a few months ago. Having Pena jump the line just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me even if there’s beef there.

Trilogies or Beef?

In my opinion the two women I’m interested in Nunes fighting next at 135 is De Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko (20-3). Shevchenko and De Randamie both have something in common. They are unbeaten inside the UFC outside of their fights with Nunes.

Shevchenko is 0-2, but many (including myself) through that she actually won the second matchup with Nunes. The UFC’s flyweight champion is defending her title in April, and if she wins, we could see the trilogy.

However, out of the contenders at 135, nobody is more deserving than De Randamie. Yes, she’s lost to Nunes twice, but she’s beat everyone else at 135. She showed great improvement on the ground against Pena and she showed that she can strike with Nunes.

Ultimately, I believe the UFC will go down the path of Julianna Pena. Again, this is something I don’t agree with, but at the end of the day, the promotion does a lot of things that the media doesn’t agree with.

UFC: Holly Holm injured and out of Julianna Pena fight

A highly anticipated matchup in the UFC‘s women’s bantamweight division is off. We learned tonight that former bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (14-5), has sustained an injury and is out of her May matchup against Julianna Pena (10-4).

Julianna Pena tweeted out the news about the Holm injury as she was watching UFC 259. At this time, there is no word on what the injury is for Holly Holm or how long she will be out of action.

Holm had one of the best performances of her career last October on Fight Island. She looked better than ever and she appeared to be heading for another shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

To get that shot at the title, she was going to have to beat Pena. Pena is currently ranked sixth in the bantamweight division while Holm is ranked second. At this time, there are rumblings that the promotion might do something different with Pena, but this entire situation is fluid.

What will the UFC do?

Depending on the injury news, the UFC could always rebook this fight at a later date. If the injury is relatively mild and the fight can be pushed back to June, I could see the promotion moving in that direction.

However, if Holm is going to need more time, the promotion will likely look at different options for Julianna Pena. Pena has been very vocal about her desire to fight two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (21-4).

Nunes just defended her featherweight title at UFC 259. However, Pena has a steep uphill climb to convince the promotion to give her the next bantamweight title fight. The reason is because the number one ranked contender, Germaine de Randamie (10-4) just put her to sleep in October.

My guess is that De Randamie will likely get the next shot at the bantamweight title. Yes, she’s fought Nunes and lost twice already, but she’s the most deserving. You can’t give Pena that shot when she was just put to sleep by De Randamie.

I know she’s coming off of a loss, but perhaps a fight with Irene Aldana (12-6) could be next. Or even a shot against Aspen Ladd (9-1). Both contenders are ahead of Pena in the rankings and would make for quality opponents.

Amanda Nunes demolishes Megan Anderson in one at UFC 259

In the co-main event of UFC 259, we saw the return of the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time. Two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4) was back to defend her featherweight title against top contender, Megan Anderson (11-4).

This was Nunes’ first fight since she became a mother in late 2020. The last time we saw Nunes was at UFC 250 when she completely destroyed Felicia Spencer over the course of five rounds.

Nunes has won eleven fights in a row leading up to UFC 259. Every person the promotion has put in front of her, outside of Valentina Shevchenko, she’s destroyed. She was the massive betting favorite in tonight’s co-main event.

Megan Anderson is the former featherweight champion in Invicta. When she made her UFC debut a couple of years ago, people were thinking of her as a potential champion. However, she’s only gone 3-2 in five fights so far with the UFC.

Her two losses have come against Holly Holm and Felicia Spencer. Both of those opponents were dominated by Nunes which is why Anderson was nearly a +800 underdog on some sites heading into tonight’s fight.

UFC 259 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 259 co-main event opened and the champion had a big smile on her face. The two touch gloves and Anderson started moving forward. A good low kick lands for Nunes to start her striking.

Anderson was switching stances and Nunes lands a massive overhand right. Another massive right hand lands and Anderson is wobbled badly. Nunes pushes forward and drops Megan Anderson with a big shot.

The UFC champion was beating Anderson badly here in the first. Nunes locks up a triangle choke and this one is over. Anderson taps and Nunes retains her featherweight championship.

Amanda Nunes def. Megan Anderson by Submission (Triangle Armbar) – Round 1

UFC 259 Preview: Amanda Nunes – Megan Anderson

In the co-main event of UFC 259, we will see the return of the greatest female mixed martial artist of all time. Amanda Nunes (20-4) is back and she is set to defend her featherweight championship against Megan Anderson (11-4).

The Lioness has now won eleven fights in a row and she’s almost appeared non-human during this run. The two-division UFC champion has dominated virtually everyone the promotion has put in front of her outside of Valentina Shevchenko.

Amanda Nunes is the complete package. She has dynamite in her strikes, she’s got very good wrestling, and she’s incredibly slick on the ground. There used to be a narrative that Nunes didn’t have the best gas tank.

I mean, that was fair considering her cardio was the reason she lost to Cat Zingano. However, this Amanda Nunes is not the same fighter. We just saw her beat Felicia Spencer for five consecutive rounds and she looked like she could fight five more rounds.

The greatest women’s fighter in UFC history is not going to be dethroned easily. Simply put, Megan Anderson has an extremely tall order. Since making her debut with the UFC, Anderson has gone 3-2 with her two losses coming to Felicia Spencer and Holly Holm.

Both of those women were destroyed by Nunes, so by MMA Math, Anderson has no chance right? Well, Anderson has won two in a row to earn this UFC title shot and she appears motivated and confident in her ability to pull off the unthinkable.

UFC 259 Prediction

There are some attributes that Megan Anderson has that give her a chance at UFC 259. She’s very tall and long which is something that Nunes is not used to. Perhaps if Anderson can keep this fight at range, she can fluster the champion.

Her long legs give her decent submissions off her back which she might need in this fight. In addition to those, she has good pop in her shots and has a very good right cross. However, will any of those attributes matter when it comes to the UFC 259 co-main event?

I can’t imagine any scenario where Amanda Nunes doesn’t win this fight. She’s going to have the grappling advantage and she will have a massive advantage in terms of speed. Anderson might have good power, but she’s going to get lit up by the speed of the shots from Nunes.

It would take a miracle for Anderson to pull this off and I don’t see that miracle happening. This is Nunes’ first fight since becoming a mother and I believe it’s going to be smooth sailing for the champion.

This is going to be a very one-sided fight that I don’t see going the distance. I believe that Nunes is going to hurt Anderson badly on the feet and this fight ends up on the ground in the second where Nunes secures the win at UFC 259.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

Does Julianna Pena deserve a title shot after UFC 257?

This past weekend at UFC 257, Julianna Pena (10-4) took on Sara McMann (12-6) on the prelims. After losing the first round, Pena performed very well on Saturday night and ended up pulling off a rear-naked choke in the third round.

It was a big win for Julianna Pena and the win put her at sixth in the UFC‘s bantamweight rankings. However, the headlines weren’t surrounding the performance. The headlines were around the post-fight interview.

After the fight was over, Pena called out the UFC‘s two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4). Pena said that Nunes was ducking her and that a fight between the two women needed to be made.

Nunes immediately clapped back on Twitter saying, “Ducking? You couldn’t even make yourself a contender for me.” The notion that Amanda Nunes is ducking Julianna Pena is completely ridiculous and the callout didn’t make sense from that perspective.

I completely understand calling out the UFC champion. However, the reality is that Nunes has never dodged Pena. In fact, Nunes is correct in that Pena has lost both of her title eliminator fights that would have earned her a shot. So after her win at UFC 257, does Julianna Pena deserve the next shot?

A UFC title shot for Pena?

The simple answer her is no. Julianna Pena’s win at UFC 257 does not warrant a title shot. We can’t forget the fact that Pena was just put to sleep by Germaine De Randamie (10-4) a few months ago.

Julianna Pena is 2-2 since 2016 and neither one of those wins came against top five competition. That resume doesn’t warrant a shot at the UFC bantamweight title and the greatest of all time in Amanda Nunes.

For Pena to get a title shot, she’s going to need to beat someone in the UFC’s top five. However, I will say that nobody in front of her would make for a more compelling matchup against Nunes.

Nunes has already defeated de Randamie twice and she knocked out Holly Holm (14-5). The two most compelling contenders outside of Holm and de Randamie are Pena and Aspen Ladd (9-1). Ladd is currently recovering from a knee injury.

I think the best play for the UFC is to pair up Holm against de Randamie for the second time. In addition, they should book Pena against Aspen Ladd. The winner of Ladd and Pena would provide a compelling new challenger for Amanda Nunes. However, to be clear, Julianna Pena shouldn’t jump the line.

In the UFC’s women’s divisions, who will be a champion after 2021?

This week I’ve gone through all of the men’s divisions in the UFC. From flyweight to heavyweight predicting who will walk out of 2021 with a title around their waste. Well, what about the women’s divisions?

The UFC‘s four women’s are currently controlled by three of the very best fighters in the world. Amanda Nunes (20-4), Valentina Shevchenko (20-3), and Weili Zhang (21-1) stand on top of the four divisions.

Nunes reigns over the UFC‘s featherweight and bantamweight divisions. Shevchenko is the queen of the bantamweights while Weili Zhang is the champion at strawweight which is the best division in women’s MMA.

This year there plans to be a number of exciting female matchups in the UFC. As mentioned, the strawweight division is completely stacked and there is the potential of some super fights between champions in 2021.

The UFC is planning for a massive year in 2021 and the women figure to be a big part of that. The question then becomes, will any of the current champions lose their crowns in 2021?

UFC champions after 2021

Strawweight – Weili Zhang

In my opinion, the UFC champion that has the highest chance of losing in 2021 is Weili Zhang when it comes to the women. That’s not a knock on her at all, but it’s more of a testament to how good the strawweight division is.

That said, I believe that she will still be the UFC strawweight champion after 2021 is over. Weili only fought once in 2020 and it was the fight of the year. She defended her title against arguably the greatest strawweight of all time, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4).

At UFC 248, Weili showed me something we hadn’t seen from her yet. She showed that she can really dig down deep in a tough fight. Joanna pushed her to the limit, but Weili was game for five rounds and won a split decision.

Her first test of 2021 will likely come against Rose Namajunas (9-4). Thug Rose is the number one contender, but there have been hurdles in making the fight. Should it get made, I’m expecting another fantastic matchup.

However, in the end, I think that Weili Zhang is just the better fighter overall. If she loses in 2021, I really don’t believe it’ll be at strawweight. Her only loss would be if she moves up to take on the UFC’s flyweight champion.

Flyweight – Valentina Shevchenko

You can make the argument that the best female fighter in the UFC is Valentina Shevchenko. Of course as long as Amanda Nunes is the champ-champ, she will hold onto the number one spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

However, you can make the argument that Shevchenko actually defeated Nunes the last time they fought at UFC 215. Nunes won by split decision in a fight that I actually scored for Shevchenko.

The reality is, there is no one at 125 pounds that I see posing a threat to Shevchenko. Her first title defense of 2021 will come against Jessica Andrade (21-8). The former strawweight champion made her flyweight debut with a bang in October.

She was able to stop Katlyn Chookagian in the first round with body shots. Andrade definitely has the power to make it interesting, however, I just don’t see her being able to hang with the overall skillset of Shevchenko.

Bantamweight & Featherweight – Amanda Nunes

This is another easy one. Outside of Valentina Shevchenko, who can really challenge Amanda Nunes in 2021? She’s defending her featherweight title against Megan Anderson (11-4) at UFC 259.

Anderson should give Nunes some interesting challenges given her height and range. However, does anyone really believe that Megan Anderson will be the one to dethrone Amanda Nunes?

Nunes is on another level from most of her competition. She is the greatest female fighter to ever live. Nunes holds two victories over Shevchenko, she’s knocked out Cris Cyborg, she’s knocked out Ronda Rousey, she’s knocked out Holly Holm, and I could go on.

It is truly something special to watch her compete inside the octagon. 2021 is going to be interesting in that I could see the UFC pairing Nunes and Shevchenko up a third time. The only way Nunes or Shevchenko lose in 2021 is if they fight each other.

Honestly, I don’t know how that fight would go. Of course you’d have to favor Nunes. However, Shevchenko has all the skill to be able to hang with her. It’s a superfight that I desperately want to see in 2021.

UFC rebooks Petr Yan – Aljamain Sterling

The UFC has finalized the much anticipated bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3). MMA Junkie was the first outlet to report that the sides had finalized the new fight date.

The UFC bantamweight title fight will officially take place on March 6th at UFC 259. The PPV card is turning out to be quite the spectacle as the promotion has already booked Adesanya – Blachowicz and Nunes – Anderson for UFC 259.

Now, we get to add Yan and Sterling to the mix. Yan has looked untouchable since he made his octagon debut back in 2018. He’s gone on a seven fight run that has led him to the undisputed bantamweight title.

After Henry Cejudo (16-2) vacated the bantamweight title after UFC 249, the UFC decided to pair Yan up against the former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7). Yan was tested early on, but in the end, he dominated and finished Aldo in the fifth round.

It turned out to be a devastating performance as Yan captured the bantamweight championship. Yan looks like he’s going to be incredibly tough to beat, however, his opponent on March 6th seems very much up to the task.

Sterling’s UFC title shot

There is nobody in the UFC that is more deserving of a title shot than Aljamain Sterling. Sterling was arguably the top bantamweight contender alongside Yan prior to the Aldo fight.

However, prior to Cejudo fighting Dominick Cruz (22-3) at UFC 249, Cejudo was supposed to fight Aldo. Aldo couldn’t travel due to the pandemic so Cruz stepped in. Despite Sterling being ranked higher, Aldo got the title shot against Yan because he had been promised one previously.

Sterling had to wait and fight Cory Sandhagen (13-2). Sandhagen looked like he was going to be incredibly tough to beat, however, Sterling went right through him and choked him unconscious in less than 90 seconds.

For his win, Sterling was given a title shot against Yan in December. However, Yan had to pull out of the fight and the UFC has been working on a replacement date. They have found one on an incredibly stacked card on March 6th.

Three Superfights the UFC can make in 2021

Conor McGregor, UFC

2021 is promising to be a big year for the UFC. The world’s leader in mixed martial arts had a very good 2020 despite the global pandemic. Now, the promotion is poised to capitalize and have an even bigger 2021.

They are starting their year with an incredible three-fight run on Fight Island ending with the rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) at UFC 257. The UFC is starting out the year with a bang.

There are so many big matchups that the UFC is already talking about booking. You have Israel Adesanya (20-0) moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz (27-8) at UFC 259. Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) is moving up to heavyweight to go for the UFC heavyweight title.

These are fights that are already set in stone. However, there are some major superfights that the UFC could attempt to make in 2021. These fights would depend on the fighters winning early in the year, but if they do, there’s a big opportunity for the promotion.

UFC Superfights in 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov – Conor McGregor 2

Dana White recently said that the UFC will attempt to make this fight happen should McGregor win at UFC 257. What makes this fight hard to pull off is getting Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) to agree to it.

White is planning on talking with Khabib on Fight Island about his future. Khabib retired after he defended his title at UFC 254, however, White said that he’s going to try to convince him to come back.

Should McGregor win in January, there’s not a bigger fight the UFC could make in terms of dollar signs. McGregor is the biggest star in the sport, but Khabib is a big star on his own. The two men hate each other and a brawl ensued after their first fight.

In my opinion, they are going to get the chance to make this happen. I believe that McGregor will win at UFC 257, and then eyes will turn to the talks between White and Khabib. If Khabib agrees to it, it might be the biggest UFC PPV of all time.

Jon Jones – Israel Adesanya

There is no questioning that Khabib and McGregor would be the biggest PPV seller. However, the biggest superfight the UFC could make between two fighters in 2021 is the potential matchup between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya.

Jones is considered to be the greatest fighter that the UFC has ever seen. Adesanya is looked at as the new-breed who is on his way to becoming the UFC’s biggest superstar. Stylebender is attempting to become a two-division champion at UFC 259.

These two men have long talked about fighter each other. Jones is currently preparing to fight for the heavyweight title in the summer. If Jones is able to win and Adesanya is able to win at UFC 259, the two men would control three titles.

There has never been a potential superfight where the champions of three combined divisions would face off. Combine that with the personal animosity and you have the makings for a massive fight that could take place at the end of 2021.

Amanda Nunes – Valentina Shevchenko 3

This might not be a superfight that everyone wants to see, but it’s sure one I want to see. UFC two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4), taking on the UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (20-3), for a third time.

Both of these champions are so dominant in their divisions that nobody truly questions whether they will win their next fight or not. The debate is more centered around how they will win their fights.

These two have fought twice before with Nunes winning both. However, their fight at UFC 215 in 2017 was razor close. I’ve watched the fight a few times and I can see the argument for the judges giving it to either fighter.

The lack of challenges in their divisions is truly a testament to the dominance of the two champions. Their next challenges are set as Nunes will take on Megan Anderson while Shevchenko will fight former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade.

Should both win, I think the UFC should seriously think about the trilogy. It would make all the sense in the world, and I don’t think there are UFC fans out there who would complain about seeing these two greats fight one more time.

UFC: State of the Amanda Nunes divisions entering 2021

As we get ready to enter 2021, the UFC‘s bantamweight and featherweight divisions are still controlled by the GOAT, Amanda Nunes (20-4). Nunes has held both titles since December of 2018 when she knocked out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232.

Since making her UFC debut back in 2013, Nunes has gone 13-1 with her lone loss coming to Cat Zingano. That fight occurred when Nunes will still coming into her own inside the octagon.

After that loss, she’s hardly looked human. Only Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie have even been competitive. Every one else has been destroyed by Nunes inside a UFC octagon.

In 2020, we only saw the two-division champion once. She defended her featherweight title against Felicia Spencer back at UFC 250. It was one of the more one-sided title fights you will ever see in the UFC.

Nunes was scheduled to face Megan Anderson (11-4) at UFC 256, but she had to pull out of the fight. The fight has been rescheduled and Megan Anderson will get her shot at the two-division champion at UFC 259.

UFC Bantamweight & Featherweight Overview

Nunes has said that she plans on being very active in 2021. She wants to defend both of her titles and her current plan is to fight at bantamweight after this first title defense against Megan Anderson at featherweight.

After Anderson, it’s not clear on what’s next for Nunes at featherweight. The UFC has been trying to acquire talent for that division, however, they still don’t have enough to even fill out the rankings.

Bantamweight is a different story. The clear number one contender in the division is de Randamie. Germaine de Randamie made her UFC debut back in 2013 and she has only been defeated twice in the octagon.

Both of those losses came to Amanda Nunes. Last December, the two fought at UFC 245. Nunes clearly won the fight, but de Randamie showed that she has the ability to stand up with the champion. De Randamie just fought and put Julianna Pena to sleep with a choke in October.

A fight that I could see the UFC doing is the rematch between de Randamie and Holly Holm. Holm is the former bantamweight champion and she’s won two straight. Her last performance against Irene Aldana was sensational.

Holm and de Randamie fought for the featherweight title back in 2017 with de Randamie edging that one out. I could see the UFC putting those two together in a title eliminator while Nunes defends at featherweight.

While these divisions won’t see a lot of fresh faces and new contenders, it’s still going to be fun watching Nunes continue her UFC reign in 2021. Maybe someone can pull off a miracle and dethrone her. Time will tell on that one.