Dubai: For someone who has beaten most of the biggest names in MMA, Brazil’s Amanda Nunes was always going to take top billing on a blockbuster UFC 250 card at the Apex Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, where she defends her featherweight title for the first time against Canadian schoolteacher Felicia Spencer.
The 32-year-old Nunes (19-4-0) has not lost since UFC 178 in 2014 when she was stopped by Cat Zingao. Since then she has ploughed through the likes of Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Raquel Pennington, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm and, finally Germane de Randamie, whom she defeated in December.
The big question is whether Spencer, who is a sixth grade algebra teacher at Florida Virtual School, can brush aside the Nunes aura and deliver her a lesson in mixed martial arts.
Having only joined the UFC in March last year after compiling an undefeated 6-0 record in Invicta FC, she makes what will only be her fourth appearance in the UFC Octagon where she has won two of her fights having lost by decision to Cyborg last July.
Saturday’s 12-bout event also features some intriguing match-ups between bantamweight contenders Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao, plus Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen.
However, all eyes will be on the Nunes vs Spencer fight as the girls get their chance to shine in the Octagon spotlight, even if there are no fans present, and but with a worldwide audience glued to their television screens.
Nunes returns to the 145lb division for the first time since her thunderous first round knockout of Cyborg in December 2018. She will also be seeking to finish a woman that nobody has been able to put away.
UFC 250 takes place at the Apex Arena in Las Vegas, Nevand with the main card beginning at 10pm ET (6am Sunday in the UAE).
Nunes and Spencer are expected to hit the Octagon about 8.15am UAE.
Fight Island getting set to open
Meanwhile, UFC boss Dana White revealed that plans were progressing well at his ‘Fight Island’ location with June 27 the likely date for it to make it debut.
“It’s insane to even be trying to do this, but I promise you we will do it and we will pull it off,” White said on the sixth and final episode of “Talk the Talk” podcast with boxing Eddie Hearn and former British cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew.
“I believe doing this is going to help grow the sport immensely and financially. In many different ways, it is going to help build the sport. I know we can do it.”
Featherweight: Amanda Nunes vs Felicia Spencer
Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao vs Cody Garbrandt
Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling vs Cory Sandhagen
Welterweight: Neil Magny vs Anthony Rocco Martin
Bantamweight: Eddie Wineland vs Sean O’Malley
Featherweight: Alex Caceres vs Chase Hooper
Middleweight: Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert
Bantamweight: Cody Stamann vs Brian Kelleher
Welterweight: Vicente Luque vs Niko Price
Middleweight: Charles Byrd vs Maki Pitolo
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Flyweight: Alex Perez vs Jussier Formiga
Light heavyweight: Alonzo Menifield vs Devin Clark