The UFC makes its usual return to Las Vegas for their end of the year fight card.
UFC 219 caps off a year that saw Conor McGregor take a year off from the Octagon, Ronda Rousey disappear into obscurity after another devastating KO loss, Jon Jones face another lengthy suspension and Georges St-Pierre vacate the UFC middleweight title weeks after returning from a 4-year layoff to capture the belt. In summation, it's a year that ends with the UFC's biggest stars shelved for various reasons.
The UFC weathered the storm and delivered arguably the best PPV card of the year, UFC 218, in early December. Fans should expect the same this weekend as Cris Cyborg, the UFC's most unlikely champion, headlines the last PPV card of the year.
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Cris Cyborg is the most dominant champion in women's mixed martial arts history — there's no debating that. She's been undefeated for over a decade and has shown the ability to dominate the best 145-pounders in the world. UFC President Dana White has had his back-and-forth with Cyborg but in the end, even he knows what she brings to his promotion. He's created a division around Cyborg, the women's featherweight division is the only UFC weight class without a full roster and rankings, but White knows that rankings don't pertain to Cyborg.
At this point, it is Cyborg v.s. the world and she's winning in a landslide.
Next to challenge Cyborg — Holly Holm, who holds the greatest upset in the short history of the UFC women's divisions. Her knockout of Ronda Rousey shocked the world but a win over Cris Cyborg has the ability to be even bigger.
That leads us to our list of reasons why you should attend UFC 219 on Dec. 30.
1. HOLM KICKS CYBORG'S FACE OFF
Despite being a multiple time world champion boxer, Holly Holm has made it a trademark to finish women with her kicks. The famous Ronda Rousey head kick is played before every UFC event and in every Holm fight promo. Cyborg's constant aggression could walk her right into the business end of Holm's foot.
2. CYBORG WRECKS HOLM IN TYPICAL CYBORG FASHION
More likely than a Holm KO is Cyborg just bullying Holly and making the fight look completely one-sided. Holm is content fighting a chess match — Cyborg is the type to smash the board over someone's head. It'll be interesting to see how Holm handles the pressure.
3. KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV WRESTLES BEARS
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been considered by many the greatest lightweight MMA fighter in the world, Conor McGregor included, but he's had trouble staying healthy and making weight. Those aren't problems this weekend and he's ready to showcase his unique wrestling style. The man has wrestled bears... Real bears.
4. CARLOS CONDIT LOVES BLOOD
With a nickname like the Natural Born Killer does it truly surprise you that the man has a history of bloody fight? Condit alone is worth the price of admission on most nights, so adding him to a card like this is just a cherry on top.
5. CYNTHIA CALVILLO IS FIGHTING COOKIE MONSTER
Carla Esparza isn't the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street but she's just as hungry. The first UFC strawweight champion of the world has had good and bad moments since losing her title in 2015 but sees herself in line for another title shot with a win. Standing in her way is the relative UFC newcomer Cynthia Calvillo. Calvillo has the co-sign of both Dana White and Team Alpha Male, which means a win probably lands her a shot at new champion Rose Namajunas.