Originally scheduled to take place at UFC 256 this past month, Amanda Nunes will defend her featherweight strap vs. Megan Anderson as the main event at UFC 259 on March 6 next year. Barring cancellations, the card is expected to also feature two-time bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and light-heavyweight contender Aleksandar Rakic (#4), among others.
As I reported last month, Nunes withdrew with an undisclosed injury. Anderson responded by sending her well wishes on social media, though a rescheduled date was always on the agenda.
Anderson, in the midst of preparing for her first UFC title challenge here, is 3-2 in the promotion and has won all three fights via first-round finishes (one KO, one TKO, one submission).
Her last display back in February this year earned her Performance of the Night bonus honours, blasting Norma Dumont Viana in just under four minutes.
Nunes last defended her featherweight strap in June at UFC 250, where she was utterly dominant against a spirited Felicia Spencer showing.
Widely regarded as the greatest female fighter of all-time, Amanda simultaneously holds the 135 and 145-pound titles and is currently enjoying a six-year unbeaten streak.
She and her partner, #5 ranked UFC strawweight Nina Ansaroff, celebrated the birth of a daughter back in September.
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Ansaroff is poised to make her return after almost a two-year layoff on April 10 against Mackenzie Dern (#11). Contracts haven’t yet been signed and as we’ve become accustomed to, cancellations are ever-present during unprecedented times.
Dern earned a unanimous decision win over Virna Jandiroba (#13) at the aforementioned UFC 256 on December 12 but will undergo surgery this week after breaking her nose mid-fight.
She’s expected to make a full recovery in good time to train for the bout, though a medical suspension means caution must be advised and she’ll receive the requisite medical attention.
SCHEDULED UFC 259 BOUTS, AS IT STANDS
Running order to be decided:
UFC Women’s featherweight title: Amanda Nunes (c) vs Megan Anderson
Light-heavyweight: Aleksandar Rakic (#4) vs Thiago Santos (#2)
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez (#2) vs Askar Askarov (#3)
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz (#10) vs Casey Kenney
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev (#13) vs Drew Dober (#15)
Welterweight: Jake Matthews vs Sean Brady
Bantamweight: Randy Costa vs Trevin Jones
Lightweight: Uros Medic vs Aalon Cruz
Already, there are a few notable UFC dates for the diary:
January 16 – featherweight: Max Holloway (#1) vs Calvin Kattar (#6)
Jan. 23 – lightweight: Dustin Poirier (#2) vs Conor McGregor (#5)
February 13 – welterweight title: Kamaru Usman (c) vs Gilbert Burns
Feb. 27 – light-heavyweight: Dominick Reyes (#3) vs Jiri Prochazka (#5)
Picture source: MMAJunkie, DAZN