Cris Cyborg is only a day away from defending her UFC women’s featherweight title against former Invicta FC bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya. Another woman who held that belt is Tony Evinger, who knows both women in the main event of UFC 222 very well. Not only has she fought Cyborg, but she fought and beat Kunitskaya back in their old home and now she’s not giving the former opponent much hope to beat Cyborg.
“I definitely think Cyborg is going to take this pretty easy. It’s not even a close fight. Yana [Kunitskaya] isn’t close to that level or even prepared. She’s just taking it for the money. I heard someone try to compare her to Holly Holm because they train together, but big whoop. It’s not like over the last six months this girl has gotten so amazing that she is going to go in and win the 145-pound belt. That’s ridiculous.”
— UFC (@ufc) February 27, 2018
“If I was Cyborg, I would bang this chick out and try to knock her out right away. Go back to the old style and try to get a bonus and put some scary thoughts out there for the weight class. Is there [any game plan that would work]? I don’t really see her having any kind of game plan that will beat Cyborg on any level. I don’t know what she could do better in that amount of time. Maybe you spend your time running a little bit, but it’s not like she’s going to take her down or beat her standing up.” — Tonya Evinger speaking to ESPN.
Tonya Evinger was technically beat once by Yana Kunitskaya, but it was due completely to a referee mistake. Evinger put her foot on Kunitskaya’s head to pull out of an armbar which was incorrectly thought to be illegal by the ref, Evinger had to stop defending and got tapped but the decision was overturned and Evinger won in the rematch. It seems like in Evinger’s eyes, the only way Kunitskaya can hope to defeat Cris Cyborg this Saturday is another fluke.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2018.