Featherweights - Cristiane Justino vs. Lina Linsberg
Current odds: Justino -1285, Lansberg +712. Over/Under u1.5-350
Invicta featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (16-1, 14 KOs) will meet Sweden’s Lina Linsberg (6-1, 4 KOs) at UFC Fight Night 95, which takes place at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil.
For now, Cristiane Justino is still a woman without a division in the UFC. “Cyborg” is widely considered the best women’s MMA fighter on the planet, but her inability to cut to bantamweight from 145 pounds leaves her in a tough spot. Currently, there is no women’s featherweight division in the UFC, nor does it look like one will be created any time soon.
But the UFC knows that Cyborg’s star power and savage, crowd-pleasing fight style belongs in the world’s biggest MMA promotion. So for now, the promotion is serving her with one-off fights against women brave enough to actually step into the cage with her.
After demolishing Leslie Smith last May, Justino will now meet Lina Linsberg in the main event of UFC Fight Night 95. The card takes place in Brazil, where Cyborg’s popularity will help bring fans in droves.
Linsberg will be making her UFC debut, and she is undefeated since a loss in her pro debut to Pannie Kianzad. The 34-year old has good knockout power, with 4 KOs in six career victories, but it’s questionable whether that will matter against the savagery of Cyborg.
Featherweights - Renan Barao vs. Phillipe Nover
Current odds: Barao -448, Nover +352. Over/Under o2.5-145
Former bantamweight champion Renan Barao will attempt to stop a two-fight losing skid in the co-main event, against Brooklyn’s Phillipe Nover. Not too long ago, Dana White proclaimed Barao the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world after a lengthy undefeated run. However, the Brazilian has lost three of his past four and needs to regain his footing.
Nover is the type of midlevel fighter that elites like Barao can pad their records with. Of course, this is a high-risk, low-reward situation for Renan at home. He’s expected to win easily, but another loss would send him spiraling down the ranks.
Heavyweights - Antonio Silva vs. Roy Nelson
Current odds: Nelson -419, Silva +332. Over/Under u1.5-200
Two-time heavyweight title challenger Antonio Silva will also step into the ring with fellow slugger Roy “Big Country” Nelson, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this fight marks either man’s last. Silva is just 1-5-1 in his past seven fights, and he has looked a shell of his former self since TRT was banned by the UFC. Nelson is 2-6 in his past eight, and his long, sometimes brutal career appears to be catching up him.
Although Silva vs. Nelson will have little actual impact in the heavyweight division, the big men are known to put on violent wars -- making this the “fun fight” portion of the card.
As usual for cards in Brazil, the event has native fighters in every single bout. And a good number of them are legit prospects with bright futures.
At 38 years old, Francisco Trinaldo has emerged as a fighter to watch at 155. He’s reeled off six straight wins inside the octagon and will face fellow prospect Paul Felder in a matchup that could lead to a top-15 ranking. Gilbert Burns owns an impressive 11-1 record with 10 finishes, and he’ll square off against the 20-2 Michel Prazeres.
A potential dark horse for fight of the night is a scrap between Alan Patrick Silva Alves and Scotsman Steven Ray. Both Alves and Ray are aggressive fighters who aren’t afraid to mix it up and throw leather, and can snatch submissions in the blink of an eye.
Cris “Cyborg” Justino will headline her first UFC card this Saturday when she meets Sweden’s Lina Lansberg in the main event of UFC Fight NIght 95 in Brazil. Long considered the best women’s pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Cyborg will again cut to 140 pounds to meet her opponent in a catchweight bout. Lansberg’s family might want to start preparing her eulogy. Continue...