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UFC 222: Cyborg vs Kunitskaya Fantasy Rewind


Cris Cyborg proved once again why she is arguably the greatest female mixed martial artist of all-time as she put on another dominant performance to cap off UFC 222 on Saturday night from Las Vegas.

The reigning and defending UFC women's featherweight champion survived an early takedown from newcomer Yana Kunitskaya to quickly change the momentum of the fight once she got back on her feet.

Cyborg was punishing with her striking combinations as Kunitskaya just had no answer for the aggression and power that she was facing in the Octagon.

Finally, Cyborg put an end to the contest with a straight right hand down the middle followed up by some vicious ground-and-pound as she earned the first-round finish.

Cyborg was a massive favorite going into the card and she proved why with a first round stoppage for her second straight UFC title defense. A whopping 92 percent of fantasy players picked Cyborg to win, with 93 percent then predicting that she would win by knockout, and that's exactly how it played out.

While the main event went as expected, it's tough to believe anybody would have guessed the result of the co-main event as Brian Ortega became the first fighter in history to finish Frankie Edgar with a spectacular first-round knockout. Now the odds on this fight were fairly even, with Ortega as a slight underdog, with 40 percent of fantasy players picking him, but the overwhelming majority at 71 percent believing a win would come by way of submission rather than knockout.

Sean O'Malley fought through a foot injury to pick up a win over Andre Soukhamthath in what ended up as the Fight of the Night at UFC 222. O'Malley was selected by 76 percent of fantasy players, while also scoring an extra 120 bonus points because his fight was such a tight matchup on paper.

Andrei Arlovski pulled off a solid upset over Stefan Struve in heavyweight action with just 34 percent of fantasy players picking the former heavyweight champion.

The biggest upset on the main card took place in the women's bantamweight division, with Ketlen Vieira remaining undefeated with a win over former title challenger Cat Zingano. Vieira was selected by just 23 percent of fantasy players, but the Brazilian came through with a dominant win to take one more step towards title contention in the UFC.

On the preliminary card, highly touted newcomer Mackenzie Dern had to gut out a split decision over Ashley Yoder to get her first win in the UFC. Dern was a heavy favorite with 80 percent of fantasy players picking her, but the submission specialist definitely had a real fight on her hands through all three rounds before securing the victory.

John Dodson was another heavy favorite to win, with 86 percent of fantasy players correctly predicting his victory over Pedro Munhoz

The most lopsided upset also happened on the preliminary card as Alexander Hernandez floored Beneil Dariush in a lightweight bout where the UFC newcomer had just 11 percent of fantasy players picking him to win. The other upset on the preliminary card happened in the lead off FS1 bout, as CB Dollaway scored a win over Hector Lombard while also earning the players who selected him an extra 120 points.

Zak Ottow also got a win as an underdog, with 40 percent of fantasy players picking him to win over veteran welterweight Mike Pyle, who decided to call it a career following this contest.

Cody Stamman also pulled off the upset over Bryan Caraway in a hard-fought split decision with just 37 percent of fantasy players predicting his win on Saturday night. A night filled with upsets started that way as well, with Jordan Johnson squeaking by Adam Milstead with 43 percent of fantasy players correctly predicting that outcome.

All told on Saturday night, UFC 222 produced eight upsets according to selections made by fantasy players, with only four victories coming to the favorites on the card in one of the most topsy-turvy events in recent memory.