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Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer, odds and analysis

Breaking down the main event from UFC 250:

Amanda Nunes (-650) vs. Felicia Spencer (+475)

Spencer is a natural featherweight whose arsenal is based on karate, Muay Thai and BJJ. This will be her fourth UFC fight. She’s 2-1, with her sole defeat a tightly contested three-round loss to highly regarded Cris Cyborg.

Besides a vast experience deficit, Spencer is two inches shorter and gives away an inch of arm and leg reach to the champion. If Spencer has any chance to win, she’ll need to press Nunes, smash her against the cage and take the champion to the mat and earn top position.

Spencer must at all costs avoid any prolonged standup with Nunes, and the best way to do that is to press and attack to earn inside position. That will allow Spencer to muffle some of the power and snap from Nunes’ strikes and lethal kicking game. The risk of this most apparent game plan is the tremendous risk it puts Spencer in as she tries to jump right into the fire.

Nunes has competed for or defended the title in seven straight scheduled five-round championship bouts in bantamweight and featherweight. She’s arguably one of the top two women’s mixed martial artists today. She has won 72 percent of her fights via KO or TKO, and her 80 percent takedown defense will help counter Spencer’s attempts to take her to the mat.

Spencer’s size, toughness and grit will make this interesting, but on top of her inexperience, there’s this: Fighters in position to experience “Octagon jitters,” meaning inexperienced fighters in a debut fight — and in this instance the main event in a pay-per-view event for the UFC — have won 26 percent of their fights since 2013.


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