clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare - Idiot's Guide Preview to Amanda Nunes vs. Shayna Baszler

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know for the women's bantamweight matchup involving an aging pioneer, and an improving prospect in Amanda Nunes vs. Shayna Baszler.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Before Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare take center stage, two women in the bantamweight division try to steal the spotlight from the men in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Ginasio do Maracanazinho on March 21, 2015.

The Match Up

Women's Bantamweight Amanda Nunes 9-4 vs. Shayna Baszler 15-9

The Odds

Women's Bantamweight Amanda Nunes -450 vs. Shayna Baszler +360

3 Things You Should Know

1. Shayna Baszler needs to concentrate less on pro wrestling labels, and more on prolonging a once respectable career.

Like a small section of snobbish, appletini sipping MMA observers, I'm always just modestly annoyed by having to talk about pro wrestling. Sure, MMA has its roots in it. Some great work has been written about it, in fact. But I don't have to give thanks to every domesticated ungulate that contributed to my steak dinner either.

Shayne Baszler might be wise to consider said point, as she needs to concentrate more on her training, and less about what kind of pro wrestling homages she thinks are cute. If this preview is coming across as a little vindictive, I apologize. But the Four Horseman schtick is silly, and I regret knowing it. More to the point, the spirit of the pro wrestling ancients has not been harnessed in any way if Baszler's bouts against Bethe Correia and Alexis Davis are any indication. Baszler is a fairly gifted fighter. This entire tangent about pro wrestling feels fitting; women's MMA owes a lot to pioneers like Baszler, but efficiency worships at the alter of the present, not the past. And Baszler is quickly becoming a relic.

2. Nunes has been a little inconsistent despite the early hype, but at 26 years of age her status as a prospect deserves a modest benefit of the doubt.

Nunes hasn't really delivered on the promise she once showed as the Cyborg type female wrecking machine. Some of has been stylistic matchups, but most of it has come from her inability to adapt/improve her cardio over the years. Nunes is 2-1 in the UFC, with her lone loss coming against Cat Zingano. It was a fairly tough fought battle that saw Nunes get stifled in the clinch despite an early onslaught of brutal ground and pound that probably would have finished half the planet. Just not Cat.

3. While Baszler is the proper underdog, Nunes is flawed enough to make this bout a prolonged affair, which is precisely what you're hoping for if you're betting on Shayna.

Nunes is purely an interval fighter. She looks like a world beater in spots, and then a jobber in others. However, she's got incredible power in her strikes when she's able to let loose. And she's just as effective with her power in top control as she revealed against Zingano.

Baszler's best bet is to utilize movement and avoid exchanges early on that way she can have a full tank going into the 3rd, where she can pressure Nunes into a grappling exchange. Nunes has strong knees, but can never get set in the clinch. She seems to just flat out overthink the position. I still wouldn't bet on Nunes being ineffective early, especially with Shayna's takedown attempts. So...


Amanda Nunes by TKO, round 2.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow