Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (20-1-0, 1NC) used some vintage striking to overcome a dangerous ground position and secure a first round TKO of Invicta FC bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya (10-4-1) at UFC 222 in Las Vegas.

Kunitskaya started off quickly, landing a takedown and taking Cyborg’s back as she tried to get up. But the UFC featherweight champion shook it off to get back on her feet and land some right hands that dropped Kunitskaya. Follow up strikes forced referee Herb Dean to call the bout at 3:25.

With the win, Cyborg notched her 10th consecutive win and extended her unbeaten streak to 21 fights. In the post-fight interview, she set bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes as her next challenge.

Kunitskaya now has two losses in her last three contests. She indicated previously that she will return to the 135 pound division after this fight.

Sean O’Malley and Andre Soukhamthath earned Fight of the Night, while Brian Ortega and Alexander Hernandez earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts.

UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS 

JORDAN JOHNSON VS. ADAM MILSTEAD

WINNER: JORDAN JOHNSON VIA SD (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ADAM MILSTEAD VIA TKO

 

Andrews: A close fight but Milstead got outworked in the eyes of the judges.

#7 BRIAN CARAWAY VS. CODY STAMANN 

 

WINNER: CODY STAMANN VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRIAN CARAWAY VIA UD

Andrews: Another grinding bout.

MIKE PYLE VS. ZAK OTTOW 

 

WINNER: ZAK OTTOW VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:34

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MIKE PYLE VIA UD

Andrews: Pyle went out on his shield in his retirement fight. He had a good career. Good win for Ottow.

TSN 5 PRELIMS 

CB DOLLOWAY VS. HECTOR LOMBARD

UFC 222

 

WINNER: CB DOLLOWAY VIA DQ (LATE PUNCHES) R1 5:00

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CB DOLLOWAY VIA UD

Andrews: Lombard clearly slugged Dolloway after the Round One bell.  Good call by the referee to disqualify Lombard. There could be additional consequences for him.

#8 JOHN DODSON VS. #10 PEDRO MUNHOZ 

 

WINNER: JOHN DODSON VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOHN DODSON VIA TKO

Andrews: Dodson was too quick for Munhoz, but couldn’t get the finish.

#12 BENEIL DARIUSH VS. ALEX HERNANDEZ 

 

WINNER: ALEX HERNANDEZ VIA TKO R1 0:42

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA UD

Andrews: A bad move by Hernandez to fake touching gloves. He won, but no one cut him any slack going forward.

ASHLEY YODER (VS. MACKENZIE DERN (5-0-0)

 

WINNER: MACKENZIE DERN VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MACKENZIE DERN VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Dern is still putting everything together. Her striking and defence needs a lot of work. Bring her along slowly, and she will get there.

#6 CAT ZINGANO VS. #5 KETLEN VIEIRA

 

WINNER: KETLEN VIERA VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KETLEN VIERIA VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Zingano did well for being away for so long, but Vieira was feisty enough for the win.

#10 STEFAN STRUVE VS. #12 ANDREI ARLOVSKI 

 

WINNER: ANDREI ARLOVSKI VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: STEFAN STRUVE VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: No one could have predicted a 6-4 man taking down a 6-11 man five times in a bout. Good win for Arlovski, head-scratching loss for Struve.

SEAN O’MALLEY VS. ANDRE SOUKHATHATH 

 

WINNER: SEAN O’MALLEY VIA UD (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SEAN O’MALLEY VIA TKO

Andrews: It’s the question everyone is asking. Why didn’t Andre force O’Malley to stand in the last round? With O’Malley hobbling around, he was sure to take the fight via injury TKO. Instead he let a win slip through his fingers.

#2 FRANKIE EDGAR VS. BRIAN ORTEGA 

 

WINNER: BRIAN ORTEGA VIA TKO (PUNCH) R1 4:44

ANDREWS PREDICTION: FRANKIE EDGAR VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! No one saw that coming! Ultra-impressive finish of Edgar by Ortega, the first one to do it. And poor Frankie. He lost his title shot, but he’ll be back.

MAIN EVENT

CRIS CYBORG VS. YANA KUNITSKAYA 

 

WINNER: CRIS CYBORG VIA TKO R1 3:25

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CRIS CYBORG VIA TKO

Andrews Prediction: Yana made it interesting early but it became another Cyborg fight soon afterwards. Next.

@kenaiandrews