Jun 4, 2020
Jun 4, 2020

UFC 250 preview: Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer

Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer betting preview and odds

Nunes and Spencer stats

Nunes vs. Spencer predictions: Where is the value?

Nunes and Spencer's fighting styles analysed

UFC 250 preview: Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer

Amanda Nunes is set to defend the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship for the first time as she returns to the octagon to face Felicia Spencer at UFC 250. Can ‘The Lioness’ enjoy an 11th successive UFC win or will the newcomer Spencer claim the belt in only her fourth UFC appearance? Read on to inform your Nunes vs. Spencer predictions.

Event: UFC 250

Date: June 6, 2020

Venue: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, US

Nunes vs. Spencer: Tale of the tape

Amanda 'The Lioness' Nunes

Fighter

Felicia 'FeeNom' Spencer

32

Age

29

175 cm

Height

168 cm

66 kg

Weight

66 kg

175 cm

Reach

173 cm

12-2-0

UFC record

2-1-0

19-4-0

Overall MMA record

8-1-0

7:50

Average fight time

7:27

51%

Striking accuracy

55%

Champion

UFC ranking

-

This bout was originally planned to take place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 9, but was rescheduled and relocated when Nunes pulled out due to an undisclosed injury and concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first fight at which Nunes will defend the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship, having originally won it by knocking out Cris Cyborg in 51 seconds at UFC 232 in December 2018. The belt joined Nunes’ Women’s Bantamweight Championship, making her the first woman in UFC history to become champion of two different divisions simultaneously and securing the #1 spot in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Both Nunes and Spencer have been in assured form entering the bout.

Nunes’ most recent fight saw her successfully defend the Bantamweight Championship against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245 in December 2019. This marked her tenth consecutive UFC victory, a run that has also witnessed five Performance of the Night awards and six first round wins.

Meanwhile, this is only Spencer’s fourth UFC bout to date, having joined the league after winning the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship. A defeat to Cyborg sandwiched victories against Megan Anderson and Zarah Fairn Dos Santos in her first three UFC fights, the latter of which was her last outing in the octagon at UFC Fight Night 169 in February this year.

Nunes has been in a confident mood entering the bout, claiming “As soon as I have an opponent, I know what she wants to do to me. I know what she’s going to look for and what she’s going to try to do. That has made me feel how I feel – secure, confident, strong and better than all of them.”

Spencer has also confirmed that she fancies her chances, stating “I’m a featherweight and she’s not used to dealing with that pressure and size. I am more excited, more prepared and more focused for this fight than any of my others.”

Analysing the Nunes vs. Spencer odds

Nunes is the favourite at 1.160*, which translates to just over an 82% probability of victory. By comparison, Spencer is the underdog and set at 5.450*, equating to an approximate 18% chance.

Spencer's recent odds have become accustomed to notable movements between open and close.

Among her last five bouts, the only one for which Nunes was priced shorter was in her TKO victory against Raquel Pennington, when she closed at 1.13. Of the five, Nunes was favourite for three, and on each occasion her odds shortened between open and close by an average margin of 0.09, implying those confident the Brazilian will earn another victory may enjoy narrowly better value by placing their bets sooner rather than later.

Conversely, those considering betting on Spencer may want to note that the underdogs who have recently faced Nunes witnessed their odds lengthen between open and close by an average margin of 1.07. This indicates that any bets on the Canadian could be well advised to hold off until fight night.

Pinnacle only offered odds for Spencer’s last three fights. Of these, she was underdog for two (winning one) and secured a victory as favourite against Dos Santos. Spencer’s recent odds have become accustomed to notable movements, rising to 2.80 from 1.95 ahead of her victory versus Anderson and falling from 5.81 to 4.05 in the days leading up to her defeat to Cyborg.

The market implies that she has a worse chance of winning than many of Nunes’ recent challengers, with her odds shorter than only Pennington (6.63), but longer than all of Cyborg (1.53), Valentina Shevchenko (1.72), de Randamie (4.00) and Holly Holm (4.33).

Nunes vs. Spencer: Fighting styles analysed

Nunes adopts an aggressive orthodox stance featuring a palpable reliance on securing early knockouts. Of her 19 MMA wins, 13 were attained via knockout, of which ten came in the opening round. She seeks to achieve this with measured, direct attacks aimed at her opponents’ heads, with 60% of her significant strikes targeted at them and 71% launched from a standing position.

Nunes is a skilled all-round fighter whereas Spencer has crafted a reputation as a submission specialist.

However, Nunes’ skillset boasts enough strengths elsewhere for her to be considered a formidable all-round fighter. A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, she records a decent takedown accuracy rate of 47% and has consistently proved that she is versatile enough to manoeuvre bouts in order to win via submission or over the distance when the situation requires.

Naturally, any analysis of Nunes’ fighting style is accompanied with the caveat that these stats and reputation are predominantly informed by Bantamweight bouts. Her victory against Cyborg that won the Women’s Featherweight Championship is her only competitive UFC appearance in the division, representing less than a minute of action.

In MMA, Bantamweight is defined as 57.2 to 61.2 kilograms whereas Featherweight is 61.7 to 65.7 kilograms. As a result, she will likely be in bulkier shape than normal for the fight, which could assist her in landing powerful strikes but may reduce her agility and thus ability to defend herself.

Spencer has somewhat crafted a reputation as a submission specialist, with half of her eight MMA victories to date secured in such a manner. She often launches frenzied attacks to weaken her opponents and leave them susceptible to being wrestled to the ground.

She is notably unconcerned with defence in her attempts to do so, as reflected by the fact that she both lands more significant strikes per minute than Nunes (4.54 to 4.34) and absorbs considerably more (6.27 to 2.63).

Despite this, when it comes to actually taking her opponents off their feet, the emphasis is on quality as opposed to quantity. Spencer edges Nunes on striking accuracy with 55% to 51% and only averages 1.36 takedowns per fight to Nunes’ 2.33, while both record an attempted submission rate of 0.70 per 15 minutes. This indicates that Spencer only requires limited opportunities to take control of a fight from the ground.

Earning a submission victory against Nunes will be a daunting task. Not only she can vaunt an 80% takedown defence rate, but her lone submission defeat in her MMA career came in her first ever fight back in March 2008. Spencer will need to be wary that there will be an incredibly narrow margin for error if the opportunity to wrestle Nunes to the floor presents itself.

All of this indicates that should the two fighters adopt their usual strategies, the opening rounds of this bout could be particularly fast-paced and ferocious. Nunes will prime herself for a firm, swift knockout, whereas Spencer will seek to hurt her with frantic strikes from the start in a bid to craft opportunities to tackle her off her feet.

Nunes vs. Spencer: Where is the value?

It is straightforward to raise an argument justifying why Nunes is the overwhelming favourite for this bout. Aside from the fact that she enters as champion and on the back of a particularly impressive winning run, she has consistently demonstrated an ability to defeat a broad range of opponents, including several that some would rate as having greater prowess than Spencer.

Nunes to enjoy another quick first round win against Spencer seems an obvious value bet.

With this in mind, Nunes to enjoy another quick win seems an obvious value bet. A first round knockout victory will be her presumed aim, and Spencer’s defence-lite approach could leave her in immediate trouble if Nunes edges the opening exchanges. Spencer’s best hopes of claiming the belt arguably rely on Nunes being in particularly poor form and the challenger turning in a borderline flawless performance.

For those who do favour Spencer, history dictates that opting for the Canadian to record a submission victory is the most proficient route to lengthening your odds. All but one of her four MMA submission wins were achieved in the opening two rounds.

That indicates that irrespective of who you back, the fight to be a swift one is worth considering and bets should steer clear of the bout lasting the distance and being settled by decision. The Over/Under for rounds is set at 1.5, with 1.540* for over and 2.550* for under.

Looking forward to UFC 250? Make sure to check out Pinnacle's predictions for all the other bouts on the night.

Odds subject to change

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