Being the only female fight on the UFC 163 card in Brazil, these two females will look to put on a show against a blood thirsty Brazilian crowd. Both of these fighters are known to put it all on the line as soon as the gates close and quickly look for a knockout. “The Lioness of the Ring” Amanda Nunes (10-3 MMA) is making her UFC debut in her home country of Brazil, surprisingly after coming off of a decision loss in Invicta FC to Sarah D’Alelio. Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff (10-5 MMA) is also coming off a loss in which she was tko’d by rising female star and silver medal Olympic wrestler Sara McMann. at UFC 159.
“The German Tank” has a very appropriate nickname as her striking style can be summed up with one key word: blitzkrieg. Gaff throws punches throwing caution to the wind with high power and high volume. She’s even known to throw a kick or two in there, but is mostly looking to punch her opponents head off. Three of the knockouts in her professional MMA career have happened at 30 seconds or less (:10, :08, :30) and one submission was also completed at the :30 second mark. Of Gaff’s 10 wins, 6 have come by way of knockout and 4 have come by way of submission proving she can finish the fight wherever it goes, but she is generally looking to keep it on the feet to bang it out with her opponent. The intentions of Gaff are very obvious – to finish whoever is standing across from her in the cage. Quickly.
Amanda Nunes is also no stranger to a good brawl, although she is able to keep her composure more so than her opponent. Nunes is known for throwing straight punches which will give her a bit of an advantage when exchanging punches as Gaff is known for throwing a massive assault of hooks at her opponents. Nunes will have a five inch reach advantage that will allow her to land the first punch; a very beneficial stat to have over your opponent when they are looking to land a powerful hook on you. Nunes has an innate ability to out box her opponents as well as time her punches effectively and keep a good range allowing her to pick her opponents apart.
It, again, is very obvious that Gaff is going to look through her World War II textbooks and have a very blitzkrieg influenced strategy in this fight. Gaff will look to blitz her opponent possibly dropping her to the ground where she will look to finish by TKO or possibly even grab hold of a submission if she finds Nunes is vulnerable in a certain area of grappling. Graff has a very overpowering style of fighting, so if Nunes lets her push her around it is going to be a short night for “The Lioness.” Nunes will look to avoid the power strikes of Gaff and utilize her reach, much like Rory MacDonald recently did against Jake Ellenberger, as well as circle away from the power strikes of “The German Tank” which could result in a very frustrated Gaff.
Prediction: Amanda Nunes def. Sheila Gaff via unanimous decision.
Personally, I believe that Nunes will go through the tape of Gaff and find most of her glaring weaknesses: that she has a hard time utilizing her aggression effectively and keeping control of it, and that she relies on closing the distance to land any form of power shot on her opponent. Nunes will effectively circle away from the power side of Gaff, landing frustrating jab after jab. Gaff will wear down throughout the fight, but I do not believe Nunes will commit to enough power punches to put Gaff away.