Canadian Felicia Spencer enters Saturday’s UFC 250 featherweight title fight against Amanda Nunes as a massive underdog to the two-division champion.
Rather than run from the odds, Spencer is confident that she’s going to get the job done in the main event bout, no matter who is considered the favourite.
"I love the underdog status, I hope I’m always the underdog in a way,” Spencer said on Thursday. “It’s just nice to know what you’re capable of and hopefully on that night bring it out and execute what you know you can do. In this case, being such a big underdog, hopefully shock the world.”
The Montreal native was supposed to get her shot at the featherweight crown on May 9 at the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Nunes’ home country of Brazil, but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the event now taking place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Spencer will not have to face the partisan crown in Sao Paulo, though she was ready to perform in that environment as well.
"I always just roll with the punches and I’ve been in crowds that boo me and I know the Brazilian fans are very proud of their Brazilian champions,” said Spencer. “It would’ve probably felt a little different, but honestly none of that either intimidated me or scared me. I was excited to go to Brazil and my team was excited to go. “
Spencer earned her title shot with an impressive TKO victory over Zarah Fairn in February, but really put herself on the map when she went toe-to-toe with former featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in a fight she lost last July. Having already experienced the UFC’s big fight feel, the former Invicta featherweight champion is ready to earn the victory this time around.
"The big opportunity I had last summer, it kinda felt like a title fight and I think a lot of you in the media were slipping up and calling it a title or a five-round fight because she held the belt for so long,” said Spencer. “All of these experiences I’ve had before the UFC and in the UFC, including the Cyborg fight, have made this moment feel really familiar, this week feels really familiar. I feel so comfortable, like I always do, but I’m definitely ready for this moment. You don’t always get such a big opportunity and this is my second big opportunity that I get so this one is mine.”
The last Canadian to fight for a UFC belt was 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Georges St-Pierre, who defeated Michael Bisping for the middleweight title at UFC 217 in November of 2017. Spencer relishes the comparison to the Canadian MMA legend and former two-division champion.
"It’s kinda crazy, people keep putting me in the same sentence as GSP this week and it’s pretty awesome,” said Spencer. “I will kinda bathe in that glory after I get the belt, I know I have a job to do first. The idea of being in that great company and being able to hold the belt up and have a whole nation behind me is pretty awesome.”