The UFC women’s bantamweight belt once again found a new home in Amanda Nunes with her recent win in UFC 200. After a convincing first-round submission of Miesha Tate, the Lioness had no hesitation when asked who she wanted to fight next. During a recent q&a with fans and media, it was clear- Nunes called out Ronda Rousey.
And it comes to no surprise, as Rousey, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champ, seems to be haunting the belt, being its original owner. But this is still largely dependent on Rowdy herself, who, since losing the title to Holly Holm in UFC 193 last year, has been quite reclusive from public eye. Different rumors have spread suggesting she may not return or she may return in 2017 or that she is pregnant (she isn’t).
Although, Nunes seems adamant- “I look for the biggest fights. Only Ronda Rousey, if she comes back. I’m ready for her and I want to make this fight for you guys. A big card in New York City – I hope so.” she said during the q&a at Atlanta for UFC 201.
If Rousey (10-1) does return to the Octagon, Dana White assured her that she will get first crack at the belt, regardless of whoever is wearing it. Should that be Nunes (13-4), though, it will be no easy feat, with the champ having been on a roll and winning her last four fights against notable fighters like McMann, Baszler and Tate.
But if Ronda decides to extend her sabbatical, Nunes named two fighters that she included in her short-list- Julianna Pena (9-2) and Valentina Shevchenko (13-2). Pena, who immediately called out Nunes after UFC 200, is the “Ultimate Fighter” winner and is four and zero in the UFC. Shevchenko, is coming from a win over former champ Holly Holm, and last saw Nunes in UFC 196, where she lost via unanimous decision.
Aside from being the first female Brazilian to win the UFC title, Nunes is also the first openly gay athlete to add achieve this feat, putting another check mark in her already amazing list of career milestones. Adding a W over Rousey, would simply be icing on the Tate.
PICTURE COURTESY: Narek75/ Wikimedia