Despite wanting to emulate Conor McGregor, reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes is shelving her ambition to become a two-division UFC champion for the time being.
The 135-pound women’s title holder previously made known her plans to move up in weight. And ply her wares in the new UFC women’s featherweight division. The champion there is currently Germaine de Randamie, who defeated Holly Holm to win the strap. But in reality, the real threat in the division remains to be Cris “Cyborg” Justino, widely regarded as the world’s top female fighter.
Cyborg had long chased after a bout with superstar Ronda Rousey. But now that Rousey is no longer in the picture, it will soon be the Cris Cyborg show once the Brazilian is able to get back into the Octagon.
Amanda Nunes is the 135-pound UFC women’s champion
Knowing this, The Lioness’ plans seem to have changed as she is now singing a different tune.
“I do not intend to fight with Cris”, said Nunes.
“But my intention was to fight [Holly Holm or Germaine de Randamie], who were in my category. But Cris is coming back now and I’m not interested in going up. I want to see her as the champion. To fight with her, I would have to gain weight and gain muscle. I am at 135 pounds. To do such a job (at 145), I would need at least a year,” added Nunes.
The UFC formed the women’s featherweight division solely for Cyborg, who is unable to cut lower than 145-pounds. Cyborg is of course one of the most marketable stars right now and the UFC is surely in dire need of them. The decision to form a division just so one fighter could flourish in it is understandable.
Nunes wants no piece of Cyborg at 145-pounds, however
Cyborg has had not just difficulty with weight, but also Performance Enhancing Drugs which has kept her largely on the shelf.
“That’s what I said: ‘This category is for Cris, but then she tested positive’”, Nunes said.
“But then, two girls from the 135-pound class moved up, one was coming off two defeats and the other was not in the rankings. The champion [Germaine de Randamie] is a girl that I have already defeated. I asked to go up because I can be champion in two categories,” added Nunes.
“My point of view was that they were two athletes from my category and that Cris was not in the game at the time.”
So it’s clear Nunes wants no part of Cyborg and only wanted a piece of either Holm or de Randamie. Scared? Or just respectful to her fellow Brazilian compatriot? You decide.