For more than 1,070 days Ronda Rousey reigned as the Ultimate Fighting Championship Women's Bantamweight champion, and it seemed like her dominance was to remain unopposed, but after the Holly Holm upset, the title changed owners two more times, and after Miesha Tate, Brazilian fighter Amanda Nunes is the new champ.
Two of her most recent predecessors have held the belt for just over 100 days, but if we look back on the dominant way the Lioness won her fight against Tate we can predict that she'll not let her waist bling go to another fighter that easily. That being so, we decided to search for some badass facts about the new women's Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes.
Nunes is the first openly gay UFC champion, and she is reported to be in a four-year long relationship with another UFC fighter -- Nina Ansaroff. Luckily, the lovebirds are not in the same category, as Ansaroff competes in the strawweight division, but they do touch gloves as these love partners are also training partners. Nunes is the pride of the LGBTQ community, but of Brazil also, as she is the first female Brazilian-born UFC champion!
This 28-year-old woman is a lifelong fighter, because she started training karate at the age of seven, as her mother said she was quite energetic; she transitioned into boxing at the age of sixteen. Her sister invited her to start training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Nunes made her MMA debut in 2008 at the age of 20.
Amanda Nunes carries the badass nickname “Lioness” because two lions were the logo of her first gym, and she was the only female fighter there, along with her aggressive style of fighting. Other fighters almost didn't have a choice, and promptly started calling her "Leoa" -- Lioness in Portuguese, of course.
Two bonus awards
Amanda has won six fights in the UFC, but she also managed to scoop two Performance of the Night bonus awards, one for her fight against Sara McMann, and the other one for her title-winning bout with Miesha Tate. Interestingly, Nunes won both of these fights by using a rear-naked choke.
Do what you love
Lioness has stated that the rear-naked choke is her favorite grappling technique; she achieved the biggest success of her career with exactly this move. Besides Tate, two other fighters were forced to tap out because of Nunes' Mata Leao (rear-naked choke in Portuguese).
Winning the UFC title belt was surely the greatest achievement in Nunes' career, but hardly the only achievement, as she was the Naga World Champ in her weight class and Absolute, Brazilian State Jiu-Jitsu Champion. The 28-year old also won the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship Gold and Mundials Jiu-Jitsu Gold whilst having a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and brown belt in Judo.
Equal to Rousey
It may seem that Amanda hasn't been in the UFC that long, but she managed to tie Ronda Rousey's record for the most wins in the Bantamweight category with six triumphs. Sheila Gaff was Amanda's first UFC opponent back in 2013. Besides Gaff, Germaine de Randamie, Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko, and Tate all lost to the Lioness; Cat Zingano is the only one who managed to beat her.
28-year old Nunes is an all-in full-time fighter, and she has never worked a "normal" job a day in her life. She says that training is her work, and all we can say is that the work is paying off, and we really envy her.
Amanda lost her first pro mixed martial arts fight in the first minute due to an armbar submission; she then proceeded to have six consecutive wins, all with knockouts, the first five of them being TKOs. That showed her winner's mentality, as she hit a snag while in first gear, but reached back and slammed into the next gear, continuing toward her ultimate goal.
At the beginning of her MMA career, following her debut loss, Nunes was pretty dominant. She won three of her fights in less than 30 seconds, two of them in less than 15 seconds. She also ended all of her wins with KOs or submissions up until her 16th fight, against Valentina Shevchenko, which she won by unanimous decision.
We can expect Nunes to fight the likes of Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, and Ronda Rousey in the future, with Rousey being her most wanted matchup. Gotta admit, that’s our most wanted fight, too.