The Queen of the Jungle: Amanda Nunes

The Queen of the Jungle: Amanda Nunes

When women’s MMA first burst into the mainstream, all eyes were on Rhonda Rousey. After successfully defending her UFC bantamweight title against Liz Carmouche at UFC 159, Rousey would go on to set the record for the most UFC title defenses by a woman (6 defenses). Soon after, Rousey would face her first loss against kickboxing superstar Holly Holm.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

Amanda Nunes, a seemingly unstoppable Brazilian knockout and submission artist steamrolling through the UFC would soon rise to MMA stardom.

With notable wins over Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko, The Lioness would get her title shot against then-bantamweight champion Miesha Tate at UFC 200. Like many times before, Nunes made quick work of Tate and secured the bantamweight championship through victory by a rear naked choke in the first.

First in line to challenge Amanda Nunes for her bantamweight title? None other than Rhonda Rousey.

Although Rousey lost to Holly Holm, fans were still confident that she would be able to reclaim her spot at the top of the women’s bantamweight division. However, Amanda Nunes would TKO Rhonda Rousey with a flurry of clinical punches 48 seconds into the first round.

Now, the spotlight was on Amanda Nunes.

 

AMANDA NUNES' TITLE REIGN

Nunes would go on and defend her bantamweight title against Valentina Shevchenko via split decision, Raquel Pennington with a ground and pound, Germaine de Randamie and Felicia Spencer via unanimous decision, and Holly Holm with a head kick quickly followed by a burst of punches.

If that wasn’t enough for the Lioness, Nunes even moved up in weight to the featherweight division to challenge Cris Cyborg, another seemingly unstoppable Brazilian superstar, for the featherweight title. Everyone expected it to be a clash between the titans of the women’s division, but in true Nunes style, she made quick work of Cyborg and knocked her out 51 seconds into the first round. This victory would make Nunes the first women’s champ-champ, as well as cement her place as the queen of the UFC.

This past weekend at UFC 259, Amanda Nunes did what Amanda Nunes does best – submitting Megan Anderson in the first round to once again successfully defend her women’s featherweight championship.

 

WHAT'S NEXT FOR AMANDA NUNES?

It seems like there’s nobody that can stop the Lioness at the moment. With 2 simultaneous championship belts in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, wins over the top female UFC athletes and no apparent end to her reign of dominance, it’s safe to say that Amanda Nunes is currently the best female fighter the UFC has ever seen.

Nunes and her wife, UFC strawweight Nina Ansaroff, brought their infant daughter, Raegan, into the Octagon after the win. Nunes, who was born in Brazil but trains in Florida, had Raegan at her side all fight week.

"I'm more dangerous now with my little girl," Nunes said. "No one is stopping me."

The UFC has not indicated any long-term plans for its 145-pound division, but there is no one in the foreseeable future for the Lioness to fight at that weight. Her next move will almost assuredly be at bantamweight, where she has held the title since UFC 200 in 2016.

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