Photo by Jason Hunt via The Garv
Amanda Nunes sure knows how to make a good first impression.
The lethal Brazilian's Strikeforce debut against Julia Budd lasted just 14 seconds but in that time she landed two leg kicks, six punches (the sixth dropped Budd) and then eight brutal hammer fists that had Budd's head bouncing off the canvas like a basketball.
What made the feat even more impressive is the fact that Budd is an accomplished Muay Thai kickboxer, even defeating Gina Carano in a kickboxing bout and had previously been undefeated.
After having her encore performance against Julie Kedzie delayed due to a foot injury, Nunes is back and ready for round two, this time cutting down to 135 pounds to take on top female contender Alexis Davis on the Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov undercard tomorrow night (September 10, 2011).
"The Lioness of the Ring" spoke with MMAmania.com after arriving in Cincinnati this week about her upcoming fight, her aggressive style and her title aspirations.
This interview was performed with the help of a Portuguese translator.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): This upcoming fight against Alexis Davis is at 135 pounds and your first fight at Strikeforce was at 145 pounds. Are you expecting to stay at 135 now?
Amanda Nunes: I already fought once at 135 pounds in Brazil before and this will be my second fight there. I feel great and it doesn't bother me at all to drop down. I will stick with 135 until I think it's time to go up again. Until that happens, I will stay at 135.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Let's talk about your upcoming opponent Alexis Davis. What are you most concerned about with her?
Amanda Nunes: A fight is a fight. An opponent is an opponent and Alexis Davis is just another opponent. I always worry about my opponent and I try to make myself better to fight against any opponent. There's nothing that Alexis will have that I won't be ready for.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You currently train at AMA Fight Club in New Jersey but before that you were based out of Brazil. What made you want to come out and train in the United States?
Amanda Nunes: The AMA Fight Club in the United States has a beautiful facility for anyone that trains to be in an MMA fight. It was a dream of mine since I was a young girl to fight, and then to fight in Strikeforce. I dreamed to live in America too. Now I'm incredibly happy that I can live in America, train in America and fight in America.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Watching you fight, you're one of the most aggressive and violent female fighters out there. What's your mentality like in the cage and what sets you apart from everyone else?
Amanda Nunes: That's the way I train. I train to be aggressive. I bring in the cage everything that I train. I train in an aggressive way and when you train in an aggressive way you're gonna become aggressive inside the cage. That's why the crowd is packed when I fight because fans love the aggressive style. That's the only way that I can show the fans a very good fight in the night.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Going back to your last fight. You knocked out Julia Budd in 14 seconds. Budd is a very strong Muay Thai striker and you handled her easily. How were you able to accomplish this?
Amanda Nunes: For the fight against Julia Budd, I trained to get the knockout fast. I watched her mistakes and because of those mistakes, that's what we trained for. All my camp I trained for the fast finish. My hands are very powerful. That wasn't the first knockout that I have. In every fight, I knock people down and then when they go down, I knock them out when we go to the ground.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Alexis Davis is one of the top ranked female 135 pound fighters in Strikeforce. Do you feel that if you can defeat Alexis Davis on Saturday that you could potentially be next in line for the title after Sarah Kaufman?
Amanda Nunes: In every fight that I go to, I go to win. Whether it's the first fight or any fight, I go to win. Every new fight I take is the fight of my life. Every fight that I take, it's the most important fight. That's why I'm going to win on Saturday. I want it more. I want to have a shot for the title belt. That's my goal. I'm going to win no matter what.
Amanda would like to thank Mike Constantino, AMA Fight Club and everyone that helps her train all her friends from America and Brazil, her family, God, everyone that follows her on twitter @AmandaNunesMMA and her sponsers.
Here's a highlight reel just for kicks:
What do you think Maniacs?
Will Amanda Nunes set the tempo for the Strikeforce grand prix semifinals by adding another brutal knockout to her record? How bright is this lethal 23 year old Brazilian's future?