Reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will have a chance to make history later this year when she takes on UFC women’s featherweight titleholder Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 in Las Vegas.
It’s a tremendous opportunity for Nunes as she attempts to become just the third fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two titles (Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier being the other two). Defeating Cyborg is not going to be an easy task, especially considering she hasn’t lost since her first pro fight over 13 years ago, but “Lioness” is up to the task.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Nunes discussed her upcoming superfight with Cyborg and how she could end up going down as the greatest female fighter of all time.
“For sure. That’s the reason why I made this decision to move up a division. I want fans to remember me like that,” Nunes said of her chance at history. “Winning on December 29, I won’t ever leave fans’ heads, that’s for sure. Achieving that, being the only Brazilian woman to become two-division champion… The only woman, the only Brazilian, will be a huge achievement. It’s a big fight, a fight that will make history, and I will come out victorious one more time.”
Despite her confidence, Nunes will be fighting an uphill battle. Not only has she not fought at featherweight since 2011 (a knockout win over Julia Budd under the Strikeforce banner), but she’s fighting a champion who has gone 5-0 in UFC competition. Nunes will have to quickly revert back to her old ways as a 145-pound fighter if she wishes to succeed at UFC 232.
“I will only move up a little bit [in weight], I won’t move up that much,” she explained. “I will move up to be well at 145. I’m weighing around 165 today. It’s not my intention to continue to move up, but to train well and comfortable at the weight I will be the day after the weigh-ins.”
Regardless of what she accomplished at the bantamweight level, Nunes is entering foreign territory against Cyborg. She has never faced an opponent as physically strong and imposing as Cyborg is. She has also never had to fight a striker as dangerous as Cyborg, even though Nunes holds victories over notable standup artists like Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine De Randamie.
With the odds stacked against her, Nunes will try to pull off a big-time upset on December 29th live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Considering Cyborg doesn’t believe Nunes is her toughest test to date, “Lioness” will have the element of surprise on her side when the cage door shuts this winter.
“Well, she can say whatever she wants,” said Nunes. “When the cage closes it’s only me and her, and we’ll find out. But she can think whatever she wants. I think Cris is a tough athlete and it won’t be an easy fight. When we’re in there, we have to be prepared for everything, and I’m prepared for everything. I know she puts pressure, and I will be prepared to deal with that pressure and counter the entire time — and also put pressure on the right time and win the fight wherever we are. It will be a spectacular fight. Don’t blink, anything can happen.”
For more UFC 232 coverage news here.
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