Back in Oct. 2020, I spoke with Hyperice CEO Jim Huether about his company’s collaboration with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the advancement of recovery science in mixed martial arts (MMA). In addition, we discussed Hyperice’s relationship with Amanda Nunes, one of the company’s sponsored athletes. As part of that chat, we also set up an exclusive interview with “Lioness” ahead of her UFC 259 title defense against Megan Anderson this weekend (Sat., March 6, 2021) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nunes is a unique athlete at a largely unprecedented level of dominance for MMA. Not only is she dominating her field of contenders and finishing them more often than not, but Nunes has managed to do so in two separate divisions, while growing a family and much larger fanbase.
Check out our Q&A with the “double champ:”
Has anything surprised you and Nina about motherhood since your daughter’s birth?
Yes, actually. We read a lot of baby books and did a lot of research about how to care for infants, but your instinct just takes over and you kind of figure it out on your own. Also, I never thought a love this big existed, that was a surprise!
You’re one of the most active UFC champions, how much does recovery/Hyperice play into being able to compete so often?
Recovery with Hyperice plays a huge role in how often I am able to compete and how far I can push my body during training. I never took recovery too seriously, but once I started to use Hyperice products and felt the effects it has become an essential part of my training schedule.
It’s extremely valuable for UFC athletes to now have full access to Hyperice technology for them to perform at the highest level. I use Hyperice technology daily as part of training, and have for years to compete at my best.
Is Megan Anderson ready for the next shot at the double champ? Thoughts on the match up?
I believe so. She has earned her way back up to being a contender and if UFC thinks she is next, then that is who we are going to prepare for. I believe I match up with her well, I have great striking and know how to use my distance well. I am also versatile and ready for whatever she might show me.
Despite being winless (0-2) against you, Germaine de Randamie recently said she “exposed” you in your rematch. Do you have any thoughts/is there potential for a third match?
I don’t think she exposed me. I believe she has the best striking in the division, and I feel like I exposed her more by showing that I can handle her striking and am still able to use my wrestling and ground to neutralize her. If UFC feels that’s next, then that is what it will be.
Is the pressure of being a double champ different than as a solo belt holder? From an outside perspective, you seem to grow more confident and comfortable in that role with each fight.
It is. The pressure of having to bounce back between the two weight classes is [different]. I like to eat, so it’s hard for me to have to get back on a strict diet to get back down to 135. There is a special power that comes with the belt, so having two makes you that much more confident and stronger.
You defeated the two women previously looked at as potential greatest of all time candidates. Since it never happened, how would you predict a fight between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg based on your experience with them?
I feel the power of Cyborg would be too much for Ronda to implement in her game.
When your name came up as an option, how far along in the negotiation process did things go before Jake Paul bailed? Do you have an interest in still pursuing that match up, or thoughts on him as a fighter/boxer as a whole?
It was all for fun. I would never fight a man. I don’t know much about his boxing so I can’t really give you my honest opinion.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 259 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 259: “Blachowicz vs. Adesanya” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.