Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s featherweight titleholder Amanda Nunes likes being champion of two divisions, having also captured the crown at 135 pounds. But if we’re being honest — and without diminishing the Brazilian’s accomplishments — I think we can all agree there is no such thing as a women’s featherweight division.
Which is why it’s omitted from the official rankings.
The weight class was originally created as an excuse to promote Cris Justino, who was too big to make the bantamweight limit. But after Nunes stopped “Cyborg” and stripped her of the 145-pound strap, there simply hasn’t been enough eligible fighters to justify its existence.
“Dana [White] wants to end this division, but I told him that, as long as I’m champion, I want it open,” Nunes told Combate (transcribed by Guilherme Cruz). “I think the issue with featherweight is talent. I think it’s hard to find talented girls in this division. I could be wrong, but we’re seeing that the girls that fought Cris needed a little bit more. Not that they are bad athletes, but they needed some work.”
Following her Justino victory at UFC 232, Nunes (21-4) registered four title defenses split across both divisions, After putting away bantamweight veterans Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie, “Lioness” beat the brakes off Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson at 145 pounds.
“I’ll wait, I’m sure they will find someone,” Nunes continued. “They did that with Cris, brought in girls from God knows where to fight her. And even bantamweights will want to move up in weight so they get more comfortable. It’s better that way for me. Having an actual division or not, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Probably not the best way to sell your dominance at 145 pounds, but okay.
With the featherweight division on hold, the 32 year-old Nunes will make her return to the bantamweight class against former “Ultimate Fighter” champion Julianna Pena, a five-round battle scheduled for the UFC 265 pay-per-view (PPV) card on Aug. 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.