29-Year-Old UFC Bantamweight 15-4-0
September 9, 2017 Amanda Nunes News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Nunes successfully defended her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Valentina Shevchenko via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) at UFC 215 on Saturday in Edmonton.
Nunes likely won Rounds 1 and 5 but the three middle rounds of the contest could have gone either way. The most impressive aspect of Nunes' performance was her improved cardio. She didn't seem the least bit tired throughout the course of the fight but that didn't result in the champ being able to land with any real regularity. Nunes did score a big takedown with about a minute left in the fight that may very well have earned her the decision. Nunes has earned a reputation as a power puncher, but neither woman was able to do a whole heck of a lot in a fight that truly could have gone either way. Nunes and Shevchenko are clearly the two best women's 135-pounders in the world at the moment, so don't be surprised if the two eventually meet for a third time. As for now, Nunes will return to South Florida with her championship.
Amanda Nunes: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisNunes and Shevchenko were originally supposed to square off at UFC 213 during the promotion's International Fight Week, but the bout was scrapped on the day of the event after a sinus issue sent Nunes to the hospital. Since then, both have had their sights set on a rematch, and that wish will be granted at the September pay-per-view event. Nunes was a surprising betting underdog in this matchup before it was cancelled, so look for oddsmakers to treat this fight similarly on the second go-around.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes will not have the opportunity for her bantamweight title Saturday, which she successfully defended in December 2016, after coming down with an illness that has placed her in the hospital. A rematch will likely be rescheduled for a time that Nunes regains her strength.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes will defend her bantamweight belt against Valentina Shevchenko after earning the title in July 2016. She took down Ronda Rousey in December with a first round KO/TKO (punches) in 48 seconds. Nunes has five straight wins going into this matchup including one against Shevchenko (unanimous decision) from March 2016.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter Nunes brutally defeated former champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 207, she has publicly expressed interest in moving up to the 145-pound weight class to contend for another belt. UFC brass doesn't necessarily see eye-to-eye with her, however, as the phrase "Pump the brakes" was used multiple times by White. Saturday's main event in Denver all but locked in the next opponent for Nunes, as she met winner Valentina Shevchenko in the octagon following her submission victory over Julianna Pena. If Nunes can take care of business against the dangerous and versatile Shevchenko, then perhaps the UFC will explore the possibility of allowing her to contend for multiple belts. Currently the promotion has an inaugural women's featherweight championship between Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie scheduled for UFC 208, and the winner there will likely have a date with Cris "Cyborg" Justino at some point afterwards. The biggest question mark is Cyborg's recent drug test that was flagged by USADA -- if she is dealt a long suspension, the door could be open for other female featherweight contenders.
Fantasy AnalysisThat, is one of the worst beatings that you will ever see inside an MMA cage. Nunes waited about five seconds to fire off her first shot and she didn't stop until referee Herb Dean finally yanked her away. The champion and her group at American Top Team certainly realized how poor Rousey's striking defense looked in her loss to Holly Holm and she jumped on the former champion immediately. Nunes has crazy power and there isn't a woman on the planet who is going to survive her combinations if they aren't moving or attempting to return fire themselves. The rise of Nunes' to superstardom is one of the most shocking developments in recent MMA history. She entered the company in August 2013 as roster depth and she is now a seemingly dominant champion.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes had floated around the idea of other fights if Rousey wasn't ready for a 2016 return, but this is clearly what she wanted all along. The Brazilian took the women's bantamweight strap via submission against Miesha Tate at UFC 200, and now it's her turn to get paid. Strikers such as Nunes have given Rousey some problems in the past, but Nunes doesn't have nearly the length that Holly Holm, the women who handed Rousey her first career defeat, possesses. Out of the four professional losses that Nunes has, only one has been via submission, so Rousey will have her work cut out for her if she intends to work in one of her signature arm bars. This main-event matchup will cap off what's been a historic year for the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes made waves in the bantamweight division in July, upsetting champion Miesha Tate via first-round submission to earn her fourth straight victory and first ever title. Now, the first step in attempting to build a legacy is right around the corner. The money fight is clearly Rousey, but her return timetable remains up in the air. If UFC matchmakers cannot schedule that bout, Pena would be next in line after picking up a big win over Cat Zingano at UFC 200. In any case, it sounds like Nunes is ready to fight again sooner, rather than later.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes not only headlined UFC 200, but she is now your UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. Welcome to MMA in the year 2016. The Brazilian deserves full marks for her performance. We have seen little from Nunes in her UFC career other than punching power, but that power was more than enough to win her the belt on Saturday. She completely leveled Tate on the feet, forcing the former champion to the ground before taking her back to earn the submission win. With Ronda Rousey seemingly coming back at some point in the coming months, it's entirely possible that Nunes will become the third-straight fighter to lose the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship without successfully defending it, but that's another story for another day. Nunes also makes history in becoming the first openly gay champion in UFC history. It was quite a night for the Brazilian.
Fantasy AnalysisWith an impressive 5-1 record during her run in the UFC, Nunes has earned her shot at UFC gold. She has wins over Valentina Shevchenko, Sara McMann and Germaine de Randamie, and she looked very strong early on in her loss to Cat Zingano before eventually fading and getting stopped. Nunes is known for her power, but she is a black belt in BJJ and as one of the strongest women in the division, she is very difficult to drag to the mat. The bottom line here is that her all-around game is underrated. Although a clear underdog, Nunes has a legitimate chance to win this fight.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's the opportunity of a lifetime for Nunes, who will be taking advantage of the fact that Ronda Rousey is not yet ready physically, and that UFC brass has chosen not to rush a Tate/Holm 2 fight. Nunes certainly has momentum on her side, winning three straight fights since losing to Cat Zingano in September of 2014. Although she'll likely be a big underdog on a high profile stage, Nunes will look to become the fourth champion in the division within the last calendar year.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter a dominant first ten minutes in which she was the crisper striker and much better grappler, Nunes tried to coast to the finish line and it nearly cost her. She didn't appear visibly tired, but her movements slowed and she looked sluggish during the final frame. In her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Nunes essentially admitted that she wasn't used to fighting for 15 minutes and it impacted her performance late. Still, it was another impressive win over a talented opponent. Nunes asked Dana White for the next title shot in her interview with Rogan, there is zero chance of that happening, but it's entirely possible that she could get her chance with just one more win over a top contender.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes entered the UFC with little hype, but she has gone 4-1 during her time with the company and the one setback came at the hands of top contender Cat Zingano in a fight in which Nunes did more than her fair share of damage before eventually being stopped. Nunes has massive power in her hands, but since she is facing an all-world striker in Shevchenko, Nunes may be better served to try to turn this into a grappling match. She’s so strong that she should be able to do some real damage if she is able to control Shevchenko in the clinch along the fence. Ronda Rousey is going to get the winner of Saturday’s women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Holly Holm and challenger Miesha Tate, but it’s entirely reasonable to believe that Nunes could only be two more victories away from getting a title shot.
Fantasy AnalysisNunes passed her test against better competition with flying colors. It looked like she was going to get the stoppage after landing a ton of unanswered shots to the side of McMann's head, but she switched to the rear naked choke instead and McMann quickly tapped out. Nunes lost to Cat Zingano in September 2014, but she's now 4-0 in her other UFC fights. Nunes does her best work on the feet, but she's also a Jiu-Jitsu black belt. It's hard to believe, but Nunes may find herself ranked in the top-5 of the women's bantamweight division in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's a step up in competition for Nunes. Her last fight was in March, a Round 1 TKO victory over the since released Shayna Baszler. Nunes is 3-1 in her UFC career, with her only loss coming against Cat Zingano in a fight in which she actually looked pretty strong for a while. While she's unlikely to ever make a run at the title, Nunes should remain relevant in the women's bantamweight division for the foreseeable future.