Amanda Nunes is one of the greatest MMA fighters to ever grace the sport. Nunes, also known as “Lioness”, holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo. However, she began her career with a loss. Appearing at Prime: MMA Championship 2 in 2006, she submitted just 36 seconds into her fight with Ana Maria. Despite this, she would go on to win her next six fights before suffering a TKO to Alexia Davis in her bantamweight debut in 2011. She went 1-1 in her next two fights before being invited to make her UFC debut at UFC 163 in Rio. She scored a TKO on Shelia Graf in the first round.
Nunes would stay with the UFC, going 1-1 in her next two fights before beginning an 11-fight winning streak. In 2016, at UFC 200, Nunes won her first title shot to become the women’s bantamweight champion. In 2018, she knocked out Cris Cyborg to also become the women’s featherweight champion. She deliver a total of nine combined title defenses before losing the bantamweight title to Julianna Peña in December 2021. However, she won it back in a rematch in July 2022.
Nunes Retires A Two-Belt Legend
Nunes’ fight at UFC 289 in Vancouver was supposed to be a trilogy decider against Peña. However, injury forced Peña to withdraw and the UFC replaced her with Irene Aldana. Aldana (14-6) has been with the UFC since 2016 and earned her first title shot after winning four of her last five fights. The fight was brutal and lengthy, going the full five rounds. However, while not finding the knockout, Nunes dominated the fight. She defended her title with a unanimous decision victory, her second such victory in as many fights.
However, then came the news that no one wanted to believe – Nunes retired from MMA. “Double champion forever,” Nunes said. “This is the perfect night to retire.” Furthermore, when asked how she wanted to be remembered, she gave a similar answer. “The greatest of all time,” Nunes said. “I did everything. I broke a lot of records.” She also revealed that she had planned to retire as soon as she signed on for the fight. “I just didn’t want to focus on that,” Nunes said. “Focus on my fight. I don’t want to keep talking about retiring all the time.” Nunes will now return to her home country of Brazil for a long break and recovery period before figuring out what she wants to do next.