Amanda Nunes (right), facing off against Julia Budd
UPDATE: according to Fox Sports, Amanda Nunes' contract has been carried over to the UFC after all, along with Julie Kedzie, Germaine de Randamie, and Sarah Kaufman. I apologize for the mistake.
Although not officially confirmed as of this article, Strikeforce female fighter Amanda Nunes (7-3), who seemed like a shoe-in for the UFC's new Womens Bantamweight division, appears to have been released from her contract in addition to the 18 men released over the last several days. Her profile was removed from Strikeforce.com two days ago without being moved to UFC.com. This had only been done recently when Zuffa has released someone from their contract. Usually they put up the UFC profile just before they take down the Strikeforce one, within the same hour.
Nunes, who is 24 years old and whose official nickname is "Lioness of the Ring", holds notable wins over Vanessa Porto, Ediane Gomes, and Raquel Pa'aluhi, and first burst onto the American scene with a vicious 14-second KO of Julia Budd at Strikeforce Challengers 13 in January of 2011. Unfortunately that was followed up with a loss to current UFC fighter Alexis Davis by 2nd round TKO eight months later in what was considered an upset. Nunes then rebounded with a win over Pa'aluhi at Invicta 2 before she recently lost to fellow Strikeforce castaway Sarah D'Alelio at Invicta 4 by Unanimous Decision. Nunes was then scheduled for a fight at Invicta 5 against veteran brawler Kaitlin Young (7-7-1). The latter was not unusual since Zuffa has regularly loaned out female fighters to Invicta, and is in fact loaning Sarah Kaufman for the event as well, who is technically still under contract.
As a fighter Nunes is known for her athleticism, her striking power, her borderline reckless style of engaging, and her going completely bats*** insane after finishing an opponent. Immediately after the referee stopped her fight against Raquel Pa'aluhi, Nunes started screaming and pounding her elbows against the mat repeatedly while Pa'aluhi still lay unconscious on top of her after refusing to tap to a rear naked choke.
Following a win over Ediane Gomes in February 2010 in Bitetti Combat, her biggest win to date at that time
With an impressive win over Young, who is easily better than her .500 record would suggest, it's entirely possible that Amanda Nunes may get picked up again by Zuffa for the UFC, as their Womens Bantamweight is still pretty thin on talent and she's very marketable, but with the UFC in mass-firing mode it's far from guaranteed. At worst, Invicta FC may gain a very credible and dangerous fighter to help shore up a Bantamweight division that thus far has been largely dependent on loans from Zuffa in exchange for Zuffa taking two of the top Bantamweights that Invicta had signed on their own.
All links in this article have been included by the author, with all SBNation ones removed.