UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes already has a pair of wins against current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, and at UFC 232 on Saturday night she’ll be moving up to featherweight to challenge Cris Cyborg. If she prevails, she’ll be the first simultaneous women’s champion in UFC history, and the first to beat Cyborg since Cris’ MMA debut way back in 2005.
Nunes is the underdog as you might expect, but she’s widely considered to be Cyborg’s toughest challenge to date. As for where she’d rank among women’s MMA all-time greats should she pull off the upset? Nina Ansaroff, Nunes’ fiancee and current UFC strawweight, believes that would make Amanda #1.
”Of course, no doubt about it,” Ansaroff told MMA Fighting. “There will be no doubt in her being the greatest female fighter of all-time when she wins in December.
”From the minute that we decided that it would be a good idea, we were just trying to make it happen,” continued Ansaroff. “And it’s finally here. They finally agreed on a date, and I’m excited for Amanda to show everybody the reason why she wanted to do this.”
In addition to her wins over Shevchenko, Nunes has also soundly beaten former UFC champions Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, and is the most recent person to defeat ex-UFC women’s featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie.
Cyborg is certainly a different level of dominance that has been unparalleled in women’s MMA, with hardly anyone presenting the slightest bit of a challenge to her inside the cage. Her vaunted striking has resulted in KO or TKO finishes in 17 of her 20 wins, and she recently proved she could go the full 25 minutes without issue when she bested Holly Holm at UFC 219.
When breaking down Nunes’ chances against her fellow Brazilian, Ansaroff spoke highly of Amanda’s skill set and her ability to win fights both on the feet and on the ground.
”I can see Amanda winning the fight anywhere, to be honest with you,” Ansaroff said. “She’s really well-rounded, she’s a great striker, she’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu. She’s proved she can go to a decision. I can see her winning the fight anywhere.”
UFC 232 takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Saturday, December 29th. The main event is a light heavyweight title rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.