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‘I feel like I deserve to do what I want to do’ - Amanda Nunes talks leaving ATT, starting own camp

The ‘Lioness’ is changing up her coaching and moving her training to a more focused, personal atmosphere as she prepares for her rematch with Julianna Pena.

Amanda Nunes poses with coaches, family and ATT owner Dan Lambert after her victory at UFC 259.
Amanda Nunes poses with coaches, family and ATT owner Dan Lambert after her victory at UFC 259.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

If Amanda Nunes wants to make anything clear about her departure from American Top Team it’s that she isn’t leaving the camp on bad terms, and that the decision wasn’t a reactive one due to her recent loss to Julianna Pena.

Speaking to the media at a press event for the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter - where she and Pena will take on rival coaching duties - Nunes talked about recent reports that she had left ATT and was opening her own training facility (transcript via MMA Fighting).

“Actually, I always wanted to open a private spot,” Nunes explained, adding that even during her time at ATT she always did her training at the facility separately. “I never said I’m going to open a gym to compete against [American Top Team]. That never came out of my mouth.”

“It was always in my head that one day I might want to have a space,” said Nunes. “I want to see all my teachings on the wall, put up my logo, all those things that a lot of fighters want to do that at some point in their career. I feel like this is the moment for me. I want to go on my own for a little bit.”

And even though it does seem like Nunes is truly making a serious change, including switching up her coaching team from Mike Brown & co. to former ATT wrestling coach Kami Barzini and ATT affiliate striking coach Roger Krahl, the door to her former gym is still wide open to her if she ever wants to return.

“I feel like I deserve to do what I want to do. It’s nothing to do with the gym. Actually, we’re still good. I can still walk in the gym and train whenever I want,” Nunes revealed. “I didn’t close the door because [nothing] happened. I did it my way, but we did a lot of things together. We made history together.”

No date has been set for Pena vs. Nunes 2. The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 will begin filming in the coming weeks, with episode one set to air May 3rd on ESPN+. The show will feature two groups of talent, with 8 fighters from the men’s heavyweight division and 8 fighters from women’s flyweight. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes.