Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Author: Brice Lourd
To the common ear, Ronda Rousey is the GOAT of female Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). She was the Conor McGregor-type name that brought in millions to the UFC. The thing that the common sports fan might not realize, though, is that Ronda went out a loser. The real GOAT in women’s MMA is none other than Amanda “Lioness” Nunes. Why? Because she has beaten EVERYONE.
The Lioness started her career competing in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. After doing that for a while, Nunes wanted more. In turn, she moved to the United States and now trains at American Top Team in Florida, home of other notable fighters Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier, Robbie Lawler, and many more.
After starting her United States MMA career dominating in Strikeforce and Invicta FC, Dana White eventually gave Nunes a chance to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In her first UFC fight, she technically knocked out (TKO) Sheila Gaff in the first round of their fight due to too many elbows. She then won four out of her next five fights, earning herself a chance at a title shot.
In her first title, she was set to face Miesha Tate, one of the longtime stars of the Women’s Bantamweight division. To no one’s surprise, Nunes prevailed, choking Tate out in the first round for the fifth first round win of her UFC career. So far, this was the largest accomplishment of Nunes’s career, but she was not done yet.
Nunes would go on to defend her belt for the first time against the most famous fighter in the world, Ronda Rousey. This fight didn’t even last a minute, as the Lioness TKO’d Rousey after 48 seconds. This really put the MMA world on watch, as Rousey couldn’t even put up a fight.
Nunes defended her belt twice more against Valentina Shevchenko and Raquel Pennington in the two fights after Rousey. This led to Dana giving her a shot at a second belt in the Women’s Featherweight division against none other than the hardest striking female fighter in the world, Cris Cyborg.
Going into this fight, people were worried for Nunes, as Cyborg’s power seemed too dominant, and she hadn’t lost a fight since 2005. Yes, you heard that correctly, 2005! As a result, Vegas had Nunes as a +195 underdog going into the fight with Cyborg as the -250 favorite. The odds were most definitely stacked against her, but to no surprise, that did not bother Nunes. All it did was put an even bigger chip on her shoulder.
The fight itself was just typical Amanda Nunes. Right out of the gate, she hit Cyborg with some incredibly hard left and right hooks to the head. Next, she hit Cyborg with an incredible right overhand punch, which really hurt her. And, to cap it off, she hit her with another right overhand, knocking her out, and securing the Featherweight title becoming the champ in the two toughest divisions of women’s UFC. All Cyborg could do was applaud Nunes, as she knew that her time on top was most definitely over.
After that fight, no one knew what could be next for Nunes. She had literally destroyed arguably the two most prolific female fighters of all time in a combined timespan of 1 minute and 39 seconds. That itself is unbelievable as well as unheard of. Dana could barely come up with ideas on who to put her up against next, but it’s Dana, so of course he did.
Nunes would go on to defend the Bantamweight title against the great Holly Holm in another first round victory due to KO/TKO. Next, she would go on to defend the Bantamweight title again against Germaine de Randamie, another fighter who Dana considers one of the best ever, in a five round battle, where Nunes would again come out on top by unanimous decision. And most recently, she fought the young and upcoming Felicia Spencer, defending her Featherweight belt for the first time in a consecutive five round unanimous decision fight.
So, the question I begin to ask myself after going through her career and many accomplishments is: What could be next for Nunes? She has literally beaten everyone they’ve thrown at her and only continues to get better. There is truly no one in the UFC that is even worthy of fighting Nunes at this stage.
So does she retire? No. Why would she? She still feels as if she is able to fight to the best of her ability. There has been recent talk that she could potentially fight the best female boxer in the world, Clarissa Shields, but Dana has repeatedly said that it has been hard to figure out the logistics.
To me, Nunes is the certified, without a doubt, greatest female MMA fighter of all time. Her combination of ferocious striking technique as well as incredible takedown and ground game is a style that literally NO ONE can beat. Time after time, she has proved everyone wrong, consistently and consecutively beating every former champ and star in the UFC. Fans of the sport should really appreciate the Lioness, as once she does retire, who knows if anyone with her prowess will ever compete in the sport ever again. There really is no question; Amanda “Lioness” Nunes is the GOAT.