The sports world will be watching once again on Saturday, December 14, when Double Champ Amanda Nunes defends her bantamweight title for the fifth time against a former foe in Germaine de Randamie. This UFC 245 bout is another chance for Brazil’s “Lioness” to add to her resume as the best ever among the ladies, and if you needed any reminders when it comes to that status, they’re sitting below…
Amanda Nunes didn’t fall out of the sky and into the Octagon at UFC 200, where she took the women’s bantamweight title from Miesha Tate. She’s long been on the MMA world’s radar, and when she was signed to the Strikeforce promotion in 2011, there was a buzz that the Brazilian bomber was about to put WMMA on the map in a big way. Well, Nunes didn’t disappoint in her United States debut, needing just 14 seconds to knock out respected striker Julia Budd. If we’re keeping score, that’s 25 less ticks of the clock than it took Ronda Rousey to submit Budd ten months later.
Perhaps the most accomplished female kickboxer to step into the Octagon, Germaine de Randamie is deadly on the feet and her resume speaks for itself. But when facing Nunes in November 2013, the Netherlands native just wasn’t ready for the ground assault of her opponent, with Nunes stopping her in less than four minutes. It was a statement-making victory that propelled Nunes into a huge fight that had the world watching.
Following the win over McMann, Nunes decisioned Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196 in March of 2016. That set up a showdown with new bantamweight champion Miesha Tate in what turned out to be the main event of the historic UFC 200 card in Las Vegas. Despite the pressure on her shoulders, Nunes was on from the second the Octagon gate closed, and while the end result was a submission, it was the Brazilian’s accurate and crushing strikes that set up the finish and put a championship belt around her waist.
The return of Ronda Rousey after her upset loss to Holly Holm in 2015 dominated the headlines in the lead up to the UFC 207 main event in Las Vegas, but Nunes kept her eye on the prize, refusing to stray from the task at hand, which was proving that there was only one champion at 135 pounds. And “The Lioness” did just that, blitzing Rousey and never letting her into the fight. The bout took just 48 seconds, and it was clear that Nunes was settling in for a long reign.
As shocking as it was definitive, Nunes took just 51 seconds to move up to the 145-pound weight class and take Cris Cyborg’s featherweight crown via first-round knockout, ending Cyborg’s 13-year winning streak in the process. It was a flawless effort from “The Lioness,” who made history by becoming the first (and to this date, only) woman to win UFC titles in two weight classes. Add in the fact that she’s holding both simultaneously, and that only adds to the accomplishment.
If there was supposed to be a post-Cyborg letdown for the UFC’s newest Double Champ, Nunes didn’t get the memo, as she dropped back down to 135 pounds and successfully defended her bantamweight title with another SuperFight knockout taking less than a round, this one of Holly Holm. That win made it nine in a row for Nunes, and beating six UFC champions, two Olympic medalists and one three-division boxing champion made a rock-solid case for Nunes as the greatest of all-time in women’s combat sports.