Amanda Nunes shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world at last month’s (July 9, 2016) UFC 200, destroying Miesha Tate in the first round of their main event bout to become the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. With the title now strapped around her waist, Nunes has multiple options regarding her next challenge given the wide open nature of the 135-pound division.
No. 5-ranked Julianna Pena is riding a winning streak and campaigning for a title shot while No. 3-ranked Valentina Shevchenko is also gunning for a shot at gold after recently beating former titleholder Holly Holm. But as always, a dark cloud is looming over the division regarding the potential return of previously dominant champion Ronda Rousey, who’s been out of action since getting knocked out by Holm last November.
If the “Rowdy” one plans on returning in the near future, Nunes will be waiting, and the Brazilian feels confident that she would match up well against Rousey:
“”I’ve been training jiu-jitsu since I started. Jiu-jitsu and judo both together. I know how to block very well judo throws, I know how to use my hips very well. I know if Ronda Rousey is coming back, I’m going to keep the championship,” Nunes said during a Q&A session ahead of UFC 201.
If the former champion isn’t coming back any time soon, Nunes acknowledges that both Pena and Shevchenko are deserving of a title shot, but she also once again made it clear that her eyes are set on a bout with Rousey:
“Ronda Rousey,” Nunes said when asked point blank who she wants next. “But we have a couple of girls in line right now — Julianna Pena, Valentina Shevchenko, and if Ronda’s not coming back, I’ll take Julianna Pena. It’s no problem.”
Who would you like to see the 135-pound queen face off with next?