Women’s Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes
135-pound queen Amanda Nunes was in the discussion for “Fighter of the Year” in 2016, and for good reason, as she scored three victories throughout the year including two brutal stoppage victories over former champions Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, two of the very best female fighters of all-time.
The “Lioness” will likely take on the winner of January 28’s bout between surging contenders Valentina Schevchenko and Julianna Pena. Nunes has already beaten Shevchenko and some have argued that Pena is being rushed towards the top. Either way, I’d pick the Brazilian to topple either opponent.
Nunes hasn’t lost since dropping a TKO loss to Cat Zingano in 2014 and she’s won five straight since. Her strong grappling background coupled with her improving footwork and brutal power has made her a force to be reckoned with at 135-pounds and I expect her to continue to thrive in 2017.