The Final Roar: Amanda “Lioness” Nunes Retires from MMA

By Rockin’ Reese

Saturday night in Vancouver, Amanda Nunes stepped into the octagon & successfully defended her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship against Irene Aldana. After the fight, Brazil’s “Lioness” would make an announcement that sent shockwaves throughout the not only the UFC, but the entire MMA world.

Nunes would declare that UFC 289 would mark the end of her career in MMA. With that announcement, she would immediately vacate the Bantamweight Championship, as well as the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship. It was a victorious end to one of the most prominent careers in women’s sports.

Amanda Nunes was born in Pojuca, Brazil. Initially interested in soccer, Nunes shifted to the martial arts. She studied various forms such as karate, judo, & Brazilian jiu-jitsu. After graduating high school, she moved to the United States to keep training.

Amanda Nunes

Originally, she lived in Edison, New Jersey, & trained at AMA Fight Club. Then, she moved to Florida…first, training at MMA Masters in Miami, before joining American Top Team in Coconut Creek. In March 2008, she would make her MMA debut against Ana Maria at “Prime: MMA Championship 2” in Salvador, Brazil. Nunes would lose in 35 seconds to an armbar.

After a moderate amount of success in MMA (her record was 7-3), she went to the UFC. She made her UFC debut in August 2013, knocking out Sheila Gaff at UFC 163. At UFC 200 in July 2016, she would choke out Miesha Tate to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight championship.

In her 1st defense, she would knock out Ronda Rousey in what would be Rousey’s last match. In December 2018, Nunes would become the first female 2-division champion in UFC history.

At UFC 232, she would knock out Cris Cyborg to win the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship. Nunes had a 12-match winning streak before losing the Bantamweight Title to Julianna Peña at UFC 269 (via choke-out). Amanda would regain the title from Peña at UFC 277, last July.

Nunes has defeated some of the most prominent names in MMA (Valentina Shevchenko, Tate, Rousey, Cyborg, & Holly Holm). “Lioness” proved she is the queen of the MMA jungle. There is no doubt that she will be in the Hall of Fame, sooner rather than later.

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