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Amanda Nunes
Ceremonial weigh ins - Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Peña UFC 269 (cropped).jpg
Ceremonial weigh ins - Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Peña UFC 269
Born (1988-05-30) May 30, 1988 (age 35)
Pojuca, Bahia, Brazil
Other names (The) Lioness
Weight 61 kg (134 lb; 10 st)
Division Bantamweight (2011–2023)
Featherweight (2008–2011, 2018–2023)
Reach 175 cm (69 in)
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Coral Springs, Florida, United States
Team Team Carvalho (2003–2012)
AMA Fight Club (2010–2012)
MMA Masters (2012–2014)
American Top Team (2014–2022)
Rank Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Daniel Valverde
Brown belt in Judo
Years active 2008–2023 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 28
Wins 23
By knockout 13
By submission 4
By decision 6
Losses 5
By knockout 2
By submission 2
By decision 1
Spouse Nina Nunes
Children 1

Amanda Nunes (born May 30, 1988) is a Brazilian retired professional mixed martial artist. She competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where she is the former UFC Women's Featherweight Champion and two-time UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. She was ranked #1 in the UFC women's pound-for-pound rankings at the time of her retirement.

Widely regarded as the greatest female mixed martial artist of all time, Nunes is the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion, and the third fighter to hold UFC titles in two weight classes simultaneously, after Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier.

Early life

Amanda Lourenço Nunes was born on May 30, 1988, in Pojuca, a small town outside of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, as a daughter of Ivete and Sindoval Nunes. She has two older sisters, Valdirene and Vanessa. After her parents split up when she was 4, Nunes and her sisters remained with their mother. To support the family as a single parent, Mrs. Ivete sold hot dogs, sweets and beauty products alongside her regular job as a school administrative assistant. According to Nunes, her father initially did not support her fighting career, but has since changed course.

Nunes has described her mother, Ivete, as a loving but strict parent. Ivete encouraged Amanda to get involved with sports as a way to deal with her excess energy.

Nunes initially aspired to become a professional soccer player, starting out in elementary school as a player on the local Pojuca team and later on the Salvador team. Eventually, she got the opportunity to try out for the Vitória football club, but was unable to accept due to her mother wanting her to focus on studies instead.

Martial arts training

Nunes's uncle, José Silva, was a Vale Tudo fighter. Her mother Ivete, who herself regularly trained boxing, cornered him during his fights. Nunes first attended capoeira classes at age five, after her school teacher complained that she was too hyperactive in class. She started learning karate at age seven.

My mother used to box, and I followed her footsteps into training. She loves fighting. My uncle used to fight Vale Tudo, and my mother even cornered him in some of his fights. She always says, ‘the first strike has to be yours. She can’t touch you before you touch her. You have to intimidate her.’

At the age of 16, following her sister Vanessa's invitation to a dojo, she began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. At this time, she also got involved with boxing. Despite being the only woman at the gym, she soon started dominating her training partners in sparring. After she had defeated all of her opposition, at age 17, she moved to Salvador to train at the Edson Carvalho academy under the tutelage of his brother, Ricardo Carvalho. There, she also started training in judo. She lived at an apartment with her sister, but because it was too far away from the gym, she accepted her coach's offer to move there. Because she was the only girl, and because the logo of the academy are two lions, her coach and other students started calling her "Leoa" (lioness in Portuguese), a nickname she still uses.

I slept on the mat, I woke up at about 4:30 am to clean the whole gym with the coach. There were some other athletes who lived in the gym as well, but there was only me as a woman. We woke up very early to leave the gym clean for the first jiu-jitsu class, which started at 6 am. I used to live there, so why not help the coach? That is also a part of fighter's life. [...] Today, when I look back, I think it was very worthwhile to go through all of this. I really liked living at the gym, because it was facing Porto da Barra, facing the sea, so I trained, took a shower, went for a walk on the shore, stayed there. It was perfect for me.

Nunes soon started competing in BJJ tournaments. Among her biggest accomplishments in this sport are gold medal at the Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2008 as a blue belt, gold medal at World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2009 as a purple belt and becoming a world champion of the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) in the lightweight and absolute divisions in 2012. She currently holds a black belt in BJJ and a brown belt in judo.

Nunes started training MMA in 2007 at Edson Carvalho's gym. After moving to the US, she lived in New Jersey and trained at AMA Fight Club before moving to Miami to train at MMA Masters. She is currently training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. Her coaches are Conan Silveira (MMA), Phil Daru (S&C), and Jose Rojas (asst. S&C)

Mixed martial arts career

Nunes made her professional debut on March 8, 2008, at Prime MMA Championship 2. She faced Ana Maria and was defeated by armbar submission in the first round.

Strikeforce

Nunes had won five straight fights, all by knockout prior to making her Strikeforce debut on January 7, 2011, at Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine in Nashville, Tennessee. She defeated Canadian Julia Budd by knockout in just 14 seconds.

Nunes was scheduled to fight Julie Kedzie at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on June 18, 2011, in Dallas, Texas. The bout was cancelled after Nunes sustained a foot injury.

Nunes fought Alexis Davis on September 10, 2011, at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov. She lost the fight via TKO late in the second round. In the first round, Nunes started strongly with heavy strikes, but quickly faded. By the second round, Nunes was exhausted from the start of the round. While attempting a takedown she was instantly reversed and Davis was able to obtain full mount to finish Nunes with strikes.

Nunes signed to face Cat Zingano at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy on September 29, 2012, but the event was cancelled when Gilbert Melendez, who was set to defend his title against Pat Healy, sustained a knee injury in training that forced his withdrawal from the card.

Invicta FC

Nunes was scheduled to face Milana Dudieva at Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann on July 28, 2012. Dudieva withdrew from the fight due to illness on July 9 and Nunes was then scheduled to face Leslie Smith instead. Smith also withdrew due to an injury and Nunes ultimately faced Raquel Pa'aluhi. Nunes won the fight via technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the first round.

On January 5, 2013, Nunes returned to Invicta FC to face Sarah D'Alelio at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt. Nunes lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Nunes was scheduled to face Kaitlin Young at Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson on April 5, 2013. She withdrew due to an arm injury.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Nunes made her Octagon debut against Sheila Gaff at UFC 163 on August 3, 2013, in Brazil. She won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Nunes made her second UFC appearance when she faced Germaine de Randamie at UFC Fight Night 31 on November 6, 2013. She won the fight via TKO in the first round.

For her third fight with the promotion, Nunes was named the injury replacement for Shayna Baszler against Sarah Kaufman at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale. Nunes later pulled out of the bout with a dislocated thumb.

Nunes faced Cat Zingano on September 27, 2014, at UFC 178. After nearly finishing Zingano with punches in the first round, she lost the next round before being finished via TKO in the third round.

Nunes faced Shayna Baszler on March 21, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 62. She won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Nunes faced Sara McMann on August 8, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 73. She won the fight via a rear-naked choke submission in the first round, after knocking her opponent down with a three punch combination.

Nunes faced Valentina Shevchenko on March 5, 2016, at UFC 196. She won the fight by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–27, and 29–27).

Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion

After amassing a three-fight win streak, Nunes earned her first title shot in the UFC. She faced Miesha Tate for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200. Nunes stunned Tate early on with knees and punches and then won the fight by submission (rear-naked choke) in the first round. Her victory made her the first openly gay UFC champion.

On December 30, 2016, Nunes made her first title defense against returning MMA superstar Ronda Rousey in the main event at UFC 207. Nunes won the fight via TKO due to punches 48 seconds into the first round.

For her second title defense, Nunes was scheduled to face Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch at UFC 213 on July 8, 2017. The pair originally fought at UFC 196, with Nunes winning by unanimous decision. Nunes was hospitalized the morning of the fight with chronic sinusitis and the fight was cancelled. Joanna Jędrzejczyk offered to replace Nunes, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission could not clear her on such short notice. Nunes instead fought Shevchenko at UFC 215 on September 9 in Edmonton, Alberta. Nunes won the closely contested fight by split decision. Out of 22 media outlets, 10 scored it for Nunes, 10 for Shevchenko, and 2 scored it a draw.

Nunes faced Raquel Pennington on May 12, 2018, at UFC 224. After a dominant performance, Nunes won the fight via TKO in round five. This was the first UFC event headlined by two openly gay fighters.

Nunes moved up in weight to face Cris Cyborg for the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship on December 29, 2018, at UFC 232. Nunes knocked Cyborg out in 51 seconds of the first round to become the new UFC Women's Featherweight Champion. This made her the first woman in UFC to hold championship belts in different divisions simultaneously. This win also earned her the Performance of the Night award.

Nunes returned to bantamweight to make her fourth title defense against former champion Holly Holm on July 6, 2019, at UFC 239. She won the fight via knockout in round one after dropping Holm with a head kick and following up with punches. This win earned her the Performance of the Night award.

Nunes faced Germaine de Randamie on December 14, 2019, at UFC 245 to defend her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. After outgrappling her opponent in every round, she won the fight via unanimous decision (49–44, 49–46, and 49–45). This win meant Nunes had the most wins in women's title fights in the UFC, with seven such wins.

Nunes was expected to face Felicia Spencer on May 9, 2020, at then UFC 250. On April 9, Dana White, president of the UFC announced that this event was postponed The bout eventually took place on June 6, 2020, at UFC 250. Nunes won via unanimous decision (50–44, 50–44, and 50–45).

Nunes was expected to defend her featherweight title against Megan Anderson in December 2020 at UFC 256. It was announced on November 9 that Nunes pulled out due to an undisclosed injury and the bout was postponed to 2021. The pairing was rescheduled for March 6, 2021 at UFC 259. Nunes won the fight via triangle armbar in round one.

Nunes was expected to defend her bantamweight title on August 7, 2021, at UFC 265 against Julianna Peña. Nunes tested positive for COVID-19 on July 29 and the bout was cancelled. The fight was rescheduled and eventually took place at UFC 269 on December 11, 2021. After dominating the first round, Nunes was outstruck in the second round, and eventually submitted via rear-naked choke, losing her bantamweight championship in a massive upset.

On February 5, 2022, it was announced that Nunes and Julianna Peña will be the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 30 at ESPN+ and the show featured heavyweight and women's flyweight contestants.

A rematch against Julianna Peña for the UFC Women's Bantamweight title took place on July 30, 2022, at UFC 277. Nunes recaptured the title in a 5-round dominant unanimous decision victory over Peña, and became the first person in UFC history, of either gender to become double champ twice. She also became the first fighter to win a title in the weight class below the one in which they were currently holding the title. Nunes received Crypto.com "Fan Bonus of the Night" awards paid in bitcoin of US$30,000 for first place for this fight.

Retirement

A trilogy bout was scheduled against Julianna Peña on June 10, 2023, at UFC 289. On May 2, 2023, it was announced that Peña had suffered broken ribs during training camp and would be unable to compete. Irene Aldana agreed to replace Peña at the event. Nunes won the fight via a dominant unanimous decision, and announced her retirement from active competition during the post-fight interview.

Personal life

Nunes is the first openly lesbian UFC champion. She is married to former UFC fighter Nina Nunes (née Ansaroff), who competed in the strawweight division. She credits her UFC success to their relationship. On September 24, 2020, her wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter.

Championships and accomplishments

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship (two times)
      • Six successful title defenses (overall)
        • Five successful title defenses (first reign)
        • One successful title defense (second reign)
      • Most wins in UFC title fights amongst women (11)
      • Most wins in UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship fights (8)
      • Most bouts in UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship fights (9)
      • First woman in UFC to win two titles (bantamweight and featherweight) and to also hold them simultaneously
      • First fighter in UFC to defend titles in two divisions while holding both titles simultaneously
      • Sixth multi-divisional champion in UFC and third to hold two titles simultaneously (after Daniel Cormier and Conor McGregor)
      • First and only fighter to retire as multi-division champion in UFC history
      • Fourth longest single UFC title reign of all time (1981 days) (behind Demetrious Johnson, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva)
    • UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship (one time)
      • Two successful title defenses
      • Tied (Cris Cyborg) for most wins in UFC Women's Featherweight Championship fights (3)
      • Longest combined UFC title reign of all time (3920 days)
      • Most combined title defenses by a woman in UFC history (8)
      • Tied (Anderson Silva) for fourth most title fight wins in UFC history (11)
    • Performance of the Night (five times) vs. Sara McMann, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm
      • Tied (Ronda Rousey) for the second most Performance of the Night bonuses in UFC Women's history (5)
      • Third most Post-Fight bonuses in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (4)
    • Tied (Jéssica Andrade) for most wins in UFC Women's history (16)
    • Most finishes in UFC Women's history (10)
    • Most knockouts in UFC Women's history (7)
    • Most consecutive wins in UFC Women's history (12)
    • Most knockout wins in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (6)
    • Most finishes in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (8)
    • Most wins in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (13)
    • Most consecutive wins in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (9)
    • Most knockdowns in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (9)
      • Most knockdowns in a bout in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (3 vs Julianna Peña 2)
    • Most takedowns in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (32)
      • Most takedowns landed in a bout in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (8 vs Germaine de Randamie)
    • Tied (Cris Cyborg) for most consecutive wins in UFC Women's Featherweight division history (3)
    • Second most bouts in UFC Women's Bantamweight division history (15)
    • Holds wins over seven former UFC champions — Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie (twice), Cris Cyborg, and Julianna Peña
    • Sixth highest win percentage in UFC history (88.9% - 16 wins / 2 losses)
    • 2015 August Submission of the Month vs. Sara McMann
    • 2018 Female Fighter of the Year
    • 2019 Female Fighter of the Year
  • CombatPress.com
    • 2018 Upset of the Year vs. Cris Cyborg
    • 2018 Female Fighter of the Year
    • 2019 Female Fighter of the Year
  • MMA Weekly
    • 2018 Knockout of the Year vs. Cris Cyborg
  • Equality California
    • 2016 Equality Visibility Award
  • MMADNA.nl
    • 2016 Female Fighter of the Year
    • 2018 Female Fighter of the Year
  • World MMA Awards
    • 2016 Female Fighter of the Year
    • 2018 Female Fighter of the Year
    • 2018 Knockout of the Year vs. Cris Cyborg at UFC 232
    • 2018 Upset of the Year vs. Cris Cyborg at UFC 232
    • 2019 – July 2020 Female Fighter of the Year

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
28 matches 23 wins 5 losses
By knockout 13 2
By submission 4 2
By decision 6 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 23–5 Irene Aldana Decision (unanimous) UFC 289 June 10, 2023 5 5:00 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Vacated title on June 20, 2023.
Win 22–5 Julianna Peña Decision (unanimous) UFC 277 July 30, 2022 5 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Won the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Loss 21–5 Julianna Peña Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 269 December 11, 2021 2 3:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Win 21–4 Megan Anderson Submission (reverse triangle armbar) UFC 259 March 6, 2021 1 2:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship. Vacated title on June 20, 2023.
Win 20–4 Felicia Spencer Decision (unanimous) UFC 250 June 6, 2020 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 19–4 Germaine de Randamie Decision (unanimous) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Win 18–4 Holly Holm TKO (head kick and punches) UFC 239 July 6, 2019 1 4:10 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 17–4 Cris Cyborg KO (punch) UFC 232 December 29, 2018 1 0:51 Inglewood, California, United States Won the UFC Women's Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 16–4 Raquel Pennington TKO (elbows and punches) UFC 224 May 12, 2018 5 2:36 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Win 15–4 Valentina Shevchenko Decision (split) UFC 215 September 9, 2017 5 5:00 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Win 14–4 Ronda Rousey TKO (punches) UFC 207 December 30, 2016 1 0:48 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 13–4 Miesha Tate Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 200 July 9, 2016 1 3:16 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 12–4 Valentina Shevchenko Decision (unanimous) UFC 196 March 5, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–4 Sara McMann Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Saint Preux August 8, 2015 1 2:53 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 10–4 Shayna Baszler TKO (leg kick) UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare March 21, 2015 1 1:56 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Loss 9–4 Cat Zingano TKO (elbows and punches) UFC 178 September 27, 2014 3 1:21 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–3 Germaine de Randamie TKO (elbows) UFC: Fight for the Troops 3 November 6, 2013 1 3:56 Fort Campbell, Kentucky, United States
Win 8–3 Sheila Gaff TKO (punches and elbows) UFC 163 August 3, 2013 1 2:08 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Loss 7–3 Sarah D'Alelio Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt January 5, 2013 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Nunes was deducted one point due to an illegal upkick.
Win 7–2 Raquel Pa'aluhi Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann July 28, 2012 1 2:24 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Loss 6–2 Alexis Davis TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov September 10, 2011 2 4:53 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States Bantamweight debut.
Win 6–1 Julia Budd KO (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine January 7, 2011 1 0:14 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 5–1 Ediane Gomes TKO (punches) Bitetti Combat 6 February 25, 2010 2 3:00 Brasília, Brazil
Win 4–1 Vanessa Porto TKO (corner stoppage) Samurai FC 2: Warrior's Return December 12, 2009 2 5:00 Curitiba, Brazil
Win 3–1 Deise Lee Rocha TKO (punches) Samurai Fight Combat September 12, 2009 1 1:08 Curitiba, Brazil
Win 2–1 Nadja Nadja TKO (punches) Prime: MMA Championship 3 July 1, 2008 1 0:10 Salvador, Brazil
Win 1–1 Paty Barbosa TKO (corner stoppage) Demo Fight 3 May 24, 2008 1 0:11 Salvador, Brazil
Loss 0–1 Ana Maria Submission (armbar) Prime: MMA Championship 2 March 8, 2008 1 0:35 Salvador, Brazil Featherweight debut.

Pay-per-view bouts

No. Event Fight Date City Venue PPV Buys
1. UFC 200 Tate vs. Nunes July 9, 2016 Paradise, Nevada, United States T-Mobile Arena 1,009,000
2. UFC 207 Nunes vs. Rousey December 30, 2016 Paradise, Nevada, United States T-Mobile Arena 1,100,000
3. UFC 215 Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2 September 9, 2017 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Rogers Place 100,000
4. UFC 224 Nunes vs. Pennington May 12, 2018 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Jeunesse Arena 85,000
5. UFC 250 Nunes vs. Spencer June 6, 2020 Enterprise, Nevada, United States UFC Apex 85,000
6. UFC 277 Peña vs. Nunes 2 July 30, 2022 Dallas, Texas, United States American Airlines Center Not Disclosed
7. UFC 289 Nunes vs. Aldana June 10, 2022 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Rogers Arena Not Disclosed

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Amanda Nunes para niños

  • List of current UFC fighters
  • List of female mixed martial artists
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