Amanda Nunes: The Lioness, Queen of the Jungle

Amanda Nunes: The Lioness, Queen of the Jungle

UFC 207 is quickly approaching and it features a main event of epic proportions. The final UFC card of 2016 marks the return of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey to the octagon for the first time in over a year. In many ways, it marks the most important fight of her career. The build-up to UFC 207 has been heavily focused on Rousey. But what about her opponent?

Enter Amanda Nunes, current UFC women’s bantamweight champion of the world and undisputed queen of the jungle. December 30th marks the biggest fight of Amanda’s career, and could very well take her popularity to the next level.

While Rousey’s path to UFC 207 has been well documented, very little is known about Amanda and where she comes from or how her career has been shaped to this point.

Amanda Nunes grew up in Bahia, Brazil, and took up Karate at the age of four. She didn’t take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu until accompanying her sister to a school years later. Eventually, Amanda would go on to earn her black belt.

She made her professional mixed martial arts debut in 2008 at at the age of 19. While her debut didn’t go as planned, falling victim to an armbar in the first round, she would finish her time on the Brazilian circuit with 5 straight wins before making the trek upwards to the United States.

STRIKEFORCEAmanda Nunes: The Lioness, Queen of the Jungle

Amanda made her Strikeforce debut in 2011 and absolutely burst onto the scene, securing a first round KO in 14 seconds. Her time in Strikeforce didn’t last long as one of her fight cards was cancelled and the promotion was eventually bought by the UFC.

Amanda Invicta FC 


Following the sale of Strikeforce Amanda made the move to Invicta FC and debuted in 2012 with a record of 6-2 at the time. Again her time was short lived as she only had two fights, including a first round submission victory, before the UFC came calling.


UFCAmanda in UFC

Nunes made her UFC debut in 2013 at UFC 163 with a first round stoppage of Shelia Gaff. She found success early with two first round victories before falling victim to eventual title contender Cat Zingano. After dusting herself off from that loss she went on a tear taking out some of the most notable names in the division including Shayna Baszler, Sara McMann, and Valentina Shevchenko. Crossing off names on that hit list put in her in line to face Miesha Tate for the bantamweight championship at UFC 200. The rest of course is history as a first round submission victory made her the first Brazilian female champion the UFC has seen.

Amanda Nunes is someone that transcends the sport and reaches people and Amanda Equalitydemographics not often thought to be associated with MMA. Nunes is the first openly lesbian champion in the history of the UFC. Her partner, Nina Ansaroff, is also an MMA fighter. For her efforts, Amanda was awarded the 2016 Equality Visibility Award by Equality California, an LGBT equal rights advocacy group.

Having grown up with very little and moving to a country where she barely spoke the language, to representing a sect of people that is still fighting for equal rights, Amanda Nunes is nothing short of extraordinary.

On Friday, December 30th, “The Lioness” has a chance to truly mark her territory and cement herself as queen of the UFC jungle.


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