Since the creation of the women’s featherweight division, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has expressed her intention to move up and chase for her second belt. Nunes called out then-UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie for a fight before Cris Cyborg came into the scene.
In May, Amanda Nunes said in a promotional luncheon in Los Angeles that she won’t be fighting Cris Cyborg for the featherweight belt. Not only because both of them are Brazilian fighters but also because Nunes believed she has to do a lot of preparations and changes with her fighting style before facing Cyborg, per MMA Weekly.
As of now, Cris Cyborg holds the women’s featherweight belt and is set to defend it against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 219. Days before the fight, Amanda Nunes created noise once again, and this time, her camp revealed their plan to challenge the winner of the Holm-Cyborg bout in 2018.
“We have the utmost respect for Cyborg and Holm, it’d be a great fight with either one,” American Top Team coach Conan Silveira said in an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo (h/t MMA Mania). “But we believe Amanda could be champion in both divisions because she has all the tools for that. She is an extremely well-rounded fighter and has been showing that she does deserve to face the winner. That’s our main focus for 2018.”
Amanda Nunes last fought in the Octagon at UFC 215 where she successfully defended the bantamweight belt against Valentina Shevchenko. If the UFC allows Nunes to face the winner of Cyborg vs Holm UFC 219 bout, Silveira said they are open to the possibility of vacating a belt. However, their decision will be made after the potential fight.
The news about Nunes’ plan to move up to the featherweight division reached Cris Cyborg. The reigning UFC women’s featherweight champion expressed her strong disagreement fighting her fellow Brazilian champion, per MMAjunkie. Cyborg believes they should stay in their respective divisions and continue representing their country. However, if Nunes and her camp will insist the fight, Cyborg said she’s ready to face “The Lioness.”
So far, Cyborg is focused on her upcoming fight against Holly Holm. Most people believe Cyborg will remain as the featherweight champion after the fight, but some still believe Holm is headed for another upset. Holm already faced the same situation when she fought Ronda Rousey. However, everyone knows Cyborg is a more dangerous fighter than Rousey either in a stand-up or ground fight.
If Cyborg succeeds to defend the title, she plans on giving Megan Anderson a title shot. Cyborg said she’s more interested in fighting an “established fighter” in the featherweight division than fighters who came from a lighter class.