Amanda Nunes is finally coming back to the Octagon, but not in the fight she expected on her way towards the UFC belt.
Months after dispatching former title challenger Sara McMann in less than three minutes, Nunes was offered a fight with Miesha Tate for late 2015, but it never came to fruition. Now, seven months after her last appearance, she is slated to take on Valentina Shevchenko at Saturday’s UFC 196.
“We were close to getting a fight done with Miesha, but it didn’t happen,” Nunes told MMAFighting.com. “Miesha wanted a title fight because she was on a good winning streak. I understand her. But the UFC really tried making this fight happen last year.
“They gave me Valentina now. Valentina is coming off good wins, an impressive one over Sarah Kaufman, so I knew she would be a good opponent for me. Let’s do this. I will win this fight and make some noise, so I can fight for the belt next.”
Tate got the shot at recently-crowned champion Holly Holm instead, while Nunes has to beat a 1-0 UFC fighter, currently ranked at No. 10 in the women’s bantamweight division, to continue climbing the latter closer to a shot at the UFC belt.
“Where the opponent is in the rankings means nothing,” Nunes said. “She’s coming off a big win over a former Strikeforce champion, so that makes Valentina a big name. It won’t be a problem for me. I’m focused the same way. I will go there and get the job done, and then fight for the title.”
Nunes is confident that UFC 196 “will be my night” and that she is “superior standing and on the ground” against Shevchenko. With a 4-1 UFC record with four first-round stoppage victories, the Brazilian expects to stop ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting