As the UFC’s first female double champion, Amanda Nunes is a star in the making, UFC president Dana White said Saturday night.
Throughout her women’s bantamweight reign, the UFC has been criticized for its inability to market Amanda Nunes. She holds marquee wins over women’s MMA pioneers and ex-champions Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, is the promotion’s first openly gay champion, and has been at the top of some major cards, including the landmark UFC 200 in July 2016. Overall, however, Nunes hasn’t resonated very well with the fans. Her most recent fight before Saturday (a title defense against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224 in May) drew less than 100,000 pay-per-view buys.
But after knocking out Cris Cyborg in 51 seconds to win the women’s featherweight title in the UFC 232 co-main event, all of that is about to change, according to White.
“This is the type of fight that builds legacies,” White said of Nunes vs. Cyborg at the post-fight press conference. “You have to find out who is the best in the world. We were able to do that tonight. It was an incredible fight.
“Look at Amanda Nunes. You think Amanda Nunes isn’t gonna be a star after this? I f-cking guarantee it. I promise you that. The place went crazy for her.”
White isn’t sure what is next for Nunes — whether she’ll defend at featherweight or bantamweight — but he is certain of one thing: the Brazilian is the greatest women’s MMA fighter in the history of the sport.
“She’s the best ever. How can you deny it? You can’t deny she’s the best ever,” White said. “That’s what this fight was for. This fight was to find out. If you look at her resume and who she’s beat, she’s the best ever. Nobody can dispute that. You can try, you can say some stupid sh-t, but she’s the best ever.”
UFC 232 took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and also featured Jon Jones’ third-round TKO over Alexander Gustafsson to win the light heavyweight title.