UFC women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes initially stated that she’d like to move up to the 145-pound division to take on newly crowned champion Germaine de Randamie, but has since changed her mind.
Nunes holds a knockout win over de Randamie in a bantamweight bout in 2013. When de Randamie defeated Holly Holm at UFC 208 to capture the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title, Nunes saw an opportunity to hold two UFC belts concurrently.
Her plans were abandoned when top female featherweight Cris “Cyborg” Justino was granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), clearing up a potential anti-doping policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition test administered in December. Instead of facing a lengthy suspension, Cyborg was given the green light to accept a fight.
“The reason I said that I wanted to go up was because I beat Germaine de Randamie already. And if it was going to take Cris a long time to come back, I wanted to go up to try to get the second belt. But I hear that she’s going to come back soon, and I’m not interested anymore to go up,” Nunes told UFC Tonight on Wednesday.
Amanda Nunes – UFC 207 Post“I think Cris is going to come back, and I think in this division she has to be the champion. This division was opened for her,” she added.
UFC Tonight analysts Kenny Florian and middleweight champion Michael Bisping were skeptical about Nunes’ sudden change of intentions.
“I have a tough time believing Amanda Nunes is scared of anyone,” said Florian. “But at the same time, when I really think about this, does she have so much respect for someone that she hasn’t trained with? As far as I know, she isn’t friends with Cyborg, so why doesn’t she want this fight?”
“The 145-pound division was created for Cyborg. Let’s remember that,” said Bisping. “The 145-pound title fight that happened between Holly Holm and Germaine, I honestly believe that Cyborg would have destroyed the pair of them.
“Cyborg is the baddest woman on the face of the Earth right now.”