01 Jan Amanda Nunes ecstatic at making history, could pause career for rest of 2020
Two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes was bursting with joy at the post-fight press conference for UFC 250, soaking up a perfect performance that saw her defend her featherweight title for the first time.
“Nobody ever did that before,” she told reporters after the event. “I have to watch the fight again and just enjoy, because I knew someday in my life, something big was going to happen. And I’m surprised it was more big that I thought, but I was ready.”
Nunes made history as the first UFC two-division titleholder to defend both of her belts, dominating Felicia Spencer for her 11th straight win on Saturday at UFC APEX. “The Lioness” has also successfully defended her bantamweight title five consecutive times. Spencer survived a ferocious beating in the later rounds, prompting several UFC fighters to call for the challenger’s towel to be thrown in.
Nursing a hurt foot from Spencer checking her kicks, Nunes was carried into the room by her team. She said she’ll need time to recover from her immediate injuries, but her first priority is the upcoming birth of her daughter with partner and fellow UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff.
Motherhood may put Nunes’ career on pause for the remainder of this year.
“A break for sure,” she said. “I have to see what’s going on with my legs. I always get hurt with this leg — I don’t know what’s going on. And my baby is coming in three months, she’s going to be here. I have to organize a lot of things, her room, and I really need a break right now. … I think maybe off [the rest of the year] for sure.”
In the meantime, the UFC will need to come up with a suitable challenger in the bantamweight or featherweight division. Nunes has already taken out a who’s who of talent in both classes, leading to the designation as the GOAT female MMA fighter — and perhaps in combat sports history.
Nunes, however, was focused on smaller goals, namely, not going crazy during the fight. Having UFC 250 in an empty arena helped her to avoid charging after Spencer when she took a punch or kick.
“My coach yelled at me, ‘No, don’t do that!’” Nunes said. “Especially me, I have to have somebody to bring me back.”
As for what might compel her to return, the two-division champ isn’t sure what’s next. But she’s still on cloud nine from a “perfect” performance.
“We’ll see,” she said. “I’m very excited to see my next step.”