Amanda Nunes embraces underdog role at UFC 207
While many UFC fans run up and down the Las Vegas strip with Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey gear on, the woman she’ll share the octagon with tonight is constantly being overlooked despite being the defending titleholder.
For UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, the first woman to sign with the UFC, this is a fact she’s perfectly fine with because she realizes Rousey’s position in the sport and knows fans don’t know her just yet. The 28-year-old Brazilian was overlooked going into UFC 200 in July against veteran Miesha Tate before making her dream of becoming a UFC champ a reality, so Nunes knows a thing or two of what it takes to shock the MMA community.
“This is the biggest fight for me in my career because I have to show everybody that my big win over Miesha to become champion wasn’t a fluke and that I’m here to stay,” Nunes said. “If I fight my fight and bring it to Ronda like I know I can, everybody is going to have to respect me and in the end I will shut up a lot of mouths.”
Many people, especially MMA media members, are completely dismayed and upset with the fact that Rousey hasn’t spoken a word to promote her fight with Nunes. The champion herself is perfectly fine with it, as she has her mind focused on one thing and it has nothing to do with media obligations.
“If the UFC wants to let Ronda Rousey not say anything, I am perfectly fine with that because the only thing I think about is the belt,” Nunes said. “At the end of the day, I’m the champion and the only thing I’m focused one is keeping my belt and remaining the champion at UFC 207.”
Nunes’ aggressive, hard-hitting striking style will be a perfect challenge for Rousey after her struggles with former champion Holly Holm.
On the flip side, many people, including Rousey’s camp, feel Nunes is an extremely fast starter has a very low gas tank which can be exposed once the fight gets outside of a round. For a perfect example, all one has to do is take a look a Nunes’ fight with UFC bantamweight contender Cat Zingano at UFC 178.
After nearly finishing Zingano with punches in the first round, Nunez began to tire out and lost the next round before being finished via TKO in the third round. Despite the blueprint, the current champ feels she’s ready for anything Rousey brings to the table including going the distance if need be.
“I train everyday very intensely from my kick boxing, to my jiu-jitsu and my judo-takedown defense along with my cardio because to beat someone the caliber of Ronda Rousey you have to be well-rounded – which I am,” a confident Nunes said. “I’m ready and for those that don’t think I work on my cardio: I train for six rounds in the gym instead of five to be ready come fight night. I feel very ready for this fight and even better than I did coming into my last two fights.”
It’s doubtful tonight’s championship fight will go past two rounds no matter who wins, but one thing is certain – Nunes is comfortable in the underdog role and knows what it takes to pull off a major upset on the big stage.