FIGHTER PROFILE: AMANDA ‘THE LIONESS’ NUNES

One of the most dominating fighters in the fight games today Is Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes. Nunes has been on an amazing 12 fight win streak, and is the only Woman to ever hold two belts as the reigning UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight champion. She is the only UFC fighter male or female to attempt to and successfully defend both of their titles. During her run, Nunes has taken on and beaten a who’s who of the greatest women fighters of all time including multiple wins over Valentina Schevchenko, and victories over Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey. And at the moment it seems like there’s no one on the UFC roster who could stop Nunes reign.

Nunes was born on  May 30, 1988 in Pojuca, Bahia, Brazil. A small town outside of Salvador, the capital of Bahia. She was raised mostly by her mother as her parents split when she was four years old. Nunes has two older sisters her mother also raised, and worked many odd jobs to support. Her mother trained as a boxer and her uncle was a Vale Tudo fighter, so fighting is definitely in Nunes’ blood At first Nunes’ father did not agree with his daughter fighting, but as her career has progressed he has become more comfortable with his daughter being the most dominant fighter in Women’s MMA history. 


Nunes is a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Daniel Valverde. Nunes is also a brown  belt in judo.  Nunes got her start in Martial arts after her sister invited her to a gym to start training BJJ when she was 16 years old. Nunes also started training in boxing at this same time, and discovered her passion for fighting. At 17 she moved to Salvador and began training full time under Ricardo Carvalho. She began living in an apartment in Salvador, but this became a hassle due to the distance between the gym and her living quarters, so Nunes began living in the gym. It was at this gym she got the name “Leoa” which means lioness in Portuguese. They called her “Leoa” because the symbol for the gym was two lions, and because she was the only woman living in the gym.

Nunes started training MMA in 2007 and by 2008 she was competing in MMA. She lost her first fight by submission but then won her next five. She then made her Strikeforce debut where she made a statement knocking out her opponent Julia Budd in 14 seconds. Nunes then went onto Invicta FC where she went 1-1.

Nunes then went to the UFC. She made her UFC debut at UFC 163 in Brazil winning by TKO in the first round. Since making her UFC debut she’s gone on to beat a who’s who of the UFC women’s roster including multiple wins over Valentina Schevchenko. Nunes has also notched victories over Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey. Nunes is set to take on Juliana Pena at UFC 269 in December. 

On top of a successful Career in the UFC Nunes is also a mother. Nunes and her wife UFC strawweight Nina Nunes welcomed their daughter, Raegan Ann Nunes in September of 2020. Nunes is the First UFC champion to also be a mother. 

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