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Seven months after the loss to Julianna
Pena
that cost her the bantamweight belt and, for many, put in
doubt her status as the greatest female fighter in MMA history,
Amanda
Nunes
returns to the Octagon next Saturday in Dallas, Texas,
for a long-awaited rematch with the American in the main event of
UFC 277. Last week the “Lioness” received Brazilian journalist
Evelyn Rodrigues from Rede Globo for an exclusive interview at her
new gym in Sunrise, Florida. The six-minute report was shown last
Sunday on Esporte Espetacular, the most watched sports program by
the largest Brazilian broadcaster.

In addition to introducing her new coaches and her new gym to
Brazilian fans, Nunes claimed that she is much better prepared than
in her first fight. “In the first fight I had Covid and soon after
I recovered I jumped into the camp with all my energy. I ended up
injuring my knee which prevented me from making a correct camp. I
trained one day and rested two days because the knee couldn’t move
the other day, I pulled it any way I could. And I decided to fight
like that, I hadn’t trained 100%. All I needed was to do the
rematch with a full camp, like I have now.”

In the interview, Nunes also recalled the influence of Professional Fighters League lightweight
champion Kayla
Harrison
on her decision to break up with American Top Team,
her longtime gym. “She was training in the same room and with my
teachers like Mike
[Thomas] Brown
and Anderson [Franca], everyone who helped me
become who I am. She came to drink the water I drank to become
champion. She had a free ‘pass’ to do all this. I know the gym is
open. I was feeling like I had Kayla in my shadow all the time and
it was making me really sick. When you start attacking me inside my
gym, my comfort zone, where I train and I’m at peace, you end up
creating a conflict there. And this was already starting to get
very intense for me,” explained Nunes.

With nine belts that represent each victory in UFC title disputes —
six at bantamweight and three at featherweight — Nunes managed to
enter record books as the only woman to hold multiple UFC belts and
the only fighter, male or female, to defend both at the same time.
In the report, Nunes guaranteed that, regardless of the result of
Saturday’s fight, she intends to continue making history. “I´ll not
stop here. Winning the belt is about continuing to make history,
continuing the legacy of fights and more fights, and continuing to
break records. I look forward to seeing my future from now on. ‘The
Lioness’ is back, for sure.”


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