A once-thriving women’s bantamweight division doesn’t seem to be exciting UFC fans right now, and rightfully so.
Although Amanda Nunes is drawing understandable praise for refusing to loosen the tight grip she has on the division, several big-name stars no longer being around has had a slight impact on a division once spearheaded by Ronda Rousey.
Her devastating back-to-back losses against Holly Holm and The Lioness has seen her switch to the WWE. Miesha Tate announced her retirement after her loss at UFC 205 and is now pregnant with her first child - just like Julianna Pena - while Valentina Shevchenko has dropped to the flyweight division.
Then there’s Holm, who has moved up to featherweight and will take on Megan Anderson at UFC 225. So, the division is in a state of flux, to say the least.
With Nunes’ convincing win over Raquel Pennington at UFC 224, many are left wondering just who could be next for the Brazilian after racking up three consecutive title defences and with no real challengers ready to step up to the plate.
The answer is simple - Cris Cyborg. The current UFC featherweight champion.
Like Nunes, Cyborg has steamrolled through her opposition and other than a rematch with Holm or a long overdue battle against Anderson, Nunes is the fight the fans want to see - a super fight as many would call it.
Both fighters have displayed an interest in the fight, but their comments make it seem like a fight is not on the horizon as they both have their demands the other must meet, such as deadlines.
However, Tate - who Nunes defeated to capture the title at UFC 200 - has claimed that should Nunes be able to get past Cyborg, she’d be considered the greatest of all time.
When speaking to MMA Junkie Radio, she said: “We are in a bit of a drought in the 135-pound division. But it opens opportunities for new stars to arise. We’ve just for to realise there’s always ebb and flow. We’re in a little bit of an ebb, but it’ll come back. It’ll come around.
“I think she [Nunes] possesses a long enough range, enough power and enough speed to pose problems.
“That would be a really interesting fight. Obviously, if she beats Cyborg, she would without question be the greatest of all time...She’s already kind of in that conversation right now.”
Cyborg has been widely considered the greatest female fighter of all time, especially since her sole loss came in her debut back in 2005, before racking up 20 wins, along with one no contest.
Although Cyborg is now chasing boxing great Cecilia Braekhus, perhaps the chance to end Nunes’ dominance could become the priority with Nunes also eager to derail the Cyborg hype train.
What do you make of Miesha Tate claiming Amanda Nunes can become the greatest of all time if she beats Cris Cyborg? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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