Amanda Nunes has no intentions of dropping the UFC’s bantamweight title, even if it means having to face her girlfriend, Nina Ansaroff , in the cage.
Nunes will step into the Octagon tonight at UFC 224, and will be looking to defend the 135 title against Raquel Pennington. The bout marks the third time Nunes will be defending the belt, since she submitted Miesha Tate in 2016.
Leading up to the bout, the Brazilian star’s made it clear she’s enjoying life as champion, and that she’s extremely committed to extending her reign. In addition, Nunes had this to say (quote via UFC.com):
“A fight is always a fight. If it’s a rival or a friend, you have to step in and fight and get the job done,” said Nunes. “The thing that motivates me is the belt. I want to keep my belt. It can be a friend in front of me, it can be my girlfriend in front of me.”
“I talked to Nina the other day (and said), ‘If you come up to 135 we’re going to fight.’ It can be my girlfriend in front of me and I’d want to kick her ass and nothing is going to change that because I want to keep my belt at home with me.”
Considering Ansaroff competes at 115, it’s hard to imagine the possibility of the two crossing paths in the cage. But, the comments certainly do reinforce how competitive Nunes is.
That aside, following Nunes’ split decision win over Valentina Shevchenko, which came after the champ withdrew from their UFC 213 bout, the day off, the “Lioness” is looking to turn heads tonight.
“Definitely this fight I’m going to make a statement. I’m going to prove I’m better, prove I’m here for a reason, prove I’m getting better and better, evolving each fight. I’m very excited because Rocky is a good opponent…”
We shall see what happens. Pennington is riding a four fight winning streak heading into UFC 224.
Tonight’s card will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.