UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes has been on a tear of the women’s bantamweight division over the past two years, going on a 5-fight win streak that saw her finish four of her five opponents. In addition, nearly one year ago, Nunes picked up a first round submission win over Miesha Tate to claim the women’s bantamweight championship in the main event of UFC 200.
After winning the belt, Nunes turned around and defended the belt at UFC 207 against none other than former champion Ronda Rousey in a fight that served as Rousey’s highly anticipated return to the Octagon. When the two met in the Octagon, it took just 48 seconds for Nunes to finish Rousey with strikes.
Next weekend, Amanda Nunes will step into the Octagon in hopes of defending her title for the second time when she faces Valentina Shevchenko in a highly anticipated rematch.
Ahead of the fight, she spoke to Combate to explain why nothing her opponent will do will surprise her:
“I’m always under some kind of pressure. At UFC 200 it was me being in the main event out of nowhere. UFC 207, against Ronda (Rousey), was all sorts of crazy. All this pressure coming from me being the only Brazilian with a belt only gives me more strength to hold on to it and remain the champion forever. There’s nothing Valentina can do to take the belt from me. I’m going to leave it all in the Octagon. I will be victorious. I’m very well prepared, physically and mentally. Nobody will take the belt from me. I’m ready for anything.”
“She has two wins, but she hasn’t changed anything. She’s still the same athlete, but she’s tough. Anything can happen in MMA, you can’t make mistakes, you have to pay attention to everything. I’m expecting her to come out strong and I’ll be strong to defend the belt. I’m more mature since the first fight. My confidence is twice as big since then. I’m the champion, I used to be nobody. I was looking for a place in the sun and now I’m the champion. I need to remain the champion and that’s what’s happening.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/1/2017.