In 2019, it’s become very hard to deny Amanda Nunes of being the greatest female fighter of all time.
The first and only dual-division women’s champion has beaten a who’s who throughout her career. That of which includes the two seemingly unbeatable fighters in former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and former featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. The list goes on, of course.
After achieving this legendary feat, it’s onto what’s next. And many assumed that would be a clash with former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 237 after Holm was pulled from her UFC 235 bout with Aspen Ladd.
However, Nunes recently shared that it doesn’t look like she’ll be ready for that return to Brazil on May 11.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Nunes told Combate. “I’m thinking of fighting more for the end of the year, November or December. Now I’m here in Brazil, organizing some family things. I would not have time to prepare myself for May.”
Regardless, the champ still has her sights set on Holm as well as Cyborg who continues to campaign for a rematch.
But after that, it could be the last we’ll see of ‘The Lioness’.
“I think it makes sense that it’s a fight against Holly Holm, the only former champion I have not faced,” Nunes stated. “Then I think it would be nice to have a rematch against Cyborg. And then I’ll stop. I do not even know how many fights I have, after the next fight we’re going to renegotiate. I think I should make two more and retire. And if I feel like fighting, I’ll come back.”
Now that she has more options than ever, the Holm fight possibility created some confusion along with the fact that she already had a fight lined up.
For one, undefeated top contender Ketlen Vieira seems like a perfectly reasonable next title fight at 135-pounds. But her status remains unknown following her knee surgery in late 2018.
Nunes shared that “at no point” was she offered a fight with her fellow Brazilian in Vieira.
Not having Nunes for UFC 237 potentially leaves the UFC in a weird spot as she is the only Brazilian champion. Meaning, the strawweight title bout between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade would need to be bumped up or they would have to find a ‘more suitable’ fight that features a Brazilian contender.
If you’re curious as to why the UFC needs a Brazilian headlining in Brazil. then look no further than the fact that every single UFC event in Brazil has been headlined by a Brazilian (with the exception of UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil, so 32 out of 33 events).
No reason to change that trend now.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/21/2019