Tecia Torres: “Well here in Brazil…we’re friends so we’re gonna be friends but when it comes down to the fight in May, business is business. Amanda [Nunes] is the champion for a reason. She deserves to be there but in this sport we all want that same spot so we have to fight for it and Raquel [Pennington] is going in there to fight for it. At the end of the day, business is business. Outside that, we’re friends and there’s no reason to be rivals.”
Nina Ansaroff: “The thing is, it’s not just Amanda and Raquel…we’re fighters too, we know what they’re going through the same as they know what we go through. So to me it’s not a big deal. If I were sparring Tecia in the gym, it would be the same thing. Her girlfriend would want to help her do good against me and Amanda would help me not have trouble with her. Fighting is just the business. It’s even better because you’re getting paid for it you know? We do this as part of our job, it’s not that big of a deal.”
UFC 224’s headliner is quite the interesting matchup. Maybe mostly so because of all the outside factors. Getting right into it, Amanda Nunes vs Raquel Pennington will go down as the first ever UFC title fight between two openly gay athletes. Add to that, each of their partners, Tecia Torres and Nina Ansaroff are strawweights who could potentially fight each other one day. And lastly…they’re all teammates under American Top Team! This fight is strangely rare when it comes to all of these points.
Whether or not it will affect relationships between the teammates and whatnot is still to be determined but all four appear confident that nothing will change afterward.
For the champion, Nunes this will be her third attempted title defense and Pennington will be getting her very first crack at gold.
What are your thoughts on the dynamic of this fight? Will the outside factors play any major effect in the lead up to fight night of May 12th?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/20/2018.