Amanda Nunes explains how Kayla Harrison impacted her decision to leave ATT: “I’m not safe even in my territory”

By Susan Cox - May 18, 2022

Amanda Nunes has explained how Kayla Harrison impacted her decision to leave ATT (American Top Team).

Amanda Nunes

Nunes, a Brazilian mixed martial artist who currently competes in the UFC, confirmed that Kayla Harrison was part of the reason she left the Florida-based gym.

Amanda Nunes, speaking on an episode of the MMA Fighting podcast ‘Trocação Franca’ shared:

“There’s that saying, like it or lump it. I was bothered by the whole situation, of course.”

“There were no girls when I got to American Top Team. I was the first woman to bring two belts and put the women’s team in history. When Kayla got there and then Kunitskaya, it began creating a weird situation for me because that was my territory.”

Continuing Nunes said:

“Other bantamweights were coming. Kunitskaya, who was already at the top and could’ve been a future opponent with a win over Ketlen (Vieira in 2021). She got there right, when she was close to becoming the next opponent. She showed up in the gym and I had a scare when I walked in. I was like, ‘No, it’s not possible.’ It was creating this situation already.”

Speaking specifically of Kayla Harrison, Amanda Nunes continued:

“And then Kayla started talking. I was kind of, ‘Man, I’m not safe even in my territory.’ I was kind of cornered, even because we share the same coaches. She trains with  Mike Brown and I train with Mike Brown. I was already training with them when she got there.”

“If there’s someone that carries the name of the team, that’s me, who brought two belts (to ATT). If I wasn’t who I really am, a champion in two divisions, cool, no problem. But I was the champion already. She would have to train somewhere else to fight me.”

“But then she ended up signing (with PFL) again. It’s not a fight I didn’t want. If the opportunity is there and she wants it, cool, I’m in. A fighter needs challenges, people that talk about you and want to fight you.”

Finishing the interview Amanda Nunes concluded:

“If she’s going to sign (with the UFC) or not, that’s up to Kayla. I’ll be waiting. That would be the correct way, in my opinion, for her to talk about me, because I’m no longer there (at ATT). That’s the correct way to say whatever she wants on the mic, to call me out or do whatever she wants, and I’ll be waiting for her there. When she signs (with the UFC), I’ll be there to defend (my belt).”

“Every challenge is welcome. If you fight and like to be at the top and test yourself at all times, you really want motivation to continue breaking records. After my departure (from ATT), it’s entirely on Kayla to signing with the UFC. I’ll be there waiting for anything. Of course, it will be way better now that we’re on difference sides.”

Amanda Nunes, ‘The Lioness’, is open to fight Kayla Harrison (13-0 MMA), now that they are no longer teammates, should she decide to join the UFC.

Currently Nunes (21-5 MMA) has her sights set on a rematch with Julianna Pena (12-4 MMA) this summer to regain the UFC bantamweight championship. The two met in December of 2021 at UFC 269, where Nunes went down to defeat by a second round submission in what some say was one of the greatest upsets in MMA history.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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