The list of viable opponents for UFC featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes is getting shorter and shorter.
At UFC 239, which went down in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nunes defended her bantamweight strap with a first-round TKO victory over former champion Holly Holm — one of the few established bantamweight contenders remaining that she had not yet fought.
With this Nunes vs. Holm bout in the rear view mirror, the UFC will now have to track down another opponent for the ferocious two-division champion.
From the sounds of it, UFC President Dana White already has a goal to that end.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto after UFC 239, the UFC boss reiterated his interested in a rematch between Amanda Nunes and the woman she knocked out to win the featherweight title in December, Cris Cyborg.
“Nunes wants the rematch with Cyborg next,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (transcript via MMA Mania). “We’ll see if Cyborg is up for that, and if she wants to do that. And if not, there will be somebody else, there’s always somebody else.”
White’s comments give the impression that Cris Cyborg isn’t sold on a rematch with Amanda Nunes. Yet the former champion has repeatedly stated the opposite is true — that she wants the fight, and the UFC is the party keeping it from happening.
White offers a different take.
”What do you think? Do you think I’m really not trying to make the rematch?” White replied to Okamoto when pressed about this difference of opinion. “I’ve been putting on fights for 20 years. So do you really think I’m not trying to make the rematch? So what does that tell you. There’s not two sides of the story, there are three sides to the story. You got Amanda who says she wants it. You got me saying I’ll make it. And you’ve got the other one saying she was never offered it. You do the math on that one.”
Cris Cyborg, of course, is currently booked for a UFC 240 fight with Felicia Spencer, which could conceivably throw a wrench in any plans for a rematch with Amanda Nunes.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/8/2019.