You can call Amanda Nunes the UFC bantamweight champion. You can also call her the organization’s featherweight champion. The UFC labels her as the No. 1 female fighter in its pound-for-pound rankings.
But there’s one name Nunes looks forward to being called some time in mid-September. And that name is “mom.”
Amanda Nunes puts a title on the line at UFC 250
Amanda Nunes is the only female fighter in UFC history to hold two weight-class championships concurrently. She won the bantamweight championship in July 2016 and then the featherweight crown in December 2018 by knocking out Cris Cyborg in 51 seconds.
Nunes has already successfully defended the bantamweight title five times — tops among all the current UFC champions — beginning with a 46-second annihilation of Ronda Rousey at UFC 207.
On Saturday, she makes her first defense of her featherweight belt when she battles Felicia Spencer, who has an 8-1 record. Spencer lost to Cyborg by unanimous decision last July and then got back on track with a first-round TKO of Zarah Fairn Dos Santos on Feb. 29.
Nunes, nicknamed “The Lioness,” has rattled off 10 consecutive victories to raise her UFC record to 12-1 and her career mark to 19-4. The winning streak is a UFC record for women.
Amanda Nunes will become a mother late this summer
Amanda Nunes is in a pretty sweet place in her life. Reigning over two weight classes in the UFC makes her one of the sport’s better-known competitors and guarantees her a steady stream of paydays.
But life outside the octagon will become her top priority as soon as her UFC 250 fight against Felicia Spencer wraps up Saturday. That’s because motherhood awaits Nunes, who turned 32 last week.
Nunes’ partner, fellow UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff, is pregnant with the couple’s first child, a girl. The two announced recently than Raegan Ann Nunes is due in September.
“I think about her so much and what I’m going to say to her and what we’re going to do together,” Nunes said during an appearance promoting the fight. “This is the best time of life, knowing you have a child on the way. I was telling Nina there are so many things we need to do and to think about it. Everything is going to be about the kid now.”
A two-career family
Amanda Nunes does intend to continue her UFC career after partner Nina Ansaroff gives birth to the couple’s daughter in September, but her routine obviously will change. If Nunes is pulled in different directions at once, she knows where her priorities will be.
“Before, I have my three dogs and my animals on the farm in Brazil, but this is so different.” She said. “The baby will need me. I know this. I am going to give my life to (being the best mother) I can be.”
She expects that motherhood will change her as a person. In fact, Nunes already senses the changes happening ahead of UFC 250.
“I’m going to learn a lot about life and about people by being a mother and raising a child,” she said. “I’m way better than I used to be. And the thing that makes me feel good is I know I’ll be better when the baby comes.”
Ansaroff also intends to continue fighting once the baby is born and she can resume training. She has a 4-3 record in the UFC and a 10-6 mark overall fighting in the strawweight division, where’s she’s ranked fifth. Her last fight was nearly a year ago at UFC 238, where she lost a decision to unbeaten Tatiana Suarez.