Amanda Nunes shocked the world on Saturday at UFC 232. She scored a 51-second KO over Cris Cyborg, the most-feared and intimidating fighter in women’s MMA history.
It took just 51 seconds for Nunes to land a succession of power shots that left Cyborg dazed. Cyborg is not accustomed to being hit hard with shots. When she was dazed, she showed no defensive instincts. Instead, she simply pushed forward throwing shots, while never putting her hands up to block the punches.
The final blow left Cyborg lying face first on the canvas. The arena…and my living room exploded. It was one of the more shocking victories in recent UFC history. Cyborg had run roughshod over 20 consecutive opponents and hadn’t been challenged seriously since her debut.
Cyborg was also in her own division and Nunes came up 10 pounds to challenge for the title. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised. Nunes does own a 43-second KO win over Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and two victories over Valentina Shevchenko. That gives her wins over both of the sport’s greatest females in history.
In my opinion, that makes Nunes the best ever. It’s not just the fact that Nunes beat Rousey and now Cyborg, it’s the way she’s done it. Dispatching both legends in the first round with massive KOs is a special feat. Also, becoming the third fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two divisions, and the first female helps solidify her claim as the GOAT.
Here’s how former fighters, foes, and members of the media reacted to Nunes’ win:
After the bout, Nunes said, “Dana White, you have to put me in the Hall of Fame now.” Well, I think that was a foregone conclusion even before Saturday night’s stunning victory. After toppling Cyborg, the UFC may as well induct her tomorrow without even waiting for her to walk away from the sport.
While many fighters, past and present, chimed in with talk about Nunes’ victory. Rousey was mum on Twitter. She has worked to distance herself from UFC discussions in the public, but having lost to Nunes and feuded with Cyborg, there’s an obvious connection.
The win has now won eight fights in a row. If you look at the list of names that have fallen at the Lioness’ feet, you get a greater appreciation for her greatness. Nunes has even defeated two WWE champions:
That’s like a who’s who of female combat sports fighters, and it’s hard to see her reign coming to an end anytime soon. Per UFC President, an immediate rematch with Cyborg may not be in the cards. The featherweight division is already thin, and Nunes came up to 145 pounds because she’d already cleaned out the 135-pound weight class.
As long as she doesn’t sit idle for too long, she might be the champion of both divisions for a long while.