Nunes retook her bantamweight throne on Saturday night during UFC 277 in Dallas, Texas. She battled the woman who defeated her in December at UFC 269, Julianna Pena, and Nunes avenged the submission defeat by sweeping the judges’ scorecards (50–45, 50–44, 50–43) around eight months later.
“The Lioness” is the promotion’s only current simultaneous two-division champion, boasting both the 145 and 135-pound belts. And at flyweight, Shevchenko has ruled for years. Last month, Shevchenko notched her seventh 125-pound championship defense by edging Taila Santos via split decision at UFC 275.
For years, fans have called on the UFC and White to book the two pound-for-pound greats. They’ve competed twice in the past at bantamweight, with Nunes besting “Bullet” both times by decision. They competed at UFC 196 in March 2016 and UFC 215 in September 2017.
Both fights were close, however, and many scored the second contest for Shevchenko, who lost a split call.
Fast forward nearly five years and the UFC president didn’t shy away from the notion of pursuing the trilogy next, calling it “not a bad idea” during the UFC 277 post-fight press conference.
“That’s not a bad idea,” White said via The Score. “Normally I would say, ‘Come on, man.’ That’s not a bad idea when you think about it. I’m not saying yes, I’m just saying it’s not a bad idea.”
And as per The Score, Nunes said during her time in front of the media post-fight that it would “be awesome” to square up with Bullet again.
White Didn’t ‘See the Point’ of Booking the Trilogy Last Year
The UFC president’s comments at the presser about Nunes versus Shevchenko 3 were a far cry from what he said to TSN in December ahead of Nunes’ first fight with Pena.
“I don’t know if that fight needs to happen,” White said via MMA Fighting. “I don’t know. I’ve thought about it a lot. You know they’re both incredible in their own weight classes. They already fought twice. Why do it again?
“I would imagine if they wanted to do it bad enough and the fans wanted it bad enough, I would do it but I don’t see much point in it.”
One thing that apparently fueled White’s disinterest in the bout was the size discrepancy between the two athletes.
“Here’s the thing that’s unfair for Valentina — Amanda Nunes is a lot bigger than her,” White continued. “ and  pound women she can fight. Valentina’s without a doubt the baddest woman in the world in her weight division and below.
“But to move up with that much weight. Yeah, can she hang? Will it go to a split decision? It’s tough to call.”
Nunes Is Back on the Winning Track
The Lioness’ loss to Pena in December derailed her 12-fight win streak which spanned across two divisions. But after earning redemption and regaining her bantamweight belt, Nunes is back to what she knows best, winning.
She has a professional mixed martial arts record of 22-5.
Her decision victory at UFC 277 was only the fifth time in her career that she’s earned a win by the judges’ scorecards. She’s finished 13 foes by KO/TKO and four by submission.