UFC 259: Amanda Nunes Plans to Keep Featherweight Belt “Forever”

Amanda Nunes UFC 259
Amanda Nunes Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Las Vegas, NV — UFC double champ Amanda Nunes (bantamweight and featherweight) appreciates that the towering Megan Anderson is a dangerous fighter.

The pair face off in the co-main event at UFC 259 this Saturday. The featherweight title will be on the line. Anderson has been given, to put it frankly, a snowball’s chance in hell by the oddsmakers. You’ll find the Australian as high as a +1200 underdog on some sites.

Nunes (20-4) isn’t so dismissive. Perhaps that should come as no surprise — after all, Nunes herself was once called “cannon fodder” ahead of her bout with Ronda Rousey, then shocked the world. Or at least those not paying close attention. “Every fight’s completely different. She has the reach advantage, she’s tall. I feel like she’s very dangerous,” the Brazilian said during Thursday’s UFC 259 pre-fight press conference. “I feel like this is a huge thing in my game plan. Because she’s tall and long. That can be a little difficult, to figure it out. But the first exchange, if I find my timing and everything, I will finish her.”

That’s happened before. Nunes crushed the terror that was Cris Cyborg to win the featherweight title. She turned the tables on Holly Holm, knocking out a fighter known for her kicks with a head kick finish of her own. Anderson is the next challenge.

“I like to challenge myself. That’s why I picked MMA as my sport. To challenge myself all the time,” noted Nunes. “This fight is going to challenge me, and bring out the best in me.”

MMA fans and the media alike all too often are guilty of making advance bookings. “Who’s next” is a question that is asked, too frequently, before fights even play out. But ahead of Nunes vs. Anderson the question is a little more poignant, because years after introducing the 145lb weight class, the UFC still hasn’t bothered to fill its ranks.

Never having more than four to six fighters, women’s featherweight in the UFC currently counts four bodies: Nunes, Anderson, Felicia Spencer, and newcomer Danyelle Wolf. Cageside Press asked both UFC President Dana White and Nunes about the division’s future on Thursday. White deferred to Nunes, who appears ready to hold the title against whoever the UFC can dig up.

“I will pass Megan for sure. I’m a champion. I’m going to keep this belt forever,” stated Nunes. “Dana, whatever he wants to do with this division, after this fight, he can find somebody else. I’m going to continue defending my belt.”

Amanda Nunes puts her featherweight title on the line against Megan Anderson at UFC 259 on Saturday, March 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.