Photos: The Amanda Nunes Story

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Amanda Lourenço Nunes, born on May 30, 1988, is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who currently fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where she is the reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion.

Nunes grew up in a small town outside of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She started training in karate at age four and pursued training in boxing at the age of sixteen. She first competed in Brazilian jiu-jitsu after being invited to a dojo by her sister, who also trained in the sport.

Nunes is openly lesbian. She has been in a relationship with fellow UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff, who competes in the strawweight division, for the past four years, and credits the relationship for her UFC successes.

She lived in New Jersey and trained at AMA Fight Club before moving to Miami to train at MMA Masters. She is currently training at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. She has competed in the 135- and 145-pound weight divisions and has stated that she intends to fight at 135 pounds for the foreseeable future.

Nunes made her mixed martial arts debut on March 8, 2008, at Prime MMA Championship 2. She faced Ana Maria and was defeated by armbar submission in the first round.

Nunes won five straight fights, all by a form of knockout, and made her Strikeforce debut in January  2011, at Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine in Nashville, Tennessee and defeated Canadian Julia Budd by knockout.

Nunes fought Alexis Davis in September  2011, on the Strikeforce Grand Prix Semifinals card and lost the fight via TKO late in the second round.


Nunes faced Raquel Pa’aluh at Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann in July 2012 and won the fight via technical submission due to a rear-naked choke in the first round.

In January 2013, Nunes returned to Invicta Fighting Championships to face Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt and lost the fight via unanimous decision.


Nunes made her Octagon debut against Sheila Gaff at UFC 163 on August 3, 2013, in Brazil and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Nunes made her second UFC appearance when she faced Germaine de Randamie at UFC Fight Night 31 in November 2013 and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

She then faced Cat Zingano in September 2014, at UFC 178.  After nearly finishing Zingano with punches in the first round, she lost the next round before being finished via TKO in the third round.

Nunes faced Shayna Baszler in March 2015, at UFC Fight Night 62 and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

She then faced Sara McMann in August  2015, at UFC Fight Night 73 and won the fight via a rear-naked choke submission.

Nunes faced Valentina Shevchenko in March 2016, at UFC 196 and won the fight by unanimous decision.


After amassing a three-fight win streak, Nunes earned her first title shot in the UFC. She faced Miesha Tate for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship in July 2016, at UFC 200. Nunes stunned Tate early on via knee and punches and then won the fight by submission (rear-naked choke) in the first round. Her victory made her the first openly gay champion in UFC history.

In December 2016, Nunes made her first title defense against returning MMA superstar Ronda Rousey in the main event at UFC 207 and won the fight via TKO due to punches just 48 seconds into the first round.

Nunes fought Shevchenko at UFC 215 in September in Edmonton, Alberta and won the closely contested fight by split decision.

Nunes is scheduled to face Raquel Pennington on May 12, 2018 at UFC 224.



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