Amanda Nunes has been widely considered the greatest female mixed martial artist of all time ever since adding Cyborg’s name to her impressive résumé at UFC 232. But Amanda Nunes believes she has earned a status even higher than that.
Who is the greatest MMA fighter of all time? Most people narrow the conversation to names like Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Demetrious Johnson, and Anderson Silva. But to Amanda Nunes, there is another name on this list that is, in fact, at the very top: hers (Transcript via Bloody Elbow):
“I’m going to be honest with you, I am the best MMA fighter of all time in general (male or female),” Nunes told Combate. “I’m going to keep on defending the featherweight title. I’m going to keep on making history. All the things I went through, my losses, those really helped me. I’ve been through moments where I thought ‘I’m going to step in there and I’m going to crush her, you have no idea.’ Not today. I respect my opponents, I learned that from life. I used to think I would step in there, throw one punch and the other girl would go down and not get up again. Every time I thought that, I lost. Fighting taught me, I learned from life. It’s a school, I’m still learning.”
Amanda Nunes’s declaration of herself as the greatest fighter of all time was made without reservation. She will have an opportunity to further strengthen that belief when she defends her bantamweight championship against Holly Holm at UFC 239 this Saturday. But in the meantime, she is basking in the glory of being the self-proclaimed GOAT:
“It’s very gratifying (to be the best MMA fighter of all time),” Nunes said. “It makes me very happy. I stop, think and remember my journey, it makes you emotional, really, because I believed in myself. Even when life was sh-tty, when I lost, I was supposed to be the next one to fight Ronda [Rousey], then I lost to Cat [Zingano]. The fight slipped through my fingers. I was going to be next. I went back home in a panic, for sure. Nobody loses and laughs about it.
“After many talks with Nina [Ansaroff], my coaches, some changes, I started to look for answers to my questions. When I look at all that, everything I sought after that fight and all the changes I made. Man, it was so crazy. I did research, I looked for psychologists, too, I did many blood tests, I switched teams. I wanted to be a new athlete, erase everything that happened in my life and start from scratch. It was surreal.
“Everything put me on my path,” Nunes continued. “Doors began to open. When me and Nina talk about it, it’s inexplicable. To be on the inside and see how people look at you, it’s a crazy rollercoaster. It was crazy to live through all of that. To erase everything and from there on out never stop again. To become the best of all time. Crazy stuff.”
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the best mixed martial artist of all time?