Amanda Nunes is set to defend her UFC bantamweight world title for the second time this Saturday when she battles Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of the UFC 213 pay-per-view.
Nunes (14-4-0) previously fought Shevchenko back in March 2016, winning by way of a unanimous decision. However, although Nunes won the first two rounds, Shevchenko completely turned things around and dominated the third round. This has led many to believe that Shevchenko will emerge victorious in a five-round fight, due to Nunes’ cardio issues.
In a recent interview with FloCombat, Nunes spoke about the lack of respect she is receiving from fans. She feels as though people only know her for beating Ronda Rousey but fail to respect her as a champion. The 29-year-old is hoping that second successful title defense on Saturday will legitimize her place as a UFC world champion.
“The way that fight was promoted, the result was a shock,” Nunes said about her 48-second victory against the once-so-dominant ex-champion, Ronda Rousey. “From then on, if you didn’t already know Amanda Nunes, you knew. It changed a lot but sometimes it’s a little sad. People still look around and say, ‘You’re the girl who beat Ronda Rousey.’ They don’t say: ‘It’s Amanda Nunes who won against Rousey.’ It’s a little sad sometimes, but it’s getting better.”
“I have to win and continue until the time comes when people look at me as champion,” Nunes said. “Another fight where I will continue to prove that is this rematch. After this fight, people will start calling me champion and recognize me. Everything takes time. If you don’t have media promotion to help, you have to do this [by yourself]. I’m that athlete.”
“I’m the champion, I’m the best in the world,” Nunes said. “It’s not that I’m the face of MMA. I am the champion, I have to be promoted as champion. I conquered [the belt] with my work.”
UFC 213: Nunes VS Shevchenko 2 takes place this Saturday 8th July from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The event will be aired live on pay-per-view.