Who’s next for Amanda Nunes? A look at potential opponents for the UFC double champion’s return

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Amanda Nunes, the current UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion. Widely recognized as the GOAT of Women’s MMA and a pioneer for females in the sport. Nunes will be looking to continue to build on her legacy in her next fight after regaining her bantamweight title from Julianna Pena at UFC 277.

Amanda Nunes is the reigning UFC bantamweight & featherweight champion.

There’s been a lot of speculation on who’s next for the “Lioness” with many believing Pena doesn’t deserve a trilogy fight after Nunes’ dominant performance. So if Pena isn’t worthy of a third fight with the GOAT, who is?

Bantamweight

Ketlen Vieira

Currently on a two-fight win streak, with wins over legends Miesha Tate and Holly Holm, Brazilian Ketlen Vieira is the next best option to face Amanda Nunes at bantamweight. Vieira is currently booked to fight, however. She’ll face Raquel Pennington on the first card of 2023. If she wins that bout she’ll surely cement herself as the number one contender.

Raquel Pennington

Similarly, if Raquel Pennington can beat Ketlen Vieira, she’ll likely put herself at the front of the queue to face Amanda Nunes. Pennington has already had an encounter with the champion, in which the Lioness dominated for four rounds before finishing the fight via a vicious ground and pound in round five. However, Pennington has grown a lot since that fight in 2018. Four wins on the bounce have put the American back in title contention and as mentioned before could be next to the plate if she’s able to beat Vieira in January.

Irene Aldana

Irene Aldana has become a contender toward the top end of the bantamweight division. With a peculiar up-kick liver shot TKO over Macy Chiasson at UFC 279, Aldana has put her name out there as one of the contenders for a title shot. However, if she is to gain that shot, she’ll need at least one more win on her resume against top-five opposition, possibly Julianna Pena. If that were to happen, that would be an interesting spectacle.

Holly Holm

One last shot for the “Preacher’s Daughter?” Holm who recently turned 41 is in the twilight of her hall-of-fame career. The former champion will need to win against one of the top five if she’s looking for a shot at redemption against Nunes. The extremely close decision loss to Ketlen Vieira might have set her back a step but if she’s given a shot against someone like Julianna Pena, Holly could have one more shot at striking gold.

Julianna Pena

Despite the general consensus being “Julianna doesn’t deserve the trilogy fight,” she’s still most likely to be next for the Lioness at bantamweight. The situation is very similar to Matt Serra vs Georges St-Pierre, where most believe Pena got lucky at UFC 269 and then was dominated in the rematch. There’s a huge possibility this could end up being the case and the UFC move with any of the women previously mentioned, however, it’s highly likely the trilogy is pushed for. It’s an opportunity to have arguably the biggest fight in Women’s MMA since Nunes vs Cris Cyborg and it’s likely the UFC won’t want to miss that opportunity.

Featherweight

Amanda Nunes has dominated the featherweight division to the point where there are limited options for her to fight at 145lbs. Her last opponent at 145lbs was Megan Anderson, who was easily put away in round one. Since then, there’s been a lack of movement in the featherweight division with no one rising to the top as a clear contender for the champion. However, there are a few rising stars who could face off with Nunes sooner than they expect.

Chelsea Chandler

Coming from Invicta, Chelsea put her name on the map with a win over Julija Stoliarenko in her UFC debut. It’ll take a few more dominant wins to put her name in the hat to help revive the featherweight division but Chandler appears to have the talent to do so and will be an interesting fighter to analyze over the coming years.

Norma Dumont

Norma Dumont has the ability to be a championship contender at 145-pounds. Competing her last four fights at featherweight, Dumont has proven to be a mainstay of the division. Winning three of her last four, and coming off a dominant victory over Danyelle Wolf, Dumont could potentially be a win or two away from an opportunity at championship gold.


WMMA fans, who would you like to see Amanda Nunes fight next? Let us know in the comments section below.

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One thought on “Who’s next for Amanda Nunes? A look at potential opponents for the UFC double champion’s return

  1. If the UFC doesn’t grant Santos a rematch against Shevchenko, it would appear that w/Grasso and Fiorot likely taking on each other, Shevchenko is in need of an opponent. Most of Nunes’ prospective opponents also appear to be at least one fight away. Perhaps now is the time to book the trilogy that has been teased for so long.

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