Unreasonable amounts of praise have been given to Amanda Nunes as a result of her legacy as the 145lb and 135lb champion. Now that she has been dethroned, a number of ears may be open for sober evaluation.
Her KO power is very impressive. She can grapple a bit, but she gets tired and punching hard is the only thing she does exceptionally.
For years I had to suffer through casual sports commentators denigrating Ronda Rousey, saying “Ronda was a hype machine and lost as soon as she fought a “real fighter.” I don’t know whose take this was first, but it was degrading. Not only was it degrading, it was utterly false.
Ronda Rousey is the greatest women’s fighter ever, not Amanda Nunes. To prove this, let’s look at these fighters that are supposedly so different from Amanda Nunes’s opponents.
Amanda Nunes & Ronda’s Championship Legacy
Ronda won world titles against: Liz Carmouche, Meisha Tate, Sarah McMann, Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano, and Bethe Correia.
Amanda won world titles against: Meisha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, ‘Cyborg,’ Holly Holm, and De Randamie.
Ronda won the same amount of world titles as the 135lb champion as Nunes. Nunes beat Holm years after Cyborg and Valentina beat her. She beat a Meisha that was ready to retire, while Ronda beat Meisha in her prime twice. Most of the women Nunes fought for titles came from the Strikeforce promotion just like Ronda did. Amanda only fought one fighter for the 135lb title that wasn’t in the UFC the same year as Ronda. That one is the current women’s pound for pound queen Valentina Shevchenko.
So again, where are all of these “real fighters” that Ronda supposedly never fought before she faced Holly Holm?
Impact On the Sport
Yes, Amanda Nunes KO’d Holly Holm. But Amanda was TKO’d by two women that Ronda annihilated: Alexis Davis – who Ronda KO’d in 16 seconds – and Cat Zingano – who Ronda submitted in 14 seconds. Both Ronda and Amanda beat Sara McMann and Meisha Tate. I’m sorry, but these women competed against the same competition as one another except Ronda was finishing them all, and half of her fights lasted less than a minute. That is six finished in a row for Ronda vs Nunes with five round boring decisions. Honestly, Ronda was a greater fighter and more exciting.
Amanda is technically a dual champion, but I’m not listing the featherweight titles she defended. There aren’t even featherweight rankings on the UFC’s website. That’s all the attention it deserves. Even at bantamweight, the media is reaching whenever they mention Nunes’s victory over every Bantamweight champion in history. That was only three people at the time.
On top of it all, Ronda was a global superstar, an Olympic bronze medalist and a pioneer in the sport of MMA. She is our Amelia Earhart, our Madam C.J. Walker if you will. Not only was she the first female champion, she capitalized off of her opportunity and elevated the entire sport. She was arguably bigger than Conor McGregor before Conor fought Floyd Mayweather.
Ronda Rousey was a legend. She transcended the sport, won just as many titles as the 135lb champion as Nunes, won an Olympic medal and has to be on the Mt. Rushmore of MMA. Ronda Rousey is the greatest woman fighter ever. Argue with your mother.