“The Lioness” Amanda Nunes returns to action at UFC 289 to yet again defend her bantamweight title. With 17 finishes across 22 wins, Nunes holds both dangerous power and also has a slick ground game.
As she takes on Irene Aldana, a woman who has never been finished across her 11-fight UFC career, we take a look at Nunes’ top five UFC finishes, especially as there is a chance that after UFC 289, we could have another addition to this list.
Amanda Nunes – Top Five UFC Finishes
5 – Shayna Baszler at UFC Fight Night 62
Taking place in Nunes’ native country of Brazil, UFC Fight Night 62 in March 2015 showed just how spitful Nunes’ stand-up game could be. Both women were coming off losses and were both in desperate need of a win. It was accepted that the winner of the bout could certainly kick on to bigger and better things.
Across just 1:56, Nunes out-landed her opponent 17-1. Included in those 17 strikes were six brutal leg kicks. It’s worth noting that this was before leg kicks became a regular occurrence throughout fights.
During the fight itself, Nunes appeared to sting her opponent, Shayna Baszler with a strong 1-2, backing her up and landing another leg kick. Baszler shot for a lazy takedown, with Nunes easily backing away from the attempt. The finish came after several more brutal shots from Nunes, finishing things with a bone-crunching lower leg kick. A beautiful finish and was somewhat before its time.
4 – Ronda Rousey at UFC 207
Although in hindsight not a great finish itself, Nunes’ finish of Ronda Rousey was breathtaking. We know now that the striking of Rousey was amateurish in comparison to her foes at 135lbs, however, at the time, she came back with an aura like few others. Coming off a loss to Holly Holm, Rousey refused to do any media ahead of her clash with Nunes, preferring to focus solely on the fight itself, to training and getting better.
The main event of UFC 207 saw Nunes clash with Rousey in a fight that would last just 48 seconds. Nunes blitzed through Rousey in an emphatic fashion. Rousey refused a glove touch and Nunes found her range instantly, constantly rocking Rousey’s head back, landing big overhands and buckled Rousey’s legs. A series of straights, hooks and brutal aggression saw Nunes finish the MMA career of Rousey.
3 – Megan Anderson at UFC 259
Many people didn’t give Megan Anderson a chance heading into UFC 259. Despite being one of the only natural featherweight’s that Nunes has faced in her career, her skill level was far below that of the champion. Heading into the bout, Anderson was on just a two-fight winning run, both of which came against UFC debutants.
Anderson held a size advantage over Nunes, who quickly took the fight to the Aussie, and landed a heavy overhand right, rocking her. She then defended a sluggish takedown attempt from Anderson, took top position and rained down ground and pound on her opponent. She could have finished it with strikes no doubt, however, decided to show her well-rounded game, take the back and end up with a reverse triangle armbar.
— Women's MMA Rankings (@WMMARankings) February 19, 2023
2- Holly Holm at UFC 239
Heading into the Holly Holm fight at UFC 239, many thought that the former champion could cause Nunes some problems on the feet. Holm was coming off a unanimous decision win over Anderson, however, had the breathtaking knockout of Rousey in her locker also.
In typical Nunes fashion, she took Holm’s best asset, her stand-up game and proved that she’s better at it. The Lionness didn’t hang about, knocking Holm out in the first round. Not only thing, but she did so with a high kick, something that Holm was famous for.
— The Patrick McCorry Sports Show (@Patrick_McCorry) July 29, 2022
1 – Cris Cyborg at UFC 232
Talking of beating people at their own game, Nunes had done the same just seven months previously. Taking on Cris Cyborg in her featherweight debut and on the hunt for a second simultaneous title, Nunes came out for war. This was the first time that Nunes put it all out there, met the hard-hitting Cyborg in the middle of the octagon and swung away. The two women were scheduled for five rounds, however, at the pace and intensity that they began the fight with, neither woman intended to hear the final bell.
It’s worth noting that, at the time, Cyborg was undefeated in 13 years of MMA competition. She was the bigger, natural featherweight. She had been flawless during her UFC tenure, blitzing through five straight fights.
Nunes’ calmness in the chaos is what won her this fight. Despite what the fight may have looked like, Cyborg landed just three of 15 strikes, whereas Nunes recorded 13 of 21. during these 21 strikes, Nunes knocked her fellow Brazillian down twice, ultimately finishing things in just 51 seconds.
Not only was this knockout emphatic, it was shocking, somewhat unexpected and without a doubt, devastating.
Amanda Nunes stopped Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds…
Amanda Nunes stopped Cyborg in 51 seconds…
Two legends of women's MMA gone in under a minute 🤯
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 7, 2021