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UFC 250: Amanda Nunes to take another step on the way to GOAT status – Sport360 News

When she steps into the Octagon at UFC 250 this weekend, it will have been 2,079 days since Amanda Nunes tasted defeat.

That third-round stoppage against Cat Zingano in September 2014 left her with a 9-4 professional MMA record, having just been handed her first UFC loss.

The defeat was no disgrace by any means, she was fighting the woman considered the biggest threat to Ronda Rousey’s 135lbs crown, and had dominated the first round.

Her rawness was exposed in rounds two and three where she struggled to get up off her back, ultimately being finished with some vicious ground and pound – but that opening stanza had shown a flicker of both where she was as a fighter, and the potential that was there.

Her previous UFC outings has both ended in the same way – but with Nunes’ hand being raised on those occasions, but at that point in time few could have predicted how the last almost six years have panned out.

Physically she is a different woman. The muscularity in the arms and shoulders is there for all to see, and the explosiveness in the legs have made her into a wrecking ball at both 135 and 145lbs.

Ten straight wins, two UFC titles at different weights, and a question of whether she can now be considered the best female fighter of all time.

Her style has evolved constantly over those years. We now see a fighter supremely well-rounded, with a multi-faceted arsenal. In those 10 wins, we have seen knockouts, head kick finishes, ground and pound finishes, and decisions that have shown the guts that it takes to go alongside all the glory she is rightly enjoying.

Standing up, her hands are fast and accurate, with genuine knockout power – the likes of which is something of a rarity in the women’s game. Her feet are educated whether that be with leg kicks, or as Holly Holm found out, to the head.

On the ground, we no longer see the startled Nunes from 2014, now, against the best opposition, we have a fighter who can just as quickly slip on an armbar as they can finish a fight with elbows.

Amanda Nunes truly puts the ‘mixed’ in mixed martial arts.

So where does she rank amongst her peers? Well her recent hit-list is a who’s who of women’s MMA.

Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, and Germaine de Randamie have all fallen to the Brazilian.

To be the best, you have to beat the best – and she has certainly done that.

Some might argue Cyborg’s star was perhaps not at its brightest when they fought, but she was still on a 13-year unbeaten run, and carried the most feared reputation in all of women’s combat sports.

Nunes’ first round demolition of her was as vicious as it was breathtaking.

As we stand today, Nunes is undoubtedly in the conversation for the greatest ever, but sadly in combat sports, while you are still active there will always be a risk of tarnishing legacies.

This weekend she takes on Canadian Felicia Spencer in Las Vegas with her 145lbs title on the line. Spencer’s only professional loss came at the hands of Cyborg, but on paper, it should be win number 11 for Nunes, and another step on the road to being written in the UFC annals.

The big thing lacking at the moment for her are super-fights – primarily because she has ploughed through many of the big names in both divisions she rules over.

Her place in the pantheon of women’s greats is assured, being named the GOAT may still take a little time – but not much.

You can see Amanda Nunes take on Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 on UFC Arabia from the early hours of Sunday morning.

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