Her match with Ronda Rousey means more than just defending her title.
Amanda Nunes is not only a champion in the UFC ring, she is also one for the LGBT community, and this Friday, the extreme fighter will be defending her title against Ronda Rousey.
Amanda took some time out of her busy training schedule to answer a few questions for San Diego Gay and Lesbian News about her example as an LGBT sports role model and what it means for her to win this highly-anticipated stand-off.
“I believe I will retire her after this fight,” Amanda predicts of Rousey.
She thinks fans appreciate the return of Rousey, a fighter who hasn't been in the cage since her highly-publicized loss to Holly Holm in 2015.
“Everyone wants to see her return and everyone wants to see me defend the title,” she said. “I am very focused and I’m going to stop her…. Whatever happens in this fight, I will have an answer for it. That’s what gives me the advantage.”
Amanda is the first openly gay UFC champion. She says she is going to do everything she can to support the community with a positive presence and show that she is truly happy being gay and an athlete.
"My dream has come true and I want to share this with everyone and help people be themselves,” she said.
She says her success is in a large part due to her supportive girlfriend; UFC strawweight champion fighter, Nina Anasaroff.
“Being a fighter can be very tough and sometimes getting ready to fight is difficult, but Nina makes it easy for me to be calm and I try to do the same for her,” said Amanda.
Extreme fighting is a dangerous sport and either opponent risks getting seriously hurt. I asked Amanda about the safety of her work and what she does to win but remain careful at the same time.
"You know, this is my chosen sport,” she said. “Some people look at fighters and think that but, really, we are very safe. My goal is never to hurt anyone, my goal is to win and prove myself as an athlete and I think that is the reason most people come to this sport.”
She adds that injuries do happen in any sport but her goal is to be a strong competitor and the best mixed martial artist she can be.
“I left Brazil to follow my dreams as an athlete,” she says. “My dream was to become champion and now I am the champion so I train hard and fight hard, but this is all a dream to me!”
As previously noted, this match is not only a way for Amanda to defend her title, but it is also a way to inspire the strength of love, not only in her relationship, but those watching from outside the cage.
“When people find out how powerful love is, then this world will be a better place,” she said.
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes will fight Ronda Rousey this Friday night at UFC 207 in Las Vegas live and on Pay-Per-View.