UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington will clash for the gold in the main event of UFC 224.
The champion has been rumored to be fighting UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cyborg for quite some time now, but explains why she chose to first fight Pennington.
“When I texted Dana White that I wanted the fight (with Cyborg), I didn’t have nobody in my division,” said Nunes on UFC Unfiltered. “I didn’t even know if I was gonna fight soon. I was concerned with waiting years because I’ve been in that position before, waiting so long for a fight, I don’t want to do it again and stay waiting, waiting, waiting. But now, we have Rocky [Pennington] and we have the Brazilian, Ketlen [Vieira] and I feel like my division is starting to grow. If you pay attention, the division’s gonna be awesome and now I have two. I have Rocky and I have Ketlen. Rocky is my next step and I want to see Ketlen after, for sure.”
If Nunes follows through and also faces Ketlen Vieira sometime in the future, it could postpone the Cyborg bout until next year.
Nunes is still willing to fight Cyborg, but feels a lot of things need to be negotiated before that happens.
“There’s gonna be a lot of things involved in that,” said Nunes. “Having the contract for her, for me, it has to make sense for both of us so we can do this. It’s nothing personal against Cyborg. When you become a professional fighter, you want to become the best, you want to beat the best. It’s nothing personal but I feel like there’s a lot of things involved in that and I don’t want to wait for that. I want to keep fighting, I don’t want to wait to negotiate. Right now my division has a new contender and I’m excited for that. Whatever happens after that, we’ll see.”
UFC 224 takes place on Saturday, May 12 from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.