Lauren Sanko has nothing but admiration and respect for the current UFC women's featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Sanko is a former Invicta FC veteran and now broadcaster for the UFC, she spoke with MMAFighting's Mike Heck on his show What the Heck about Nunes' rise to GOAT status and her admiration for the promotion's double champ.
“So she was sitting there and doing her thing. And you have to remember that Amanda Nunes was not the GOAT when she was fighting back in the day," Sanko said. "To me, that makes her ascension so much more special. She’s had those ups and downs. She’s lost to the Sarah D’Alelio’s of the world, but for her to pick herself up, dust herself off and really coming into her prime at this stage of life, to be a mom, and be on top of the world, it’s just so freaking cool. She’s a wonderful human being, What you see of her in her interviews, or her Instagram, or wherever, is her. She is as wonderful a person as she comes across. So genuine, so caring, and I just could not be happier for her dominating these two divisions. It makes the future interesting, but I’m thrilled that she’s the one holding the flag these days because it couldn’t be held by a better person.”
Nunes who has won twelve fights in a row most recently defeated Megan Anderson in just over two minutes via submission due to a triangle armbar at UFC 259, is seemingly running out of competition and options. Sanko believes a trilogy bout with rival and current UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, a rematch with Germaine de Randamie, or a potential matchup with Julianna Pena seems to make the most sense next for Nunes.
“It’s so hard, right? She has cleared out two divisions,” Sanko said. “I wouldn’t mind the Julianna Pena fight, and I actually wouldn’t mind the Germaine de Randamie fight. That’s an interesting thought she puts out there because—if you’re just going down a list—she’s already fought her, she’s already beat her and normally you would scratch that one off, but that was a good fight. If Germaine could approach it differently, you might see something slightly different. But you make these straw man arguments because there is no clear good answer. I wouldn’t mind a third fight with Valentina Shevchenko. She has come the closest to beating Amanda Nunes [during this run] and a lot of people thought she did beat Amanda Nunes in the second one. For her to be the one who has come the closest, to have equality in terms of their status as fighters makes the fight way more interesting—no offense to Julianna Pena, Germaine de Randamie, or any other contender. In terms of PPV pull, Nunes vs. Shevchenko 3 makes a lot of sense, although normally you don’t get that third fight when you’ve beaten someone twice. That’s just the situation we’re in.”