Thursday, October 6, 2022

Dana White Implies Only Nunes Can Be Defending Double Champion

Amanda Nunes turned in her fourth successful bantamweight title defense when she picked up a TKO victory over Holly Holm at UFC 239. With four defenses under he belt, Nunes is now prepared to turn her attention to the featherweight division and make her first successful defense at 145 against an opponent both Nunes and UFC President Dana White agree on (Transcript via MMA Junkie):

“(Nunes) wants the Cyborg rematch,” White said at the UFC 239 post-fight press conference. “We’re down to make the Cyborg rematch. Cyborg always thinks that I’m being whatever to her or whatever. I’m not. I don’t blame Cyborg for not wanting this fight. I don’t blame her. I’m not trying to say anything about her. If she doesn’t want it, that’s fine. There’s always somebody else. (Nunes) has got both belts and she’s willing to defend them both. And she’s healthy.”

Cris Cyborg has consistently denied White’s claims that she has turned down a rematch with Amanda Nunes, but White’s larger point appears to be that Nunes may be the only fighter who has proven that she has what it takes to hold and defend two belts simultaneously:

“You guys were asking me a million times leading into the (Henry) Cejudo fight (at UFC 238) and other fights that we’ve done this with,” White said. “‘What if they have both belts and can’t defend them?’ And I’ll go in and I’ll say they have to give up one belt. We gave them the opportunity. We thought they could do it. Even when you look at Cejudo … what he did in that second round (against Marlon Moraes), what he came back from, was unbelievable. But he got hurt in that fight. He’s out now.

“… (Nunes is) fighting all the best in the world – destroying them. And she’s not hurt. I just saw her skipping down the hallway in the back when I was walking here. She’s in the best mood. This woman is tough, man. She’s unbelievable – pound-for-pound, one of the greatest of all time. But there will be somebody next. If Cyborg doesn’t want the fight, then there’s somebody next.”

Daniel Cormier was able to defend both the light heavyweight and heavyweight title once in 2018, but was forced to relinquish the light heavyweight championship upon Jon Jones’s return at the end of the year.

Do you believe Amanda Nunes is the only double champion in UFC history who can potentially defend both titles long term?

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