When Amanda Nunes won the UFC bantamweight championship, she became the first openly gay fighter to wear UFC gold. Her wife, Nina Nunes, is a perennially ranked strawweight contender who currently sits inside the top 10 with the #7 ranking.
As two women who serve as an inspiration for females of any sexual orientation, the couple are particularly viewed as success symbols within the LGBT community. It is for this reason that the couple was contacted to take part in a Pride Q&A hosted by ESPN recently. During the session, the athletes offered advice to those within the community who may need it and offered to serve as a source of additional support (h/t Middle Easy).
‘“A lot of people that are homophobic, or they don’t know how to act around gay people, if they meet one couple it can change their mind about everything,” Nina Nunes said. “I feel like if we can do that for a little boy or little girl that’s struggling because their parents don’t know how to accept them, we are so down to do it.”
“Don’t hesitate to reach (out to) us. I feel like we can help for sure, and I’m going to be happy,” Amanda Nunes added. “I did that before… I knew I liked girls since I was little, so I know how hard it is to live with that. Sometimes you have to lie and say you like a boy in your class just to fit in that group. I know all those things because I had to (do it).”
UFC fans may know Amanda Nunes as the Lioness and the consensus greatest fighter in the history of women’s MMA, but she went through growing pains just like the rest of us. This included coming out to a family that held traditional values. The champion’s message from this experience is that having support available when needed can make all the difference in an individual’s life, including someone who has made the often difficult decision to come out.
“I also (came from a) small town family, so you know how it is, especially in Brazil,” Amanda Nunes said. “So I see things inside my house that made me afraid to talk to my mother about it. And I didn’t. My sister found out and she did the job for me.”
The Nunes family welcomed a new addition to their family last year, Raegan Ann Nunes. Like other fighters in the UFC who discovered parenthood, this bundle of joy has added an extra fire to the already-towering inferno that is The Lioness’ MMA career. Amanda Nunes’ next fight will see her defending her bantamweight title against Julianna Peña at UFC 265 on August 7.