Amanda Nunes, aka The Lioness, is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. Currently, she’s ranked first in UFC bantam ratings, and third overall in UFC pound-for-pound rankings. Anyone who’s followed the fighter likely knows of her many accolades, as well as her thoughtful insights into the sport.
Amanda Nunes’ domination of women’s UFC fighting began back in 2016 when she KOed Ronda Rousey despite pundits listing the latter as the clear favourite. Unfortunately for Nunes, she recently experienced the same type of underdog victory… this time, as the favourite.
Recently, UFC betting odds listed her as the -910 favourite in an upcoming title fight against Julianna Peña on December 11. What followed was a shocking submission loss for Nunes, who posted a loss against Peña for a total MMA record of 21-4.
The loss comes at a time after Nunes has said she hasn’t reached all of her goals in the UFC—after all, there aren’t many accolades left for the former Bantamweight and Featherweight champion to hold. However, with Nunes walking away from the Peña fight with only her Featherweight title, many wonder what her future holds.
With Rousey and other power-hitters in the UFC transitioning to the WWE, the possibility for a move into the more performative world of wrestling is absolutely on the table. But, will Nunes do it? And would her followers approve?
Nunes Open to WWE Run
Those pulling for a future Amanda Nunes appearance in professional wrestling don’t have to worry about whether the fighter is open to the idea. During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Nunes was asked about moving to the WWE, to which she replied, “I’m open to it. Why not? I could try something new.”
This, of course, would be firmly after her career in the UFC ends. And with the heavy loss to Peña still fresh, it’s entirely possible Nunes will want to reaffirm her hold on regaining her bantamweight title—and, of course, avoid losing hold of her featherweight title.
However, after defending her bantam title in 2019 in a victory against Holly Holm, Nunes hinted that she might be ready for retirement. Could the Peña defeat be her exit from UFC? At the moment, it’s unlikely, as UFC president Dana White has been vocal about the future of bantam relying heavily on participation from Nunes.
Following in Others’ Footsteps
As mentioned above, one of the biggest names the WWE has managed to sign from the UFC is Rousey. Her contract ended in 2021, though the last time she appeared on a WWE bill was during WrestleMania in April 2019 (during which time she won a championship, making her the only fighter to have held a title in the WWE and UFC).
Aside from Rousey, Nunes would also be joining a cast of other UFC-WWE fighters. This includes Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Matt Riddle, Jessamyn Duke, and Shayna Baszler. However, Nunes wouldn’t necessarily head straight to the WWE; since the launch of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in 2019, there’s been a huge influx of fans for the latest pro wrestling company.
If the group is looking to capitalize on successful WWE crossover signings, they may make a play for Nunes when the time is right.
WWE on Nunes’ Loss to Peña
As mentioned above, there’s been plenty of crossovers from the UFC to WWE—and many of the stars who now wrestle in the square ring had something to say about the Amanda Nunes-Peña fight. While most Tweeted about the high quality of the fight and the second-round submission from Nunes, Baszler went above and beyond to defend The Lioness (who lost to Nunes in the first round of a 2015 fight).
Following the fight, Peña said she’d like to claim the title of ultimate ‘mom’ champion for having taken the bantam title after giving birth. Baszler took issue with the comment, sarcastically taking a stab at Peña’s leadership ability in a Tweet. Nunes has yet to comment on Peña’s remarks.