Nunes meets Shevchenko, Romero takes on Whittaker at UFC 213

Erica Murray
July 9, 2017

Now if only she could get some respect. "I have to keep showing that I'm the best to get that respect". There's a lot of pressure, media and people watching her.

Her second title defense was set to be at UFC 213 in the rematch against Shevchenko. The reign of "The Lioness" had officially begun, and it's been undisputed since. If Shevchenko wins the first round, she will be an instant bet, as it will be very hard for Nunes to overcome a round deficit in this fight. There's no guarantee she's able to do that, which is why she is the slightest of underdogs in this bout despite being the division's most capable finisher. Nunes finished with a 40-3 striking advantage to capture the women's bantamweight belt. Despite all her efforts inside the cage, and the UFC's attempts outside it, Nunes remains just another fighter - albeit one whose waist is wrapped in gold.

"There's nothing to talk about with that fight", Nunes said. Nunes won by decision, but Shevchenko was much stronger in the third round - and their rematch is a five-rounder.

"If you look back, I beat her by unanimous decision", Nunes said. That alone would be a recipe for disaster, but I can't shake the feeling that Romero is poised to win this fight for the interim middleweight championship. The bout is the main event of International Fight Week, the UFC's annual mixed martial arts showcase in its hometown.

With the bout confirmed in May due to the champion Michael Bisping's current injury status, a win for either competitor does not only represent a chance at UFC gold for the first time in their careers, but also a guaranteed shot at the middleweight title which is yet to be defended since October 2016.

UFC 213 will proceed with 11 fights. Amanda Nunes defends her championship just under one year to the day she won it against Miesha Tate. After that fight, I became a champion, and I will make Valentina understand I'm the best in the world now. Sometimes she speaks in choppy sentences and takes a moment to search for the word she needs.

"I'm the champion", Nunes said. "I say things directly and to the point because I don't know anything else".

Then there is the relationship between Nunes' appearance and her marketability. Rousey has appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and has starred in movies such as "Entourage".

The emphatic nature of the triumph has prompted suggestions that Nunes could even match the legendary former undisputed bantamweight queen's nine-fight Strikeforce/UFC title reign. Perhaps she doesn't that "X" factor like Rousey did but she's developing it.

Other reports by Insurance News

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