As Amanda Nunes gracefully walks into the sunset, her departure from the UFC may have far-reaching implications. It may potentially leading to the dissolution of an entire division.
Amanda Nunes left the sport with both of her championship belts, making UFC 289 a night to remember. Nunes successfully defended her bantamweight belt after winning the title back last summer and exacting revenge for a submission defeat to Julianna Pena.
On the scorecards of the three judges, Nunes won each round. She then declared her retirement from mixed martial arts while grinning during her octagon interview with Daniel Cormier.
Following the exhilarating UFC 289 and Nunes’ emotional retirement announcement, the spotlight turned to the president of the promotion Dana White. He was asked to shed light on the future of the UFC women’s featherweight division.
Over time, the once-promising talent pool of the division has dwindled to a mere shadow of its former self. White had previously hinted at the division’s potential demise when Nunes decided to part ways with the UFC. On Saturday, White said with firm conviction that it is likely to happen.
When questioned about the division’s fate, White responded by saying: “The answer is probably yes. I mean, I don’t make these decisions the night of the fight. … Yeah, I don’t know. But it makes sense.”
The creation of the women’s featherweight division was announced back in December 2016, with an inaugural clash between Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm headlining UFC 208. De Randamie emerged victorious, claiming the distinction of being the division’s first-ever champion. However, she soon vacated the title.
This opened the door for Cris Cyborg, who joined the UFC and quickly ascended to the top of the division as its new champion. Nunes eventually dethroned Cyborg in a monumental match at UFC 214 in August 2017, solidifying her reign as the division’s reigning champion.