Amanda Nunes hints at potential comeback: ‘I still feel like a champion, so we’ll see’

Amanda Nunes isn’t closing the door on a potential comeback after retiring and relinquishing her two UFC titles this past June.

As she sat just a few feet away from the octagon at UFC 297 and watched Raquel Pennington be crowned the new bantamweight champion in her absence, the consensus greatest women’s fighter in UFC history wasn’t upset, but she was still a little conflicted. When she surrendered that belt, Nunes was undeniably the top fighter at 135 and 145 pounds in the UFC, but she was also ready for a break as she prepared to welcome a second child to her family.

Now seven months removed from that night, Nunes doesn’t regret her decision, but it appears fighting is definitely still on her mind.

“I was nervous [watching the title fight],” Nunes said on the UFC 297 post-fight show. “I don’t know why, but I was very nervous. It was mixed feelings. I was happy and sad. When I saw ‘Rocky’ with the belt, I was OK. I wasn’t upset or anything like that.

“I think I did the right decision retiring, resting a little bit. Taking care of the babies. Can’t leave Nina [Nunes] with two babies by herself. So I’ve been enjoying it, too. My whole life was fighting related, so I was not really able to enjoy my 20s. My 20s passed like that. I’m 35 now, and now I’m able to go back to Brazil, stay a little bit with my friends and family, and enjoy and see what happens.”

The extended hiatus from fighting has allowed Nunes to focus something other than the constant grind of training camps and getting ready for title defenses. That being said, she knows she still has a lot left in the tank, and it’s hard to deny those instincts when she’s still a fighter at heart.

“I’m still young, fresh,” Nunes said. “We never know [what might happen]. We have a lot of things to do. I’ve got to figure out a bunch of things at home still, what I’m going to do and see what happens.”

Nunes isn’t ready to declare a comeback, but it certainly appears that she was at least contemplating that move after witnessing her title wrapped around someone else’s waist.

From the sound of things, Nunes has a lot to think about in the coming months, and it’s entirely possible the end of that road leads her back to the UFC.

“I don’t know — we never know,” Nunes said. “I’m a fighter and this is my job. I love this so much, and I don’t know. I enjoy as well not being in the gym everyday and having a normal life, stay home a little bit and be lazy. I [can’t be] lazy as a fighter, it’s very hard.

“But I’m still healthy and powerful, smart, think like a champion. I still feel like a champion, so we’ll see.”

Nunes retired with a remarkable 23-5 record in her career, including reigns as both the bantamweight and featherweight champions in the UFC. She’s also the only fighter in UFC history to hold wins over every single champion to ever hold the belt at both 135 and 145 pounds — including a lopsided victory over Pennington in 2018.

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