Amanda Nunes ready for deep breath after successful UFC title defense

Top UFC women’s bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko really wants a rematch after narrowly coming up short in a title bout against champion Amanda Nunes in the main event of UFC 215 on Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta.

Nunes just wants to get healthy.

The champion said she will finally take the time to address the sinus issues that prompted her to pull out of a scheduled contest against Shevchenko in July.

Nunes said she opted for a quick fix instead of a long-term solution so she could get back in the cage as soon as possible, partly to silence critics who insisted her withdrawal was more about holding onto the title than any real medical issue.

Now that she has defeated Shevchenko for a second time, she is ready to move on from the rivalry and take on a new challenger.

But not until at least 2018. Nunes said she will address her chronic breathing issues, which will likely involve surgery now that the fight is behind her and she was able to retain the belt by split decision.

“This is the first thing,” she said at the post-fight news conference. “It’s still very bad. I’m still very congested.

“I think I’m going to take some time off because this is my breathing, and I have to take care of it. Sometimes, I can’t sleep at night. I think I’m going to take a break, and next year, I will come back.”

First things first, Nunes will return to South Florida to assess any possible damage to her new home and car. The impending arrival of Hurricane Irma served as yet another distraction to her headlining bout on Saturday night.

“You work so hard to get (to a point of owning property), and I’m here (in Canada) and I can’t do anything about it,” she said.

As for the fight, Nunes didn’t understand the controversy. Nunes conceded Shevchenko probably won the fourth round, but believes she did more than enough to win.

The challenger lashed out at the judges in the cage after the decision was announced. Shevchenko wasn’t finished when the news conference began.

“I respect the opinion of the judges, but I can’t agree with their decision,” said Shevchenko, who believes she was the clear winner of rounds two through four.

She also believes she should have been awarded the fifth because though Nunes got a takedown, Shevchenko was landing punches from her back while Nunes failed to improve position.

Shevchenko said she would consider an appeal, but knows it would almost certainly be immediately dismissed unless there was a valid reason beyond just disagreement. Instead, she hopes for a trilogy bout at some point.

McGregor return delayed?

MMA fans hoping to see Conor McGregor back in the cage before the end of the year may have to temper their expectations.

The UFC lightweight champion turned professional boxer has been spotted enjoying some of his reported nine-figure payday from last month’s bout against Floyd Mayweather on a yacht in Ibiza.

There has been some speculation, including an optimistic take from UFC president Dana White, that McGregor might take a UFC fight before the end of the year.

McGregor’s longtime coach doesn’t think that’s likely.

“As for what’s next, we’re currently taking a bit of down time after a fairly exhausting few months,” John Kavanagh wrote in a column for Irish website ‘The 42.’ “I’ve said for a long time that the Nate Diaz trilogy fight at lightweight is what I’d personally like to see next. That still needs to be put to bed.

“It’s probably a little late in the day to realistically expect another fight before the end of the year, because even after this hiatus is over, a lot goes into the planning and execution of a training camp at our level. I find it hard to envisage another fight in 2017. Then again, knowing Conor, I could get a text message tonight telling me otherwise. He’s difficult to predict, which is one of the many reasons why he’s so fascinating.”

Kavanagh also dismissed as uninteresting the possibliltiy of McGregor’s next MMA bout coming against the winner of October’s interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Las Vegan Kevin Lee.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
UFC 235 press conference highlights
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman have a heated exchange and Ben Askren enjoys his time on the stage by interacting with UFC president Dana White.
UFC president Dana White talks UFC 235 and more
UFC president Dana White joined Heidi Fang and Adam Hill to discuss the UFC 235 card set for Las Vegas on Mar. 2 at the T-Mobile Arena and also spoke on Colby Covington and Khabib Nurmagomedov's and Conor McGregor's disciplinary measures given by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Full version available on Facebook at Review-Journal Sports
Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman Have Heated Exchange At UFC 235 Presser - VIDEO
UFC 235 opened with Jon Jones returning after his meeting at the Nevada Athletic commission, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman arguing on stage and Ben Askren making his UFC debut.
NAC Chairman says it's time to tone down MMA smack talk ahead of fights
After announcing the fines and suspensions given to Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov for their involvement in a melee at UFC 229 in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said it may be time to address "mouthy fighters" smack talk and conduct leading up to a fight.
Jones, NAC Chairman issue statements following Jones' licensing approval for UFC 235
The Nevada Athletic Commission issued UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a conditional one-fight license to compete at UFC 235 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mar. 2. Jones had to reapply for a license in Nevada after failing a drug test which led to UFC 232 being moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, California.
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing