Amanda Nunes was surprised when she heard Holly Holm would get the next UFC women's bantamweight title shot against Ronda Rousey. After all, Nunes is ranked higher than Holm and has better wins on her résumé.
But Nunes has moved on with a new opponent in mind: Miesha Tate.
UFC president Dana White told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that he was trying to put together a bout between Nunes and Tate. Nunes' manager Charles McCarthy said Nunes has not been offered the fight with Tate or a date, but it is a fight Nunes is interested in. Nothing is official, though, and no one has signed anything, McCarthy said.
Nunes is sure that if she beats Tate that she will be the No. 1 contender for Rousey's title. And she is very confident she will defeat "Cupcake."
"I really believe wherever this fight goes, I'm gonna finish her," Nunes said.
Many thought it would be Tate getting a third crack at Rousey, but Rousey stunned everyone when she announced Holm would be her next opponent Friday on Good Morning America. The two women will fight for the title in the main event of UFC 195 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.
Nunes (11-4) has won two in a row, finishing both Sara McMann and Shayna Baszler in the first round in consecutive fights. Overall, the 27-year-old Brazilian is 4-1 in the UFC with four first-round finishes. Nunes' lone loss came last September against Zingano, a fight she was winning until Zingano rallied to finish via TKO in the third round.
Nunes has done more in the UFC than Holm, but she is not angry the UFC didn't give her the shot against Rousey. Holm, a former three-division boxing champion, is 2-0 in the UFC, but went the distance with both her opponents.
"It took me by surprise, but I'm OK," Nunes said. "I'm not upset. I want to fight soon and if Miesha isn't going to fight [Rousey] any more, I'll take this fight. I don't have a problem fighting Miesha."
The ball seems to be in Tate's court in that case. Tate -- and everyone else -- thought she would get the title shot after she beat Jessica Eye by unanimous decision last month at UFC on FOX 16. The bout was billed as a title eliminator. But plans changed and Tate will have to try and win a fifth straight to get the opportunity.
Nunes could be that opponent. She watched Tate against Eye and McMann and saw she had trouble in the first round. If Nunes were in that position against Tate, she believes she would end the fight.
"I always try to be fast and attack her mistakes, capitalize on her mistakes," Nunes said. "Always I try to do that and it's going to be harder for Miesha."
There's the possibility of Rousey fighting Cris Cyborg sometime in 2016 as well, so it's unclear who will get the next shot after Holm. The Nunes-Tate winner could be next in line or have to wait even longer. Nunes is cool with that, though she thinks "for sure" she'll get a title shot next year.
"I really am gonna be ready for whatever happens," Nunes said. "I know one day I'm gonna have the opportunity. I'm gonna knock people out. They're going to see my fights. I'm patient. I don't have anything to do but get in the cage and show my work and wait for my time. If the UFC wants to put somebody else, what am I gonna do? I have to wait. I don't have any problems, either, to wait."
Nunes, who trains out of American Top Team, plans on continuing to finish opponents and let the chips fall where they may.
"I'm gonna keep knocking people out," she said, "and soon they're gonna give to me my opportunity."