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Two-division champion Amanda Nunes rules out fighting at UFC 237

Amanda Nunes if the first woman to win two belts in the UFC.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 237 will no longer happen at a 45,000-seat soccer stadium in Curitiba, and won’t have two-division champion Amanda Nunes as a headliner either.

The pay-per-view show has been moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and “The Lioness”, who was linked to a possible bantamweight title defense versus ex-champion Holly Holm, has ruled out competing on May 11.

In fact, Nunes might sit out until the end of the year.

“It will be tough,” Nunes told Brazilian website Combate when asked about fighting at UFC 237. “I’m thinking about fighting in the end of the year, around November or December. I’m in Brazil now, taking care of family things, wouldn’t have time to get prepared for May.”

Nunes last fought in December, defeating Cris Cyborg to conquer a second UFC title at featherweight. The American Top Team star last defended her title in May 2018, defeating Raquel Pennington in Brazil.

The Brazilian was a guest fighter at UFC Fortaleza earlier this month, and told the media she was close to retiring from the sport. On Thursday, Nunes said she might have two fights left before stepping away.

“I want to defend my (bantamweight) belt first because when I moved up I left the division stalled,” Nunes said. “I think it makes sense that the next fight is against Holly Holm, the only ex-champion I haven’t faced. After, I think it would be cool to rematch Cyborg. And then I’ll stop.

“I don’t know how many fights I have left, after the next one we’ll renegotiate. I think I have to do two more and retire. And if I have the itch to come back, I will.”

UFC 237 will take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. A strawweight title bout between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade was originally expected to co-headline the card. However, with Nunes no longer a possibility, there’s a change Namajunas-Andrade gets moved to the main event slot.

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