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‘She’s not hungry’: Mayra Bueno Silva ‘big fan’ of Amanda Nunes, but picking Irene Aldana to win at UFC 289

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Mayra Bueno Silva
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Amanda Nunes opened as a big favorite to retain her UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 289, when she headlines against Irene Aldana at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, but fellow Brazilian 135-pounder Mayra Bueno Silva predicts an upset in Canada.

“I’m a big fan of Amanda, really,” Silva said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “I’m a big fan of Amanda, I think she’s conquered everything and has beaten everybody in unbelievable fashion, every former champion, but I don’t think she’s on the same vibe anymore. She’s going to be a mom again, she has two belts, and I think she’s closer to retirement. With Mexico on a roll in the UFC now, I think Aldana wins.”

Aldana has solid boxing skills and finished Yana Santos and Macy Chiasson by knockout to get the call to replace Julianna Peña and challenge “The Lioness.” That’s not the reason why Silva sees her dethroning Nunes next week.

“I think she’s not hungry,” Silva said of the two-division queen. “I think she’s focused on her family, there’s a little baby on the way. I think it’s lack of hunger, because Amanda would hardly be beaten by anyone in this division. She has proved that.”

Now training at American Top Team in Florida, joining the gym shortly after Nunes’ departure, Silva is slated to headline UFC Vegas 77 against former champion Holly Holm in July 15. At 3-0 since moving up from flyweight, topping Wu Yanan, Stephanie Egger and Lina Lansberg, “Sheetara” feels that a victory could throw her in the mix for a shot at Nunes.

Silva prefers not to think about it, though, and hopes to earn a crack at UFC gold before Nunes walks away from the sport.

“Beating Nunes is a gigantic challenge not only for me but for every girl in the division,” Silva said. “Amanda already is the greatest of all-time you like it or not, but if Amanda retires now, that would be really sad for every up-and-comer that hasn’t fought her yet, like myself and Ketlen [Vieira]. Entering the octagon with Amanda would be an absurd experience, and beating the one that has beaten everybody would make me the one that has beaten everybody [laughs].”

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