Amanda Nunes, an openly gay mixed martial artist, became the first woman in UFC history to hold two championship belts when she knocked out Cris Cyborg this weekend to win the featherweight title.
Nunes knocked out Cyborg at 51 seconds of the first round Saturday in Los Angeles to add the featherweight belt to her bantamweight one.
”There are no words to describe this moment,” Nunes wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone that has believed in me since day one. Thank you to Cris for sharing the octagon with me, she is a true legend. Thank you to my family, my fiancee, coaches, training partners, friends and of course [UFC head] Dana White.”
Nunes, whose fiancee is fellow fighter Nina Ansaroff, is proud of being a gay role model, as she said in an interview in 2017:
“Now I know how much weight I carry for being gay, for being a champion, and for being a mirror for many young girls,” Nunes told Fernanda Prates from USA TODAY Sports’ MMA Junkie. “Since childhood, I was already in love with girls. It’s how I’m born, I already felt that way. So I know there are girls who are going through the same things I went through. ...
“With me talking about this, maybe it’s easier for kids who are going through the same things to be more open with their parents and siblings. That they can help, and understand the child, talk to them, be friends with them.
“I want to help with the things that were hard for me. So I think as a champion I can help out a lot. I accomplished my dreams, and I’m gay, I think anyone, running after their goals, earning it, being good, they can make it there. Regardless of orientation, race, everything. The world has enough space for everyone. ... I want to give back somehow, and if this is a good way of doing that, I think I can be very helpful.”
Nunes has defeated two women in Cyborg and Ronda Rousey whom many had considered unbeatable. Being a two-belt champion — joining Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier as the only UFC fighters to hold that distinction — is an awesome accomplishment and will increase her visibility as an openly gay athlete.