Amanda Nunes’ 10 greatest finishes, ranked

Amanda Nunes’ 10 greatest finishes, ranked

Widely regarded as the greatest female mixed martial artist in the sport’s history, it’s safe to say that Amanda Nunes will have a firm place in the annals of mixed martial arts.

Aside from the fact that Nunes is the first and only woman to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, “The Lioness” has gone toe-to-toe with practically all of the biggest names in women’s MMA. Overall, Nunes owns 13 wins by knockout and four wins by submission (with a majority of these taking place in the first round).

Nunes will look to add to these statistics this Saturday at UFC 289, where she meets a tough and determined challenger in Irene Aldana. But before we look too far into the future, let’s take a trip down memory lane and rank Nunes’ 10 greatest finishes.

So, without further ado …



Amanda Nunes finishes Sheila Gaff at UFC 163 (Aug. 3, 2013)

Kicking off this list is Nunes’ UFC debut in Brazil opposite Sheila Gaff.

Gaff was coming off a loss in her promotional debut and was determined to scrap it out with the oncoming Nunes.

Nunes came out very frantic (as she often did back then), almost throwing herself out of position at every turn. That said, Nunes was able to direct her energy into grappling efforts – which spelled the beginning of the end for Gaff.

August 3, 2013

UFC 163

Nunes defeats Sheila Gaff in Brazil
via TKO in Round 1

— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) June 5, 2023

The stop was arguably a bit quick, but the ground-and-pound stoppage was a big statement for a fighter who was largely stereotyped as a striker by many at the time.


Amanda Nunes finishes Germaine de Randamie at UFC Fight Night 31 (Nov. 6, 2013)

Germaine de Randamie was a noted striker coming off a tightly contested UFC debut opposite Julie Kedzie, while Nunes was making her second appearance with the promotion.

Nunes smartly avoided striking exchanges with de Randamie and instead looked to, once again, remind the masses about her ground game. And once Nunes got to a mount position, the end was just a formality.

Amanda Nunes finished Germaine de Randamie, seven years ago today #UFC

— JReal (@BloodyCanvasJon) November 6, 2020


Amanda Nunes finishes Julia Budd at Strikeforce – Challengers 13 (Jan. 7, 2011)

Sneaking onto this list is Nunes’ first Strikeforce appearance opposite Julia Budd.

This fight took place at featherweight and aged very well for Nunes.

Not only did Budd go on to have a successful career at 145 pounds, but Nunes eventually returned to this division to fulfill the prophecy that Mauro Ranallo spoke into existence on this broadcast by anointing the winner of this fight to have the best chance at beating then-champion Cris Cyborg.

Amanda Nunes in Strikeforce 🔥

— Combat Critique 🇮🇳 (@CombatCritique) March 26, 2023


Amanda Nunes finishes Sara McMann at UFC Fight Night 73 (August 3, 2015)

Amanda Nunes

Although it wasn’t uncommon to see Nunes as an underdog during this time, Sara McMann’s stock was still riding high despite losing a majority decision to Miesha Tate prior to this fight.

McMann whiffed on a leg kick early that caused her to spin, and Nunes capitalized on it beautifully by countering her with a hard cross and following her to the floor for the finish.

August 8, 2015

UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Saint Preux

Nunes submits Sara McMann via RNC in Round 1

— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) June 5, 2023


Amanda Nunes finishes Megan Anderson at UFC 259 (March 6, 2021)

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Once again tasked with defending her featherweight throne, Nunes answered the call to oncoming Megan Anderson.

Nunes was a big favorite heading into the contest and treated her opposition accordingly.

Nunes cracks Anderson hard and then submit her. This fight won’t last long. #UFC259

— Fernand Lopez (@fernandlopez) March 7, 2021

After hurting Anderson with some big right hands, Nunes was able to get on top of her featherweight foe and lock up a reverse triangle (combined with an armbar threat) to get the win with style points.


Amanda Nunes finishes Shayna Baszler at UFC Fight Night 62 (March 21, 2015)

Nunes may have been a huge favorite heading into this fight with women’s MMA pioneer Shayna Baszler, but it’s the technique she utilizes that earns this performance a place high on the list.

In what was her first fight with American Top Team, Nunes showed much sharper striking form, punishing Baszler at range with kicks to both the body and legs.

Nunes really hurt her opponent badly with a body shot from a front kick, which was the beginning of the end for Baszler.

8 years ago, Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) stopped Shayna Baszler in the first round at UFC Fight Night 62.

— Josh (@JUchiha909) March 21, 2023


Amanda Nunes finishes Miesha Tate at UFC 200 (July 9, 2016)

Coming in at the No. 4 slot is Nunes’ championship-winning performance opposite Miesha Tate at UFC 200.

The event was initially supposed to be headlined by rematches between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, as well as Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, but wide-ranging circumstances left Tate and Nunes as your impromptu main event.

Tate was favored to retain her title, but that narrative quickly shifted once the bell sounded.

Not only did Nunes defend Tate’s takedowns, but the battle-tested Brazilian was able to successfully stick the then-champion at range and keep her at the end up of her powerful punches.

After busting up Tate’s nose badly, the finish mercifully came shortly after in the form of a rear-naked choke.

July 9, 2016

UFC 200

Nunes smashes Miesha Tate inside a Round 1

Wins via RNC to become the Champion at 135

— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) June 5, 2023


Amanda Nunes finishes Ronda Rousey at UFC 207 (Dec. 30, 2016)

Edging out the top three is Nunes’ first title defense against legendary Ronda Rousey.

Rousey was making a long-awaited return from a devastating knockout loss to Holly Holm back at UFC 193, as the attention and fight promotion was solely focused on her.

However, Nunes was having none of it, showing up to weigh-ins in a mask that (at least in her mind) announced the arrival of “The Lioness.”

Amanda Nunes looking at Ronda Rousey in her lioness mask was gangster.

GWOAT fight week#UFC269

— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) December 7, 2021

As far as the fight goes, it was one of the most dominant 48 seconds you’ll see in an MMA fight regardless of gender.

With not much in the form of meaningful takedown threats to defend this time around, Nunes was basically allowed to impersonate Tommy Hearns in the octagon.

Amanda Nunes rocking Ronda Rousey still doesn’t seem real lmao

— jw (@jwmedia12) December 12, 2021


Amanda Nunes finishes Holly Holm at UFC 239 (July 6, 2019)

(Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports)

Notching the No. 2 spot is Nunes’ head kick finish over Holly Holm.

Nunes demonstrated a solid counter-striking game plan en route to drawing a fatal reaction from Holm. And as Nunes has shown in fights prior, she has a knack for capitalizing on fighters when they find themselves on one leg.

Amanda Nunes has knocked out Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg all in the first round.

She’s also the first woman to hold UFC belts in two divisions. @espnmma

— ESPN (@espn) June 6, 2020

Between the level of the opponent to the irony of the finishing move, this fight should rank high on this list.


Amanda Nunes finishes Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 (Dec. 29, 2018)

Despite the nature of subjectivity to these lists, there’s no denying that Nunes’ finish over the legendary Cris Cyborg deserves the No. 1 spot.

Cyborg, who was largely hailed as “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” within MMA circles, had not been defeated since her pro debut over 13 years prior.

Nunes was the underdog who was moving up a division as the bantamweight champion, while Cyborg was favored by Vegas odds as the incumbent featherweight queen.

Both fighters came out hot exchanging, but it was Nunes who was able to clip Cyborg with the cleaner right hands off of a de-basing leg kick. Cyborg tried to get it back aggressively, but it was an ill-fated choice that brought about a quick end to the fight.

December 29, 2018

UFC 232

Nunes challenges Cris Cyborg for the 145lb title

Wins via KO in 51 seconds

I will always question Cyborg’s strategy and the purpose of Women’s featherweight.

But it is still one of the best WMMA KOs.

— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) June 5, 2023

Although I’m still a little sour we didn’t get to see an immediate rematch, there’s no denying the importance or impressiveness of this knockout.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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