That’s the message from UFC president Dana White, who responded to questions on Tuesday about Nunes’ next fight being booked at 135 pounds after she specifically stated following a knockout win over Holly Holm that she wanted to defend her featherweight title.
While that fight will take place at 135 pounds, White promises that the featherweight division isn’t going away and he plans on having Nunes defend that title in 2020 after she faces de Randamie later this year.
“She will defend it after this fight. 100 percent,” White said following the latest installment of the Contender Series in Las Vegas. “She wants to and she will. Imagine her not having to cut weight.
“After beating [Cris] Cyborg and the other people that she’s beat at 35, who does she have to worry about right now that she would be like ‘oh I don’t want to defend my 145-pound title’.”
White’s comment about Nunes having nothing to fear at featherweight might also be part of the problem the UFC faces in finding her a worthy opponent.
The UFC cut ties with Cyborg following her most recent fight and the former champion will now seek to sign with a new organization for her next fight.
Meanwhile, the UFC has a few featherweight fighters on the roster but no one is currently riding the kind of win streak that would warrant a title shot against a champion like Nunes.
It appears White is banking on a contender emerging sometime between now and 2020 or perhaps signing a new athlete who could offer Nunes the proper challenge she deserves to defend the featherweight title in her next fight.