During his time as the lead voice of the UFC, Jon Anik has seen plenty of greatness inside the Octagon, and he’s ready to start including a current two-weight champion among the greatest fighters of all-time, Amanda Nunes. After her first-round submission victory over Megan Anderson at UFC 259, there were questions as to who could challenge Nunes at either bantamweight or featherweight, and there were questions about the longevity of the women’s featherweight division.
Since it began in 2017, the featherweight title has gone from Germaine de Randamie to Cris Cyborg, to Nunes, who has defended it twice against Felicia Spencer and most recently, Anderson. With three wins inside the featherweight division and a lack of overall contenders, there is plenty of conversation about the possibility of the division being done away within the UFC.
Jon Anik believes because Nunes is so dominant, there’s not much left although he’s hopeful that the promotion decides to keep it around. During an interview with ‘MMA Tonight’ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Anik discussed the standing of the women’s 145-pound division and feels like the writing is on the wall.
“It seems like the writing is on the wall but I think you can understand why there is some reluctance to do so. You do have infrastructure because you have a championship belt that has changed hands even though you don’t have rankings right now. The women’s game is carrying us in a lot of respects and certainly I could talk for hours about the strawweights and how critical a division it is for us. I would hate to lose a women’s division but there’s really not much there, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot there outside the UFC. For Amanda too, cutting to 135 is a challenge too, I don’t think Amanda has 4 or 5 cuts left in her, maybe 2 or 3. I hope it sticks around but the writing seems to be on the wall.”
As Nunes continued to add to her championship legacy at UFC 259, she also started to change the narrative about her being the greatest female fighter of all-time, to one of the greatest fighters of all-time, no matter the gender, according to Jon Anik.
“There’s no doubt about it, she’s taking gender out of the equation and she is on a Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones level now, where it’s not the greatest woman in combat sports history. If she strings together three or four more [wins] with any sort of style points to them, there will be a lot of people like me talking about her above those two gentlemen. She’s just the total package.
There is no doubting the legacy that Amanda Nunes has cemented, but Jon Anik makes one thing very clear, if this continues for her, she will be among the greatest fighters of all-time, no matter the gender. Unfortunately, due to the greatness and dominance of Nunes, the UFC’s women’s featherweight division, may not have been able to survive.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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