UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will sit out the rest of the year following her split decision win over Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday.
While Nunes has earned the right to celebrate her victory, the break in action isn’t for rest and relaxation but instead she needs to time for some much needed surgery to clear up constant problems with her sinuses.
Nunes was actually supposed to fight back in July against Shevchenko when her chronic sinus issues flared up and it forced her out of the fight. Now two months later, Nunes admits she still wasn’t at 100-percent going into her bout at UFC 215 but now there’s no getting around needing the surgery before returning to action.
“I’m still very bad. I’m still very congested but I had to push this fight. I can’t hear this girl anymore. The doctors suggested you have to do this surgery, you can’t fight like that,” Nunes said at the post fight press conference.
“I wanted to shut this girl up. [The doctor] tried to help me do everything to get in there, he got me almost 100-percent. The thing happens with me when I travel, the altitude get everything back and I have to do the surgery. Now the first thing when I’m back home, I’m going to do it for sure.”
With surgery coming up as well as Nunes taking time to help her girlfriend Nina Ansaroff prepare for her next fight in November, it appears the reigning champion at 135 pounds will sit out the rest of 2017 before making her return next year.
“Probably not,” Nunes responded when asked if she would fight again in 2017. “I think I’m going to take some time off cause this is breathing, I have to take care of that. Sometimes I’m not able to sleep at night. I have to take care of this moving forward.
“I think I’m going to take a break and then next year I will come back.”
The time off may allow the UFC to find a new opponent to face Nunes considering there’s clear cut No. 1 contender at this time. Raquel Pennington might seem like the most logical choice off four straight victories but she’s been out of action for all of 2017 after having shoulder surgery.
For now, Nunes will just watch from the sidelines as she gets some much needed surgery and some time off after UFC 215.