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EDMONTON – UFC women’s strawweight Nina Ansaroff said the criticism bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes received after pulling out of UFC 213 made them train a little harder for UFC 215.

Just living through fallout from Nunes’ sinusitis attack was an eye-opening experience for Ansaroff, and it hardened her to MMA fans.

“There were a lot of negative comments after her fight,” she told MMAjunkie in advance of Nunes’ (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematch with Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the headliner of Saturday’s UFC 215. “She didn’t really look into them – I did. I never mentioned them to her, but in passing, I would make sure we trained a little extra hard, just to shut every one up.

“People don’t respect the sport as much as they should. The fans are very iffy in this sport, which his just unfortunate.”

The couple are now just hours away from Nunes’ potential second title defense, which takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ansaroff hopes Nunes will answer all the doubters with an emphatic performance. But she may never look at the sport the same after being the target of so many anonymous people’s wrath.

“I feel like in other sports, you should just stick by your athletes,” he said. “Sometimes they’re sick, sometimes they don’t perform well, sometimes they’re the best in the world. But it’s a hard sport to stay doing it for the fans, because they’re so negative sometimes.

“Of course, you get those passionate ones that are there for you – that keeps you going. That makes it more enjoyable. But I just feel like the fans need to lay off a little, or stop being such keyboard warriors and pretending you’re this person behind the screen. Support the sport.”

Watch the above video as Ansaroff talks about Nunes’ rematch with Shevchenko and what’s next for her career.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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