Amanda Nunes: Is She Next In Line for Cris Cyborg's Title?

Justin FauxCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2011

Nunes following her 14 second stoppage of Julia Budd
Nunes following her 14 second stoppage of Julia Budd

Let's face it, the women's middleweight division isn't the deepest of weight classes and legitimate challengers for the current queen, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, are few and far between.

After only one professional MMA bout under her belt, Canadian standout Julia Budd was expected to be the next challenger for "Cyborg."

Then she got paired up with fellow Muay-Thai striker Amanda Nunes at Strikeforce’s 13th Challengers event this past Saturday.

If you stepped out for a bathroom break you would’ve missed this one. Nunes hit home with a low kick before leveling Budd with a straight right hand a matter of seconds into the bout. A few hammer fists later, and there’s a new challenger on the horizon.

Nunes has developed a name for herself as a dominant female striker with all of her victories coming by way of knockout, but she is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo practitioner.

It seems that Nunes has all the tools to have a bright future in the growing landscape of women’s MMA, but is she ready for a challenge like Santos?

Santos is yet to suffer a defeat or show many signs of weakness inside the Strikeforce cage, most recently dominating Jan Finney all the way back in June which was 2010’s Beatdown of the Year, according to

"Cyborg" needs a fresh challenger for 2011 and with the lack of depth in the current women’s 145-pound field, there aren’t too many options so Nunes might be the next girl in line for her 10 pounds of gold.