It took slightly more than three minutes for mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) Amanda Nunes to defeat current UFC 200-title-holder Miesha Tate on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. After pounding Tate with a series of punches, Nunes locked her opponent into submission on the ground in the first round, bringing the contest to a quick end at the 3:15 mark.

With her win of the 135-pound belt, Nunes became only the fourth UFC women’s bantamweight champion and its first openly gay champ in UFC history. Tate beat Ronda Rousey for the title last year and Rousey, who had created an air of invincibility around her, caused quite a stir by dropping out of active fighting after the loss. Should she decide to return to the ring, Rousey could join Tate in trying to regain the title from Nunes.

Rousey also caused a turmoil in 2014 by refusing to fight Fallon Fox, the first transgender MMA fighter by wrongly claiming that trans women have an “unfair advantage.” This claim has been proven false by the medical community and newer scientific research has even moved the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to change its rules for transgender participation eligibility in sports competitions.

Calling her win “amazing” at the post-fight press conference, the Brazilian-born Nunes emphasized that “The most important thing is I’m happy with my life. This is the most important thing.” She was able to openly celebrate her victory with her girlfriend Nina Ansaroff, a fellow-UFC fighter in the women’s straw-weight division, by her side.

Calling Ansaroff’s support immeasurable, Nunes said that having her there to celebrate this victory meant more than she’d ever know – “It means everything to me. This girl, she helps me every day … and I love her.”

The UFC stepped up its support of the LGBTQ community by releasing a new rainbow-themed shirt with the following message: “We Are All Fighters.” All proceeds from the sales of these shirts are going directly to the LGBTQ Center in Las Vegas.


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