Brazilian standout Amanda “Lioness of the Ring” Nunes makes her return to the Strikeforce cage on September 29th at Strikeforce: “Melendez vs Healy” in Sacramento, California. Nunes faces off against unbeaten promotional newcomer Cat “Alpha” Zingano in a featured bantamweight matchup.
Nunes most recently choked out Raquel “Rocky” Pa’aluhi at Invicta FC 2 this past month and now looks for her second win under the Strikeforce banner. Zingano was scheduled to face Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith at Invicta FC 3 in October, but instead moves to Strikeforce to battle Nunes.
Nunes (7-2-0) brought an impressive five-fight winning streak into her January 2011 Strikeforce debut and she needed just 14 seconds to dispatch of Julia “The Jewel” Budd with a barrage of punches. Following the quick victory, Nunes dropped back down to her natural weight of 135 pounds and faced jiu-jitsu specialist Alexis “Ally-Gator” Davis in September. Despite a strong start, Nunes faded as the fight progressed and she was ultimately stopped by strikes with just seven seconds remaining in the second round. Nunes battled back strong from the disappointing loss and made short work of late replacement opponent Pa’aluhi at Invicta FC 2. She now returns to Strikeforce and hopes to get back into title contention by handing Zingano her first professional loss.
Zingano (6-0-0) has thus far dominated all challengers since turning pro in June 2008 and she has captured numerous titles in her home state of Colorado in three different weight classes. After stoppage wins over Ivana Coleman and Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm in 2010, Zingano captured the Fight To Win women’s flyweight title by knocking out Takayo Hashi with a third-round powerbomb. She then set her sights back on the 135-pound bantamweight division and had been scheduled to compete on each of the first two Invicta FC cards, but injuries delayed her return to action. Zingano has not fought since the May 2011 win over Hashi and ring rust could play a factor when she steps into the Strikeforce cage for the first time to battle Nunes next month.
Nunes has yet to go the distance in her pro career, while Zingano has fought to a decision only once as a professional. The fighters have combined for nine knockout victories to date.
Strikeforce: “Melendez vs Healy” takes place on September 29th at the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California.