When Amanda Nunes returns to action later this year for a rematch against Julianna Pena, she will walk to the octagon without a lot of familiar faces in her corner.
The former champion bantamweight and current featherweight champion recently parted ways with her trainers and partners at American Top Team. This gym has been home to her for seven years.
According to Nunes there wasn’t any bad blood between her and her former team members, so the breakup didn’t have to be caused by her losing. It was a decision to go it alone.
“Actually I wanted to open an exclusive spot,” Nunes said to media ahead filming for The Ultimate Fighter Season 30. Nunes said that he didn’t say that he would open a gym in order to be able to fight [American Top Team].. That never came out of my mouth.
“But, I have always wanted some privacy for myself. Even at American Top Team I kept my belongings separate. I had my time to go, and I had my coaches there waiting for me to help me with my camp. The .”
was the same.
Nunes’ career was marked by her greatest achievements at American Top Team. This is where fighters like Kayla Harrison and Jorge Masvidal, as well as Dustin Poirier, have trained.
The decision to open her own private facility will allow Nunes to do things her way. She still values the work she did at Florida’s facility.
“It was always in my head that one day I might want to have a space,” she said. “I want to see all my teachings on the wall, put up my logo, all those things that a lot of fighters want to do that at some point in their career. I feel like this is the moment for me. For a while, I would like to be on my own.
“American Top Team, together we did amazing things. The gym owner Dan Lambert, all the coaches and the owners – it was like everything went for us. But now for me, for my head, for now I feel like I should go do what I really want.
“I feel like I deserve to do what I want to do. This has nothing to do the gym. We’re actually still very good. It’s still possible to go to the gym or train when I like. I didn’t close the door because [nothing] happened. It was my way but it wasn’t the only one that I followed. We did many things together. We made history together.”
Perhaps the biggest change is her coaching staff as she prepares to coach The Ultimate Fighter and transition into training camp for the rematch against Pena. Former WEC champion Mike Brown had served as Nunes’ head coach during her dominant run through the UFC at both 135 and 145 pounds, but he will be absent when she fights again in 2022.
Nunes will instead team up with some former coaches, who previously worked with her at the main American Top Team facility before moving on to different endeavors.
“Actually, that was something I wanted to do differently, too. But the coaches were at American Top Team,” Nunes said. “It’s Kami Barzini, he used to be the wrestling coach when I got there. He was my first coach when I began training with American Top Team. He left, so I began training with Mike Brown.
“And Roger Krahl – Roger worked at American Top Team too. It comes from there. It comes from American Top Team anyways. They’re not there but I’m pretty sure [the coachers from American Top Team] really have amazing moments that they’ll always remember as well.”
Barzini quit American Top Team to work at Sanford MMA in South Florida. Krahl works from a nearby affiliate of American Top Team.
Nunes will also continue to have her wife and fellow UFC fighter Nina Nunes in her corner as well. Although it’s a significant change, she says that this was her goal for a while.
“I want to do different things,” Nunes said. “I want to go on my own. So that’s why I made my decision to see, just to change a little bit.
” There’s nothing bad to say about any coaches. They all did great things. We all did great things together, but at some time in your life, you want to do something different.”