Is Istela Nunes Related to Amanda Nunes? The Truth Behind the MMA Surnames

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport that attracts fighters from all over the world, with different backgrounds, cultures, and styles. Sometimes, fans may notice that some fighters share the same surname, and wonder if they are related in any way. One such case is Istela Nunes and Amanda Nunes, two Brazilian female fighters who have competed in the UFC. Are they sisters, cousins, or just coincidental namesakes? Here is the truth behind the MMA surnames.

Who is Istela Nunes?

Istela Nunes is a 31-year-old MMA fighter who hails from Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Parana, Brazil. She started her professional career in 2015, and has a record of 6 wins and 5 losses. She is a former ONE Championship atomweight title challenger, and has also fought in Imortal FC and New Corpore Extreme. She made her UFC debut in 2021, losing to Ariane Carnelossi by submission. She is currently ranked #15 in the UFC women’s strawweight division

Who is Amanda Nunes?

Amanda Nunes is a 35-year-old MMA legend who hails from Pojuca, Bahia, Brazil. She started her professional career in 2008, and has a record of 23 wins and 5 losses. She is the former UFC women’s featherweight champion and two-time UFC women’s bantamweight champion. She is widely regarded as the greatest female mixed martial artist of all time, and the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion. She has defeated some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, and Valentina Shevchenko. She retired from MMA in 2023, after defending her bantamweight title against Irene Aldana by unanimous decision

The short answer is no. Istela Nunes and Amanda Nunes are not related by blood or marriage. They just happen to share a common surname, which is very popular in Brazil. According to sitename , Nunes is the 11th most common surname in Brazil, with over 1.2 million people bearing it. It is derived from the Latin word “nunus”, meaning “grandson” or “descendant”. It was originally used as a patronymic name, meaning “son of Nuno”. Nuno was a medieval given name that came from the Germanic word “nun”, meaning “now”


Istela Nunes and Amanda Nunes are two Brazilian MMA fighters who have achieved success in their respective divisions. However, they are not related in any way, despite having the same surname. Nunes is a very common name in Brazil, and does not indicate any familial connection between them. They are simply two talented athletes who share a passion for MMA.

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