With a 9-0 professional MMA record, 24 year-old Max Nunes has established himself as one of the best light-heavyweights in the U.K. right now (currently ranked third).
Nunes isn’t just an undefeated fighter, he’s also a relentless finisher, stopping eight of his nine opponents in the first round. The lone adversary to last more than five minutes against Nunes inside the cage, Iain Martell, succumbed to a triangle choke 46 seconds into the second round.
“That’s my style,” Max told me during a recent conversation. “I don’t go for decisions, I go for stoppages.”
Nunes isn’t a one-trick pony either, with four wins coming via knockout and the rest via submission. If he continues to make his opponents look like amateurs inside the cage, he’ll find himself fighting the best fighters in the world sooner rather than later.
Max wasn’t always interested in MMA, in fact, he dreamt about becoming a professional basketball player during his teenage years. However, Nunes found mixed martial arts about four years ago, a passion that led him to leave his native Sweden for the greener MMA pastures of the U.K.
“I moved because back in the day MMA wasn’t so big in Sweden… there weren’t as many opportunities to compete compared to what it was in England at the time,” Nunes said.
With no prior background in combat sports, or other organized sports for that matter, Nunes started his amateur MMA career in 2010. His amateur debut didn’t exactly go as planned, as he ended up getting knocked out by Joe Cooper during the first round of their “FS – Fight Stars 1” bout.
“First fight, I had no experience whatsoever. I didn’t really want to do it,” Nunes explained. “I had never been in front of a crowd like that, just by myself. It was surreal. It was like you have no control over your body… I had never watched an MMA fight before that, never even been to one.”
The devastating loss would have been enough to make a lesser man reconsider his decision to earn a living inside the cage, but it only strengthened Nunes’ resolve. The shell-shocked, dazed guy who showed up that fateful night has never been seen again, replaced by a vicious finisher.
Max is currently set to face undefeated Marcin Lazarz on March 9 at BAMMA 12, and he plans to add another dominant performance to his record when the two square up at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
“To be honest I don’t know that much about him,” Nunes said about his upcoming opponent. “I tend to not research [my opponent] so much. A fight is a fight to me. I always train hard and I always take my opponents seriously. So it doesn’t matter if he’s undefeated or has the worst record ever.”
Nunes plans to make quick work out of Lazarz at BAMMA 12, and he’s confident it won’t be his “0” that goes on March 9.
“Stoppage… that’s what I plan to do in this fight as well,” Max said without hesitation. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a submission, knockout or TKO, but I predict a stoppage.”
Given his success inside the cage, Max has positioned himself nicely in the light-heavyweight rankings. If he continues to dispatch his opponents in impressive fashion, it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in the UFC.
“I just want to take it [MMA] as far as I can take it,” Nunes added.