Julianna Pena ready for “round 8” against Amanda Nunes: “She doesn’t touch me next time”
Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena says she’s ready for a third fight and “round 8” against Amanda Nunes.
The budding rivalry between Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, at least on Pena’s side. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion dropped her title to Nunes last month at UFC 277, in a rematch of their first meeting, when Pena shocked the world and dethroned Nunes at UFC 269, in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
Julianna Pena made her mark in the bantamweight division by securing a second-round submission victory over Nunes in their first meeting, a fight in which she chased to make happen, and one that sent everyone into a frenzy once she won. Given the shocking nature of Pena’s upset, there was no other choice but to book an immediate rematch between the two women, that rematch took place at UFC 277 last month.
In the rematch, Nunes put on a world-class dominant showing on her way to an unanimous decision victory and re-claiming the UFC women’s bantamweight title. The one-sided affair was so dominant from Nunes that the official scorecards were marked at 50-45, 50-44, and 50-43, but Julianna Pena never caved in and never gave up, fighting all 25 minutes of the contest.
Both women were also coaches of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 30 this year and with the TUF Finale taking place this past weekend in Las Vegas, Pena was on hand to take in the final fights of the season, and see new winners be crowned. Following the event, Pena spoke to the ESPN post-fight show and said she’s ready for a trilogy fight to take place against Nunes, and called out the champion for not being present while she had a member of her team fighting in the finale.
“I’m ready to go round 8 right now. Like let’s freaking go. I’m here. Where you at, Amanda? Amanda, seriously, where are you at? You left your girl hanging out there. I showed up for Team Pena. She didn’t show up for Team Nunes. I’m here, I’m ready to go round 8.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
There was an obvious change in gameplan and fighting style from Nunes in comparison to her first fight against Pena, including a change in coaches and team. That change was crucial to Nunes reclaiming her title, but the now former champion believes if she’s given time to prepare for both styles of Nunes, the reigning champion won’t touch Pena.
“When somebody has entirely revamped and completely switched their entire stance and their entire fighting style because of me? I take that as a compliment. I think if you give me time to get ready for both stances of Amanda, she doesn’t touch me next time.”
Already having proven that she can defeat Nunes, there’s no shortage of confidence from Julianna Pena in regards to a matchup between the two. Later during her appearance on the post-fight show she did not sound as optimistic that a trilogy fight could be made by the end of the year due to potential injuries to Nunes. No matter when a potential trilogy could be made between the two, Pena is ready to prove once again that she can defeat Amanda Nunes.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
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