There was plenty of debate as to where Julianna Pena’s upset win over Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 ranked all-time in terms of upsets, but when the rematch happens, UFC President Dana White has high aspirations for it. Speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN this week, White was asked about the rematch between the former long-time reigning champion, Nunes, and the newly-crowned champion, Pena, and he thinks it’ll be the biggest ever in the history of women’s mixed martial arts.
Currently, the UFC President believes that Holly Holm’s upset over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 was the biggest women’s fight of all time, but he leaves no doubt that the rematch between Pena and Nunes will top it.
“The Pena rematch with Nunes will probably be the biggest women’s fight of all time. That rematch will be the biggest women’s fight of all time. [Right now] it’s Ronda Rousey and Holly [Holm]. Every way that it could possibly beat it, it will. I don’t think it. I know it. It will crush that fight.”
Post-fight hindsight always makes the conversation easier, and after Holm defeated Rousey there was plenty of evidence to see why Holm was able to pull off the shocking upset in 2015, but Julianna Pena defeating Nunes has had a different conversation, not so much focused on the upset, yet more of the former champion’s hesitancy. When asked about Nunes’ performance at UFC 269, White said that the former champion told him that her body locked up on her.
“I talked to her that night, and she said she can’t explain it, that her body locked up on her. She couldn’t do anything. She doesn’t understand what happened. She wants to find out. She’s going to dive in and talk to performance coaches and find out what happened to her. She came out and started going after Julianna, and the thing about Julianna is that she had it in her mind she was going to win that fight. She put pressure on Amanda and kept coming forward and did what it took to win the fight.”
There was no doubt in Julianna Pena coming into UFC 269, and while the fight world may have been shocked by her second-round submission victory over the long-reigning champion, she was not surprised by her own performance. It didn’t take long for Amanda Nunes to accept a rematch against Pena, and while the timetable for the rematch is still to be determined, Dana White believes the UFC is sitting on the biggest women’s fight ever.
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.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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