Amanda Nunes won back her women’s bantamweight title last time she fought against Julianna Pena, but the 33-year-old believes the champion is scared to book a third fight with her.
‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ was quickly dismissed as the girl to break the Brazilian’s reign as champ, but went on to shock the world at UFC 269 when she scored a submission victory midway through the second round. The win earned the grappler 135lb gold and put an end to her opponents’ 12-fight win streak.
During a recent interview with Forbes, Julianna Pena called back to their first meeting. She claimed that, despite beating her in their most recent outing, Amanda Nunes is afraid to lose her belt.
“She rolled into that first post-fight press conference in a wheelchair, then had the nerve to say she was ‘playing with her food,’ but the truth is she’s just scared to lose her belt… I was hitting her so hard [in the rematch], her eyes were rolling back, but the fans didn’t see that… We’re 1-and-1. This is unfinished business.”
Prior to winning the title from Nunes in December 2021, the TUF competitor had won just two of her previous four bouts dating back to a submission loss she suffered at the hands of Valentina Shevchenko back in 2017.
Getting her hand raised via rear-naked choke against Sara McMann and the champion’s lack of viable challengers led to Pena receiving a title shot. While many believed she was undeserving, she took full advantage of the opportunity.
What’s next for Amanda Nunes?
While the Julianna Pena trilogy is something that’s likely on her to-do list, rumors are suggesting that Amanda Nunes is preparing to make the sixth total defense of her bantamweight title later this year.
Although nothing has been confirmed and no date has been offered as of now, ‘Lioness’ could well fill in to be the co-main event on the huge UFC 285 card headlined by a heavyweight title clash between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane.
If this is the case, reports claim that Irene Aldana is likely the frontrunner to face the head of the division next following her back-to-back finishes of Macy Chiasson and Yana Kunitskaya.