At UFC 269 last December, Peña shocked the world by ending the two-division rule of the consensus female MMA GOAT. After Nunes won 12 straight, including against Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm, and remained unbeaten for seven years, it was “The Venezuelan Vixen” who broke the mold.
Having suffered a devastating second-round submission loss at the year’s final pay-per-view, the “Lioness” picked herself up and called for an immediate rematch, vowing to right the wrongs from UFC 269.
Now, after the conclusion of this year’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter, which features the two elite bantamweights as coaches, the pair are set to run it back in the main event of UFC 277.
When they do share the cage again, the champ is expecting the “best version” of Nunes. During an interview with Morning Kombat‘s Brian Campbell, Peña suggested that her underdog victory late last year has lit a fire underneath the Brazilian, something she’s ready to feel the force of in Dallas on July 30.
“I think that I lit a gas can of fire right underneath her behind, and she is gonna be more focused than she’s ever been,” said Peña. “I think she’s gonna be the best Amanda that she’s ever been, which is funny, because that’s what she said she was gonna do the first time. So now, I have to be like, ‘Okay, this time it’s serious, this time she’s being for real. She’s coming in at 110%, and I’m gonna get the best version of Amanda Nunes.’
“And that’s great, because I was ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes in August, I was ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes in December, and whenever that date happens (July 30), I will be ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes, and I will be willing and able, I can and I will, meet that head on and do everything in my power to get my hand raised,” insisted Peña.
Despite making good on her promise to prove her doubters wrong at UFC 269, Peña will still be entering her first title defense as the underdog, with BetOnline.ag having the champ at +245.
With that in mind, “The Venezuelan Vixen” will be looking to induce a state of déjà vu for both her detractors and the reigning featherweight queen come July 30.
Do you expect Julianna Peña to be facing the best version of Amanda Nunes at UFC 277?