Last weekend at UFC 259, Amanda Nunes (21-4) successfully defended her featherweight title. The greatest fighter in women’s MMA history furthered her legacy by demolishing Megan Anderson in the first round.
After her latest title defense, Nunes is planning on dropping back down to bantamweight to defend her other UFC title. Waiting for her at 135 pounds is Julianna Pena (10-4). Pena has been extremely vocal about wanting a shot at Nunes.
After Pena’s win over Sara McMann, she got on the microphone and called out Amanda Nunes. She said that the UFC‘s two-division champion had been dodging her for years and it was time for the two of them to meet inside the octagon.
These comments seemed to amuse Nunes and most of the MMA community. After Nunes won on Saturday night, we learned that Holly Holm was out of her upcoming fight against Julianna Pena. That fight was being looked at as a potential title eliminator.
After that news dropped, Julianna Pena took to social media to continue her callouts of the UFC champion. Pena also appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show where she continued to callout Nunes and made some rather interesting remarks.
Will the UFC book the grudge match?
Pena told Ariel Helwani, “She knows stylistically I’m the worst matchup for her. Let’s go back to the Cat Zingano fight. She lost, she curled up the fetal position and the referee had to pull Cat off of her. I beat Cat. I’m the best wrestler in the division. She knows she’s gonna curl up in the fetal position (again).”
Strong words from Pena towards the UFC’s two-division champion. However, is her words just showing confidence or straight up delusion? To me, everything she said in this interview with Ariel Helwani came across as Chael Sonnen level delusional.
The fight she’s referencing was seven years ago before Nunes had a strength and conditioning program. Nunes hasn’t remotely gassed in a fight anytime in the last few years. In fact, she just beat Felicia Spencer for five consecutive rounds without breaking a sweat. There is no questioning the cardio of Amanda Nunes now.
I’ll give Pena credit for putting herself out there, but some of the things she says just make no sense at all. However, at the end of the day, this talk is likely going to get her a crack at the UFC title.
After UFC 259, Dana White hinted that Pena might be next for Nunes at 135 pounds. Despite being ranked sixth and having just lost to the top contender a few months ago, Pena’s ability to sell the fight might win out here.
I respect Julianna Pena for calling for this fight and wanting this fight. Not many people do, however, my advice to her would just be to be careful what you wish for. Personally, I hope this fight gets made because the women’s divisions could use some of this heat.