This past Saturday at UFC 277, the women’s bantamweight title was on the line in the main event. Former champion Amanda Nunes (22-5) was looking to regain her title as she took on Julianna Pena (11-5). Pena shocked the world back in December when she stopped Nunes in the second round.
Entering this rematch, Nunes was a sizable betting favorite despite getting finished in the first round. The general thought was that Nunes didn’t take the first fight seriously and she paid for it. Nunes looked more focused than ever leading into UFC 277 and folks that it would translate to a dominant win.
Those folks ended up being right. From the opening bell, it was clear that Nunes was superior at UFC 277. The first thing she did really threw Pena off. Nunes opened southpaw and you could tell that Pena wasn’t ready for that. Throughout the first two rounds, Nunes continued to hurt Pena badly with check right hands.
In total, Nunes dropped Pena three times. In the last few rounds, Nunes used her wrestling and ground and pound to control and damage Pena. To Pena’s credit, she never stopped trying, but UFC 277 was all about The Lioness. Nunes swept the scorecards and regained her title.
What’s next after UFC 277?
Nunes and Pena are now 1-1, but I don’t think that the UFC is going to run things back right away with these two. Essentially they’ve fought for seven rounds and Nunes has dominated six of them. Not taking away anything from Pena, but the fight in December is starting to feel more about Nunes than Pena.
A focused Nunes went right through Pena and because of that, I don’t think the UFC will book the trilogy. Pena will have to work her way back to the title. So, what does the promotion do with Amanda Nunes. Well, I think it’s finally time to book the trilogy fight that should’ve been booked before.
It’s time for Amanda Nunes – Valentina Shevchenko 3. A year ago, this fight would’ve been even bigger because both women looked invincible. Now, we’ve seen Nunes lose to Pena and Shevchenko almost lose to Taila Santos. The UFC can’t let this superfight go away and because of that, they need to strike now or risk losing the fight altogether.