Incoming UFC bantamweight title contender, Julianna Pena has continued to fire barbs at two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes — ahead of their UFC 265 title showdown on August 7th. — claiming the Brazilian previously refused to fight her, as well as claiming that Nunes gives up, whilst she doesn’t.
Pena, who sits at #6 in the official bantamweight pile and claimed The Ultimate Fighter 18 tournament crown, will challenge incumbent 135lbs champion, Nunes in her first title challenge under the promotion’s banner. Originally scheduled to meet with former gold holder, Holly Holm in a potential title-eliminator at UFC Vegas 26 last month, a niggling injury forced the former titleholder out of the pairing.
Removed from the card entirely, Pena was then inserted into the title frame immediately, and since her rear-naked choke win over former title chaser, Sara McMann at UFC 257 on ‘Fight Island’ in January, has aimed countless barbs at Nunes, claiming that she has been avoiding a clash with her for some time now, as well as claiming that the Brazilian should vacate the championship if she wished to remain “fat” at 145lbs.
Speaking with Ag Fight ahead of her pairing with Nunes in August, Pena echoed prior claims that the Bahia native had refused to share the Octagon with her, as well as claiming that Nunes has given up in the past whilst she doesn’t.
“A lot people say I got the title fight (against Nunes) talking nonsense, but I’m telling the truth (about Nunes),” Pena said. “I’m telling you what happened. I was 7-0 when Amanda (Nunes) refused to fight me. She beat Miesha (Tate) and I beat (Cat) Zingano [both at UFC 200], who literally put her in the fetal position until the referee stopped the fight. Amanda gives up, but I don’t give up.“
“I beat Zingano and she broke up with Amanda,” Pena continued. “I’m just telling you facts and what I did. I came back from a knee injury, had a baby, and still managed to win at the highest level. I lost to Valentina (Shevchenko) and Germaine (de Randamie), but Amanda suffered when she fought them. I was dominating both of them before I got submitted by something silly.“
In Pena’s two Octagon losses, she gave up a pair of submission losses to common-foes, Shevchenko via an armbar in January of 2017 and a guillotine loss to de Randamie last October.
Returning to the bantamweight limit for the first time since she handed de Randamie a second career loss at UFC 245 in December of 2019, Nunes has ran roughshod since the featherweight ranks, or lack thereof ever since, taking a unanimous decision win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 last June, before stopping Megan Anderson with a one-sided triangle armbar win at UFC 259 in March of this year.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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