At UFC 265, Amanda Nunes will defend her bantamweight championship for the first time in 1 ½ years when she tangles with “The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Peña. Being that Peña is currently ranked down at #6 in the division, this fight booking raised quite a few eyebrows.
Many chalked it up to Peña using her gift of gab to trash talk Nunes and persuade White into this title opportunity. While Peña insists that it wasn’t trash talk but rather truth talk, either way, the champion was listening. And if Peña wanted the attention of the Lioness, she got it (transcription via Mike Bohn).
“I love that,” Nunes told MMA Junkie about Peña’s amped-up interviews. “Those kind of girls bring the best of me in the cage. I love what she did. She got it. I’m happy for her, and we’re going to see each other soon. I know she don’t have nothing to lose, so I’m still ready. Nobody is going to take this from me. I’m going to become a lion inside the cage, and no one is going to take that belt from me.”
Most of Peña’s “trash talk” was centered around her belief that she is the worst possible stylistic matchup for Nunes. To support this argument, she hearkened back to Nunes’s UFC 178 loss to Cat Zingano, where Peña described Nunes as curling up in the “fetal position” and quitting. Nunes shrugged off Peña’s remarks and thinks proving such people wrong is just another day in the office for the GOAT.
“All my opponents, it’s the same thing,” Nunes said. “Since I get this belt, they say the same thing. None of them has been able to stop me. She’s going to be the next. She’s not going to stop me with her wrestling. I promise you. We’re going to do interview again like, ‘I told you. She’s not stopping me.’ I will defend, and I will take her down, and I will finish her on the floor. She’s good with her wrestling, but also she has a lot of holes. The girls that I finish submit her. Valentina (Shevchenko) and Germaine (de Randamie) – two strikers – submitted her. So she has a lot of holes. I will do the same.”
UFC 265 takes place August 7, 2021 and is being targeted to take place in Houston, Texas.