Friday, January 21, 2022

Kayla Harrison: Nunes “Starches” Peña 9 Times Out Of 10

Despite giving props to Julianna Peña for her victory over Amanda Nunes, two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison is confident the newly-crowned UFC bantamweight queen wouldn’t be able to repeat it.

Nunes, Harrison’s American Top Team teammate, saw her 12-fight win streak and reign over the 135-pound weight class collapse in the co-main event of UFC 269 last weekend. Having defeated the likes of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm, and ascended the mountaintop of two divisions, it was the unlikely challenge of Peña that proved to be the David to her Goliath.

But if you ask “The Venezuelan Vixen,” there was nothing surprising about the result on December 11. She predicted it throughout fight week. Her confidence was struck down by most, including Nunes, who branded her “delusional.”

On fight night, Peña brought the heat to the “Lioness” on the feet, piecing her up with her jab, before forcing the action to the mat and securing her place on the throne with a submission triumph.

Harrison, who considers Nunes to be a friend, as well as training partner, was in attendance for the demise of the 33-year-old’s dominance at bantamweight. In an interview with TMZ Sports, the unbeaten lightweight star expressed her sadness at seeing Nunes defeated.

“I was heartbroken, obviously, for my teammate and my friend. I have a lot of respect for Amanda. I help her train, I’ve trained with her, she’s helped me, you know, we’re teammates, I would consider her a friend, so first and foremost, I was heartbroken for her.”

Nevertheless, Harrison maintained that the loss wasn’t something we’d see often. The two-time Olympic gold medalist suggested Nunes would have no trouble dispatching Peña 90% of the time.

“I still think that if they fought 10 times, nine times out of 10 Amanda starches her. But sometimes it’s just not your night, no matter what yo do, no matter how hard you prepare, no matter how good you feel or how confident you are, sometimes things just don’t go your way. That’s the craziness of this sport.”

Harrison Promises Peña A “2-For-1 ATT Special If She Keeps Talking”

Harrison’s theory could well be put to the test in 2022. After Dana White confirmed the former champ has the option for a rematch on the table if she wants it, both Nunes and the newly-crowned titleholder suggested it makes sense. However, Peña could be facing more than just a “Lioness” if she continues down her current path.

Following her title crowning, Peña discussed the possibility of facing Harrison. Dismissing the threat of the Ohio native, “The Venezuelan Vixen” branded the PFL champ, who she said has only fought in the “B-leagues” the “lesser of the training partners” at ATT.

In response, Harrison said that if she’s not careful, Peña could be the recipient of a special offer out of the famed Florida-based gym.

“I think that she (Nunes) takes a little time off, she relaxes, she spends time with her family, with her daughter, with her wife, and then we get right back at it. I talked to her that night, I was like, ‘This puta’s about to get a 2-for-1 ATT special if she keeps talking.'”

Given their current weight discrepancy, which has the pair fighting 20 pounds apart, a Harrison vs. Peña matchup seems unlikely unless the UFC champ chooses to move up to featherweight. With that in mind, the more likely bout is seemingly a championship clash between the two ATT teammates.

With Nunes still in possession of the 145-pound gold, and Harrison’s free agency status leaving the door open for a move to the UFC, we could see the two friends collide down the line.

Do you agree with Kayla Harrison? Would Amanda Nunes beat Julianna Peña nine times out of 10?

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