Nunes fell to Peña in one of the most shocking UFC moments of 2021, submitting to a rear-naked choke in the second round. Nunes appeared winded early in the fight and arguably didn’t look like her usual dominant self.
After her historic win, Peña claimed that she, not Nunes, is the first “mom champ” in the UFC. Nunes and her wife Nina welcomed their first child in late 2020.
“The UFC absolutely needs to create a new belt for me It needs to be ‘The Baddest Mom on the Planet,’ Peña said during the UFC 269 post-fight press conference. “And you know, I’m not trying to take away anything from Amanda. She’s a wonderful mother. But I gave birth to my daughter, and I know that I feel like, for giving birth, I am the first mom champ. And that, to me, is also a little feather in the cap.”
The MMA community has been divided on Pena’s controversial statements, and Pena has recently come out and claimed that she didn’t mean any ill-will with the comments and acknowledged Nunes is a great mother and a true “mom champ.”
During a recent Instagram post, Nunes addressed the controversy and aimed her statement directly at Peña.
“I may not have birthed my Daughter. If I wanted to I could have,” Nunes said. “I chose to watch from the outside. After going through the IVF procedure with Nina. It was truly heartbreaking to see many women break down in the waiting room knowing they would never be able to carry their own and have to take another direction. This doesn’t not make these women any less of a MOM than Nina or I. As a MOM champion as well, I feel this needed to be said, [Julianna Pena].”
The “Mom Champ” Controversy Could Fuel Nunes/Pena Rematch
Many of Nunes’ fans commented with messages of support on the post. Peña has yet to respond to Nunes’ post as of this writing.
Nunes and Peña are expected to run it back sometime in 2022, with both women publically agreeing to an immediate rematch. Nunes has hinted at taking some time off, and it’s unclear when she’s targeting her return.
The Peña vs. Nunes rivalry appears to just be getting started, and this out-of-competition turmoil could fuel the fire between these two women going forward. Whenever they end up fighting again, it’s almost certain that Peña’s comments will continue to be addressed publically.
What are your thoughts on the Amanda Nunes/Julianna Peña “Mom Champ” controversy?