At UFC 269 in December, Nunes saw her 12-fight win streak and three-year two-division rule collapse at the hands of an unlikely character. Like many before her, Peña’s chances of dethroning the “Lioness’ were dismissed and her confidence branded delusional.
But writing the story completely different to most fans and pundits expected, “The Venezuelan Vixen” created a chapter of UFC history that will long be remembered. In the second round of their co-main event clash, Peña rocked Nunes on the feet before dragging her down and submitting her.
For the T-Mobile Arena crowd and the millions watching at home, the sound of “And New” was about as surprising a moment as any since the promotion’s inception.
Nunes “Can’t Wait” To Start Over
While Nunes would be forgiven for being distraught and disheartened after suffering her first setback since 2014, the Brazilian has remained as positive as ever.
After a gracious post-fight interview, she promised to come back strong. If the featherweight champ’s recent comments are to be believed, her return this year will signify the arrival of a Nunes who is hungrier than ever.
“Honestly, after I lose that belt, the fire is like, built up again,” said Nunes. “I’m telling you, damn, I can’t wait to start over. I have something to chase. It’s not like, ‘Oh my god, I lost my belt,’ and staying home crying. That’s never gonna happen with me. Actually, UFC changed my life. How I’m living, whatever happens right now is like, amazing. UFC changed, literally, my life. I don’t have time to be sad.”
With her fire back and her physical condition hopefully at 100%, Nunes will get her chance for redemption later this year. After coaching this year’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter, Peña and Nunes will run it back, with the status of bantamweight queen on the line.
Do you think Amanda Nunes will reclaim the bantamweight gold from Julianna Peña in their rematch?