Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Julianna Peña: ATT Wasn’t Big Enough For Harrison & Nunes

UFC Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña believes American Top Team wasn’t big enough for both Amanda Nunes and Kayla Harrison leading to Nunes’ exit.

The UFC featherweight champion opted for change back in January when she made the dramatic decision to leave ATT following her loss to Peña. Nunes was submitted at UFC 269 as Peña shocked the world to become the champion in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

Nunes went undefeated as a fighter while competing under ATT going 12-0 since joining the gym before facing Peña. Now, the Brazilian is leaving the highly renowned gym to start her own team in the build-up to her rematch for the UFC bantamweight title.

A potential super fight between Nunes and Harrison looked like a possibility following rumors of a UFC deal being signed by the two-time Olympic gold winner. Yet, that fight looks less likely following Harrison’s signing of a new contract with PFL, which makes her the most paid female MMA fighter of all time according to her manager.

Speaking on The MMA Hour Peña was asked whether she was shocked to hear the news that Nunes had decided to leave ATT following their fight.

“A little bit of me,” said Peña. “I am, a part of me thinks that she’ll go back, but I was a little bit shocked to hear that she fired her entire team after losing a fight. That was pretty crazy.”

Peña then went on to say that she feels as though both Nunes and Harrison could no longer co-exist at ATT leading to the UFC featherweight champion’s sudden exit from the gym.

“I can tell you during fight week, I saw one of her interviews. It was a few days before our fight and they were like, ‘Hey, Amanda, how do you feel about the fact that Kayla Harrison’s the team captain?’ And she was like ‘What?’ It was like news to her and you could tell how visibly uncomfortable she was from the question and she was like, ‘She’s not team captain. I’m team captain. That’s my thing.’

“I saw the wheels turning, so I’m like, it’s got to be one of those things where it’s like the room wasn’t big enough for the two of them. But at the same time, it’s like, you guys call each other friends, right? Like, you guys are constantly saying that you’re friends and training partners, but then she was so upset that I beat Amanda because then that means she’s not gonna fight Amanda? So it’s like who needs enemies with friends like these?”

Do you agree with Peña’s comments?

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