Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Julianna Peña To Claim “GOAT Slayer” Title With Second Nunes Victory

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña is ready to adopt a new nickname should she secure a second consecutive victory over Amanda Nunes.

At UFC 269 last December, then-double champion Nunes faced the sixth challenge to her 135-pound reign. In what most expected to be an inevitable 13th straight victory for the Brazilian, the “Lioness” ran into prey that fought back ferociously.

Backing up her pre-fight confidence, Peña executed her gameplan to perfection in the second round, forcing Nunes into the kind of adversity-filled waters that she hadn’t swam in since defeat to Cat Zingano in 2014.

In the second frame, “The Venezuelan Vixen” submitted Nunes, securing one of the most shocking and memorable championship crownings in UFC history.

The pair are now set to run it back later this year following the culmination of The Ultimate Fighter 30, which will feature both as rival coaches.

Having defeated the consensus female GOAT once, Peña pondered where a second triumph would leave her in the conversation during an appearance on Morning Kombat.

Should she add back-to-back losses to Nunes’ record for the first time in the Brazilian’s career, Peña could be pushing “The Venezuelan Vixen” moniker aside for the “GOAT slayer.”

“Do you think that when you beat the GOAT, you become the GOAT slayer? I kinda like (that)… I think I might be the GOAT slayer,” said Peña.

Despite that, Peña acknowledged that slaying the GOAT doesn’t necessarily add her into the mix when it comes to claiming the greatest of all time throne.

“It’s weird right, so when you’re in jiu-jitsu and you’re a white belt, but you submit a purple belt, you’re like, ‘Give me your purple belt. You’re a purple belt and I just submitted you. I should get that?’ But it doesn’t really work like that. It’s like, you’ve gotta put in the time and then they’ll give you the purple belt over time,” noted Peña.

But while she’s hoping to find even more success inside the Octagon in the coming months and years, achieving GOAT status is not a target for the bantamweight queen.

Peña: I Wouldn’t Want The Pressure Of GOAT Status

Although she wouldn’t argue against her addition to the GOAT conversation, “The Venezuelan Vixen” wouldn’t enjoy the pressure of such a monumental status. The champ also noted that the term is being brought up more and more these days, lessening its value.

“So, I beat Amanda, and I’m going to beat Amanda again, and if they wanna put me in GOAT conversation, that’s fine,” said Peña. “But guess what? That’s not a cap that I want to wear. That’s not a hat that I feel like suits me, because it puts so much added pressure that I don’t want.

“Just call me Julianna Peña instead, or call me ‘The Venezuelan Vixen.’ Just know me as one of the best female fighters in the world. That, to me, has more weight than people throwing around ‘GOAT,’ because I think people throw it around too loosely these days,” concluded Peña.

With some in the MMA community still branding her title victory a ‘fluke’, a second victory over Nunes would certainly enhance Peña’s reputation as one of the best female fighters in the sport, and once again prove her doubters wrong.

From there, although it’s not an ambition, perhaps an entry into GOAT talk will be inevitable should “The Venezuelan Vixen” rack up some defenses.

Will Julianna Peña become the “GOAT slayer” with another victory over Amanda Nunes?

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