When Nunes next enters the Octagon, it’ll be in a unique scenario: avenging a loss and re-capturing a title. The woman responsible for dragging the “Lioness” off the two-division throne is Peña.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” made good on her predictions at UFC 269 when she submitted the “Lioness” in arguably the greatest upset in the promotion’s history. By securing her status as bantamweight queen, Peña handed Nunes her first loss since 2014 and snapped the Brazilian’s 12-fight win streak.
Now, the pair are preparing for a rematch fueled by animosity on both sides and Nunes’ desire for revenge. The two 135lbers will run it back following the culmination of this year’s The Ultimate Fighter season, which features both as rival coaches.
Ahead of their second meeting, a former opponent of both has given her take on how the second fight could play out. Shevchenko, who has two defeats to Nunes and one victory over Peña on her record, believes that the rematch will be won and lost based on the fighting shape of the former champ.
“If Amanda will be in the same shape [as when] she fought Julianna that time, definitely Julianna has all chances to win [against her],” Shevchenko told Cageside Press. “But if Amanda will be in the fight shape [as when] she fought me, I think she will get back her belt, and they will still come back for this third fight.”
While she appeared gracious in defeat last December, Nunes has since sought to explain her loss, which has involved taking most of the credit away form the newly-crowned titleholder. Among the reasons noted for her shock defeat, the “Lioness” revealed that she’d gone through camp with a host of injuries.
While Nunes will look to prove her claims of superiority over Peña by entering their rematch at 100%, the champ will be targeting another moment to rub in the face of her doubters.
How do you think the rematch between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña will play out?