Friday, August 19, 2022

Amanda Nunes Defends White Against Clickbait & Cherry-Picking

UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Amanda Nunes has defended the widely covered comments made by Dana White regarding her defeat to Julianna Peña.

At 2021’s year-ending pay-per-view, “The Venezuelan Vixen” shocked the world by ending the two-division rule of the “Lioness.” Heading into the UFC 269 co-main event, Nunes rode a 12-fight win streak that dated back to 2015, and held both the 145 and 135-pound belts.

But the Brazilian left Las Vegas 50% lighter when it came to gold, with Peña ripping the bantamweight strap from her grasp with a second-round submission.

Amanda Nunes & Julianna Pena
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

In the aftermath of the result, discussion included talk of Nunes’ health and camp, as well as accusations of ‘quitting’ when the challenger brought the fight to her. One of the notable views came from the UFC president, who, like many have attributed to Conor McGregor‘s downfall, suggested that Nunes’ riches have hindered her motivation.

“The question is, for Amanda – and this is what happens to all fighters – you know the big narrative we don’t pay anybody? Amanda’s rich,” White told ESPN. “Amanda is a multi-millionaire who is now at a completely different financial status. She has a baby now. Her life – she is not that hungry savage she was when she started to take this run at becoming a world champion. A lot of that factors in.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

While those remarks drew heavy press, Nunes herself has defended White’s take — and actually backed them.

Nunes: People Try & Make White Look Bad

During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, Nunes was asked about White’s comments and theory about her upset loss last December.

After suggesting that the media often pick out the negative aspects of the UFC president’s quotes to drive a negative attitude towards him, the reigning 145-pound queen shared White’s sentiment, admitting that she got too comfortable enjoying the finer things in life, which had its toll on her preparation.

“I feel like, sometimes Dana says something and people really pick the little part that’s gonna make him look bad,” Nunes said. “I feel like, you know, what he says sometimes, if you look in that way, yeah, I got very comfortable. And you want to enjoy your life. When you do all those things that I did, I wanna travel, I wanna go see my family, I wanna rest a little bit.

“The tendency is that you slow down a little bit. Of course, I wanna sleep a little more. All my life, I wake up early and do all those things early… All those things, when you do everything that I did, one day you’re kinda like, ‘I’m gonna relax a little bit.’ I did so much. ‘Now, I can kinda rest.’ I was dominating, you know?” Nunes added. “Killed all those girls in front of me, cleaned the division. So, I kinda slowed down.”

Nunes went on to reiterate a claim made by her upcoming opponent, who suggested that her arrival as a legitimate threat at the top of the division has re-lit the Brazilian’s fire having evidently seen it go out last year, as White suggested.

And the “Lioness” even credited White for helping her find her hunger again this year, admitting that it often takes criticism to drive motivation.

“Like Dana say, I’ve gotta get my act together. So, I’m fired up now. Sometimes, a lot of critical words help you, push you. So yeah, I’m fired up,” Nunes said. “Dana sometimes says something that if you pick the right parts, he’s kinda right. But honestly, Dana White, he’s a guy that changed my life. Every time I text him, he listens to me.

“I said, ‘I want [Cris] Cyborg next, make that happen. I’m gonna be your first double champion.’ He said like, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ … So, he changed my life. I really have everything that I want. I live the life that I want now,” Nunes added. “So, what am I gonna say abut UFC? They really changed my life.”

While fans and fighters have their theories about Nunes’ desire to return to the throne, we’ll find out which side the Brazilian’s hunger swings to when she returns to the Octagon for redemption this weekend at UFC 277.

Do you think Amanda Nunes has re-found her hunger ahead of the UFC 277 main event?

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