Friday, August 19, 2022

Peña Backs Her Chin To Take Nunes’ Shots: “She Can’t Put Me Out”

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña is confident that her chin can hold up against whatever Amanda Nunes throws at UFC 277.

While she entered the UFC 269 pay-per-view last December as a significant underdog who’d had her chances of dethroning then-double titleholder Nunes largely written off, she’ll enter their rematch with the gold in her possession having ripped it from the grasp of the Brazilian via second-round submission.

After surviving the opening round, well known as Nunes’ strongest, Peña took the fight to a visibly fatigued and slower Nunes on the feet. While a grappler by trade, “The Venezuelan Vixen” took advantage of the Brazilian’s open defense, hurting her on the feet.

Despite that, the exchanges weren’t without some clean connections on the new champ, with Peña sporting quite the set of bruises and swells post-fight, as she acknowledged in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports! reporter Kevin Iole.

“I took some shots. It wasn’t like I was just a walk in the park and just got her down and choked her,” Peña. “After, you could see the mouse underneath my eye and the swelling that I had. I took some very heavy shots.”

With that said, Peña is giving little notice of the narrative that a Nunes who is 100% healthy and fresh could finish her in Dallas on Saturday.

Peña: I Am A Wall That Nunes’ Striking Can’t Break

In her 15-fight career, Peña has not been knocked out, with her only TKO loss coming via doctor’s stoppage pre-UFC in 2012. That, coupled with the fact she’s rarely, if ever, shown signs of being hurt on the feet, has left the bantamweight queen extremely confident in her abilities to withstand Nunes’ best shots — again.

After noting that she’s fully expecting to eat some heavy blows come July 30, “The Venezuelan Vixen” likened herself to a wall that Nunes won’t be able to collapse with her fists.

“The main difference in this rematch — it’s not even a difference, it’s a similarity — I’m still gonna take some shots,” Peña said. “We’re gonna get in there, me and Amanda are literally the two best fighters in the world, and I’m expecting to get hit. If you’re not expecting to get hit, you’re definitely in the wrong sport.

“The fact is, I’m gonna get hit and I’m gonna go in there, and it’s the one who backs up and can’t take the shots that’s gonna be the loser. I think the most important thing is that I know the will I have. I know what kind of chin I have. I know the adversity that I can face,” Peña continued.

“I am the wall that Amanda bashes up against when Amanda realizes she can’t put me out with just one shot.”

This weekend, Nunes will be looking to prove that the champ’s upset victory last December was nothing but a fluke. But across from her inside the cage will be a divisional queen who thrives when doubted.

And with a portion of the MMA community still making up her group of remaining detractors, Peña will be looking to deliver a second dose of shock at UFC 277 by further legitimizing her place on the 135-pound throne.

Does Amanda Nunes have what it takes to finish Julianna Peña on the feet?

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