Saturday, November 26, 2022

Peña Questions Giving Nunes Swift Rematch After Trilogy Holdup

Julianna Peña is done waiting for her trilogy bout with UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes.

Arguably the biggest story in 2021 was Julianna Peña defeating the consensus WMMA GOAT Amanda Nunes at UFC 269. Not many gave Peña a chance to do so, but she called her shot and knocked her opportunity of a lifetime clean out of the park.

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

Being that Nunes was such a dominant and long-reigning champion, it came as no surprise that she was granted an immediate rematch, especially given how relatively shallow the women’s bantamweight division was as far as other title contenders.

This time, the fight was a completely different story, with Nunes shutting Peña out on the judges’ scorecards in her unanimous decision victory, including wide scorecards of 50-44 and 50-43.

Peña made sure to ask for a trilogy fight immediately after the bout was over; however, Nunes voiced a desire to defend her featherweight title next instead.

Peña Re-Ups Trilogy Lobbying During Matchmaking Lull

Since then, all has been quiet surrounding plans for Nunes’ next fight, so Peña has decided to take to her Instagram page to lobby now before another opponent is selected for “The Lioness.”

“Everyone keeps asking me what’s next…. I’m getting my belt back that’s what’s next!
A trilogy with @amanda_leoa is the fight to make. I did everything I said I was going to do going into that first fight. I gave Amanda the immediate rematch within six months and man maybe I should have sat out for two years like she does.?

“She told all y’all she could have finished me in RD2 but I guess she wanted to get her face rearranged for three more rounds and leave on 🩼 instead 🤷🏽‍♀️ she even said we head butted and you guys believed it! Never happened ! She had to go home and change and revamp her ENTIRE STYLE to beat me. I take it as a compliment. She out smarted me the second time I give her that. We are 1-1 and this time I will not miss!”

As much as Peña believes a trilogy fight is in order, there may be another trilogy bout that is more likely to happen for Nunes, that being against Valentina Shevchenko. Nunes’ wife Nina has publicly stated she would prefer that fight next for Nunes, and UFC President Dana White said he’d explore the fight if both Nunes and Shevchenko want it.

Additionally, in a poll of over 100 respondents, MMA News readers overwhelmingly voted in favor of a Nunes/Shevchenko trilogy over a Nunes/Peña one.

At the moment, the #1-ranked contender at women’s bantamweight is still Julianna Peña, and there remains no clear-cut top contender at women’s featherweight, as there are no rankings in the division to speak of at all.

Another woman who has been mentioned as a potential opponent for Nunes is Ketlen Vieira, who is currently ranked #2 and is coming off back-to-back wins over former bantamweight champions Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. Perhaps Peña will have to earn her trilogy by going through Vieira in a title eliminator should Nunes and the UFC opt not to return the immediate-rematch favor to the Venezuelan Vixen.

What do YOU think should be next for Julianna Peña?