UFC president Dana White knows that we’re going to see the same highly-determined version of Julianna Pena in this weekend’s UFC 277 main event, but he is left pondering what version of Amanda Nunes we’ll see.
Pena defeated Nunes in December to record one of the most stunning upsets in UFC history. Despite entering the fight as a massive +700 underdog, Pena was able to stand and trade with the long-reigning, dominant bantamweight champion before eventually submitting her in the second round.
It was an incredible performance by Pena at UFC 269, but the former bantamweight champion has made it known that she was far from well-prepared for that title defense. Speaking with
“I made a mistake. A huge mistake,” Nunes explained. “A lot of things went wrong in my camp, and I still moved forward in the camp. I didn’t want to let the fight fall through. Nina was trying to tell me like, ‘Listen, if we have to pull out of this fight to get 100 percent, we can do that.’ But I wasn’t listening to her. I wanted to fight.”
Nunes did look her like her usual self in the early stages of the fight. She chopped away at the legs of the challenger and unloaded her heavy right hand on several occasions. However, she ran out of gas rather quickly and was overwhelmed by Pena’s constant pressure. Nunes, who was clearly exhausted during the second round, ultimately gave up her back and was submitted with a simple rear-naked choke submission from Pena. It wasn’t just the result that was stunning but the way it happened, as well.
“It’s hard not to be excited and think about this main event,” White said to Robbie Fox. “What Amanda is going to show up? You know what Julianna is going to show up — the fired up with total belief in herself Julianna Pena is going to show up. If the real Amanda Nunes shows up, this should be an awesome fight.
Watch Pena vs. Nunes 2
- Date: Saturday, July 30
- Time: PPV Main Card starts at 10 pm ET, Prelims start at 6 pm ET
ESPN+ PPV (order here)
UFC 277 is a PPV event, meaning fans must order UFC 277 on the ESPN+ website to watch every main card fight live, including the Pena vs. Nunes rematch. After ordering, fans can stream every UFC 277 fight to a preferred device, including TVs, mobiles, computers, laptops, tablets, and more.
Formerly the lead MMA Editor at RealSport.