Peña vs. Nunes 2 has been written in the history books as Amanda reclaimed the women’s bantamweight championship, following an initial upset defeat in her first fight with Peña.
The fight resulted in inarguable dominance from Nunes, after the three knockdowns she scored in Round 2 to batter Peña set a precedent of cold, calculated shots that would rock the brain of her opponent throughout the fight and lead to a unanimous decision victory
On the ground, Peña did not fare any better as she was successfully taken down over the final three rounds as Nunes chipped away at her skull with grinding, sustained shots from top position. There were moments of seeming brilliance from Pena as the fighter almost caught Nunes with a threatening armbar submission attempt midway through the fourth round. Nunes, however, managed to escape and followed up with a flurry of elbows on Peña that left streaks of her blood covering the mat’s surface.
The damage was visible during the result announcement as Peña had visible cuts and bruises all over her face. UFC CEO Dana White confirmed that Pena was immediately taken to see specialists as soon as the result was announced. White stated, “Julianna’s got a big chunk missing from her forehead” and advised Pena to take plenty of time, given the damage she endured.
Pena fought like a honey badger protecting their cubs and all respect should be given to her for the fighter’s undeniable toughness and will power. Nunes, however, proved why she reigned so long as champion of the division. She possessed sharp punches, excellent shot selection, fluent movement and a strong cardio base to keep up her attacks. Most importantly, however, Nunes made all the correct adjustments that she learnt from the first fight and refused to engage in Pena’s storm of attacks. It is this type of elite mindset to be able to consistently learn and evolve that Amanda showed in the fight that again adds further evidence as to why she is the GOAT of the Women’s division.
The Lioness is back and the rest of the 135 division will be looking at her performance with jittery eyes.