Amanda Nunes Says Aldana Is ‘More Technical’ And ‘Dangerous’ Than Pena, ‘Excited’ To Face ‘New Opponent’

"The Lioness" is thrilled to take on a new and tougher challenger in Aldana.

Amanda Nunes
Amanda Nunes. - Image credit @amanda_leoa Instagram
  • Amanda Nunes thinks Irene Aldana’s overall style is more challenging than Julianna Pena
  • “The Lioness” said Aldana was her original opponent but Pena managed to earn a third fight

Amanda Nunes is back and will defend her UFC bantamweight belt against Irene Aldana at UFC 289. Ahead of her first title defense since reclaiming her throne against Julianna Pena, “The Lioness” is excited and ready for a new challenge.

A tougher opponent

Speaking to Jon Anik in a recent interview, Nunes assessed the challenge Aldana presents heading into the fight. According to the Brazilian, Aldana is a tougher opponent than Pena in almost all categories but the champ remains confident she could match everything the Mexican would throw at her.

“She’s a very talented girl as well,” Nunes said of Aldana. “Obviously, she was like right in the corner to get the opportunity. I feel like she’s more technical as well, she’s more dangerous, knockout power, all those things you know I feel like she has a very good counter punches so I got to watch out for those moments also. And the takedowns, she have good transition when she like getting close to the floor you know, so yeah, I feel like this is a good opponent and I know she’s ready.”

“She was training for five rounds, so I feel like she’s ready to go and like I am too,” she continued. “So I feel like it’s gonna be a fun you know both [of us] really have a knockout power and I don’t see this fight really go far away and if it go, I’m gonna be ready for five minute rounds for sure and like always, I want to see that crowd really like hyper up and cheer for both of us. I’m very excited with this new opponent.”

It was meant to Happen

Nunes also talked about how she and UFC have already agreed to fight Aldana next but Pena somehow managed to get another opportunity for a trilogy fight. However, an injury forced the “Venezuelan Vixen” to withdraw and now she’s happy to be back to her “original opponent.”

“I always like to train for somebody else you know when the third time come, it’s like, ‘All right, let’s do this again to win [and] put her away for good,’” Nunes revealed. “And the last couple days, the news come out and I was like, [Aldana] actually was the original opponent.”

“Me and the UFC was talking about it, they want Aldana next and everything was lined up to be Aldana and I don’t know if Juliana cry about it and whatever happened and she ended up to get one more opportunitym but now we are here with the original opponent… My job is to defend the belt, get ready to step in the cage and get in my belt home with me but at the end of the day, I like to fight a good opponent too, a respectful opponent like Aldana. It’s gonna be awesome, I can’t wait for this,” she concluded.

Aldana earned her shot at the title after scoring back-to-back KO/TKO victories. On the other hand, Nunes would be coming in eager to prove why she is regarded by many as the women’s MMA’s GOAT. However, “The Lioness” also admitted that she would have to see if it’s time to contemplate about a possible retirement.

Published on June 7, 2023 at 11:52 am
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