UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier does not believe that Julianna Pena deserves an immediate trilogy bout with bantamweight women’s champion Amanda Nunes.
Pena shocked the world at UFc 269 when she upset then-bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, scoring a second-round rear-naked choke submission to capture her first UFC title. Seven months later, the two would run it back at UFC 277 where Nunes recaptured the bantamweight crown in a dominant unanimous decision victory.
Now ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ is lobbying for a third meeting though, not everyone is convinced that Pena deserves another crack at the general consensus GOAT of women’s MMA. Included in that list of skeptics is former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier who does not believe Pena’s body of work is enough to justify a trilogy fight with Amanda Nunes.
“The work hasn’t warranted an immediate rematch,” Cormier said on ‘DC & RC’ on ESPN. “Because if not, then every champion that loses gets an immediate rematch. It’s not like that. It just doesn’t work that way. Amanda got an immediate rematch because she’s Amanda Nunes. Jose Aldo didn’t get an immediate rematch (against Conor McGregor), and he was the longest-reigning featherweight champion of all time.
“Sometimes you’ve got to move on to get back. I think Julianna’s in that position. I don’t know if the work that she’s put on paper warrants it. Just because she survived in the last match, I think she might have lost every single round of that fight.”
Daniel Cormier Would Prefer to See a Fresh Match Up For Amanda Nunes
Rather than run back Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena for a third time, Daniel Cormier would prefer to see ‘The Lioness’ take on a fresh match-up against a potential contender like Ketlen Vieira.
“Who’s to say that if she (Nunes) fights Ketlen Vieira, who has put together a nice win streak, has beaten two former champions, how do we know that that doesn’t play out in that way?” Cormier said. “We had no idea that the gal (Talia Santos) was gonna fight Valentina Shevchenko in the way that she did. We didn’t. So it’s like, you’ve got to give it to the next (person). I just don’t think the work that she’s put on paper warrants an immediate rematch.”
Vieira is coming off the two biggest wins of her career, defeating Miesha Tate in November 2021 and then besting Holly Holm six months later via split decision. 7-2 in the UFC, ‘Fenomeno’ is currently the No. 2 ranked bantamweight, a spot that could land her a world title opportunity in her next outing, though many feel a title eliminator with the streaking Raquel Pennington could be next for the Brazilian star.