- Julianna Pena is certain she clearly got the better of Amanda Nunes without any issues
- “The Venezuelan Vixen” has no plans of slowing down despite winning the title
Julianna Pena closed out the year 2021 with a bang after securing an upset submission win over Amanda Nunes to dethrone the Brazilian at UFC 269. She is certain that she’s the rightful women’s bantamweight champion but also assures everyone that there’s more to come.
“Watch me do it again”
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Pena stressed that though Nunes said she had some problems with her knee during the match, that doesn’t change the fact that she finished “Lioness.”
Should her doubters continue to buzz about it being just a “fluke,” the reigning champion wants them to keep the same energy when she stops Nunes once again.
“I could’ve rode off into the sunset and fought somebody else and done something else but the whole point is everyone thinks it’s a fluke, There’s a ton of naysayers out there and negative people that think I just fell out of the blue sky and just ended up winning on that night because she hurt her knee or whatever,” Peña explained.
“The reality is that I won that fight fair and square and if you don’t believe me, then you’re gonna have to watch me do it again the second time and then maybe you guys will quit doubting me,” she added.
“More work to be done”
Unlike other champions, Pena is not content with just winning the belt. She wants to defend it for as long as she can and she has no problem if a rematch with Nunes will come first.
“Amanda has done for the sport and done in general for women’s MMA,” Pena admitted. “She has elevated the sport for having such a accolade of accomplishments. I would say though that for me, I still feel like a contender. I still feel like there’s a target on my back and I still feel like there’s more work to be done. I’m not content with just ‘oh you got the belt.’ No! You’re not a champ until you defend it and until you solidify that this is my belt.”
“So for me, I’m waking up every morning thinking I still haven’t hit my goal,” she continued. “I still haven’t hit my goal yet and so as long as I can keep that mindset of just grinding, staying humble and just nose to the grindstone and just putting in that work, then I’ll be able to confidently say, ‘Yeah, maybe I got a leg up on her,’ but right now I absolutely do not. I still have work to be done.”
Pena and Nunes are expected to meet again inside the octagon in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 30.