Julianna Pena is adamant Amanda Nunes doesn’t want to fight her next.
Nunes is coming off a comfortable first-round submission win over Megan Anderson in their women’s featherweight title fight at UFC 259 this past weekend.
Her next fight will seemingly be a bantamweight title defense with UFC president Dana White revealing that Pena had been hitting him up regularly and was likely to be next in line.
However, Pena doesn’t believe Nunes wants to fight her. Why?
“Because she knows that stylistically I’m the worst matchup for her,” Pena responded to Ariel Helwani. “Do you remember — let’s go back, do you remember when she fought Cat Zingano? What happened in that fight? She lost. She curled up in the fetal position and the referee had to freaking pull Cat off of her.
“I beat Cat. I just beat the other best wrestler in the division, Sara McMann, a silver [medalist] Olympic wrestler. I am the best wrestler in the division. I’m holding the title for the best wrestler in the division. And she knows she’s going to curl up in the fetal position. She quit in that fight, and she knows she’s going to have to quit again. The ref’s going to have to pull me off too — I’m going to put her in those uncomfortable positions and she’s not going to want to fight me. She’s going to find a way out of this fight yet again.”
Pena: Defend Or Vacate
Nunes hasn’t defended her bantamweight title since a unanimous decision victory over Germaine de Randamie in December 2019 as she has racked up two featherweight title defenses since.
And if she’s not willing to drop back down to her original division, Pena — who has won two of her last three fights since returning to action in 2019 — believes “The Lioness” should vacate the title so that others can fight for it.
“She [Holly Holm] pulled out [our fight] with an injury,” Pena added on why her fight with Holm is no longer taking place. “That couldn’t have worked any better for me, because at the end of the day, forget about Holly Holm. I want to fight for the title — 135 pounds has not been defended for over a year. If you’re not going to fight, then give it up, get the f out of here and let somebody else fight for it.
“If she wants to stay fat at 145-pounds, do that then. And all these girls who fight at 145 can make 135, I hope you know that. They can make the weight, they just wanna be lazy and they don’t wanna cut [weight]. 135-pounds is where the fights are at. No one cares about the 145-pound division, it’s dead, it’s done. You act like you’ve cleaned out the division, you haven’t cleaned out the division. I’m still here, I’m still standing and I’ve been here this entire time.“
You NEED to hear how fired up @VenezuelanVixen was when calling out Amanda Nunes 😳
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 10, 2021
Some strong words from Pena in one of the best promos we’ve seen in quite some time from the women’s division, at least.
That said, it’s highly unlikely Nunes is avoiding her.