Michelle Waterson has backed Julianna Pena to beat Amanda Nunes.
Waterson will return to action after a year against Amanda Lemos at UFC on ABC 3. The former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion made her way into the UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter 21. ‘The Karate Hottie’ would beat Paige VanZant in her debut main event fight and holds wins over notable opponents such as Felice Herrig, and Angela Hill.
Michelle Waterson believes Julianna Pena will win again
The highly anticipated rematch between Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes is set for UFC 277. In an exclusive interview with James Lynch for Middle Easy, ‘The Karate Hottie’ shared her thoughts on the upcoming match-up.
Waterson speculated about what possibly happened in the first fight.
“It will come down to where Amanda is in her headspace. Yeah, Nunes slowed down but in my opinion, I think that Julianna had to get in her face to slow her down.
“Sometimes people hit a breaking point and I think what happened was Nunes threw everything she had at Pena, and Pena just took it because she’s a dawg. Then, Nunes was like, ‘dang, what else do I have?’ Her confidence and all of that started slowing down.”
Waterson left room for error open in her analysis. She made a fair point of trying to understand it from the outside with limited information.
“That’s a hard thing for all of us spectators to sit back and judge a fight when we don’t know what happened in the camp, we don’t know what’s happened in their personal life, during fight week, during the cut. There’s so many things to secure a win on any given night, that stars absolutely have to be aligned.”
Waterson thinks Nunes’ camp needs to do more work
While many were quick to offer a plethora of excuses for the loss, the general sentiment was that Nunes had slowed down. Waterson says that there are issues that ‘The Lioness’ will need to be prepared for if she wants to win the title back.
“I do think that they’re going to have to address, Nunes’ camp’s going to have to address Pena’s reach and her grit, try to figure out how to get around that.
“Her jab was money, man. The punches were money. They might not have looked powerful but get touched enough and they add up. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
When asked about who she would put her money on, ‘The Karate Hottie’ backed Pena to come out on top in the rematch. She will be taking on Amanda Lemos on July 16 at UFC on ABC 3.
Julianna Pena’s rematch with Amanda Nunes will take place two weeks following that on July 30 at UFC 277.