Two-division champion, Amanda Nunes, came into UFC 269 tonight (Sat., Dec. 11, 2021) riding a seven-year unbeaten streak, which featured incredible knockout wins over former champions Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. So, it is fair to say that Julianna Pena had her work cut out for her inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the pay-per-view co-main event this evening, looking to score one of the largest upsets in recent mixed martial arts (MMA) memory.
And, incredibly, she did just that.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 winner was confident and cocky heading into the match up, going toe-to-toe with the greatest female fighter ever and somehow coming out on top. It was awesome (watch highlights).
Nunes looked fired up in her corner before coming out, perhaps more than eager to silence Pena’s trash talk leading up to the fight. Pena tried to open up with an overghand right, but Nunes chopped her lead leg out from underneath her, then continued to chip away at it when she returned to her feet. Pena unleashing some combinations upstairs, but once again found herself on her butt from a hard straight down the middle. Nunes jumped on her, looking to unload some ground-and-pound, but Pena reversed and the two got back to their feet before Pena sat down along the fence. Pena angled for a kimura from the bottom, but Nunes was able to work her way to Pena’s back. She had a brutal cross face from behind, with Pena fighting the hands to keep her away from her throat. Pena was evnetually able to slide into half guard, with Nunes holding her in a head lock. Pena had Nunes’ left leg pinned pretty well, then was able to go back to the kimura, essentially nullifying what Nunes was able to do. Nunes punched her side, but Pena just held onto the arm until the round ended.
Nunes was smiling between rounds, apparently having some fun out there. Pena came out throwing some nice combinations, stunning the champion in the center of the cage. Nunes recovered quick, returning fire with heavy hands. Pena landed a nice left, then another, as Nunes contined to wobble and return heavy fire. Nunes’ left jab was destroying Pena’s face, but Pena was definitely getting the better of the early exchanges. Nunes was adamant about the left hand, with Pena opting to just slug it out. She got Nunes down with a takedown, then jumped on her back and tapped her.
My goodness! What an upset. Pena basically just said screw it, she just stood there and traded punches until Nunes was completely spent. She didn’t even have any hooks in or anything — Nunes was just turtled up, beaten up and seriously fatigued.
Julianna Pena has shocked the MMA world, dethroning Nunes in incredible, gutsy fashion.
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