Amanda Nunes suffered her first loss in seven years last Saturday (Dec. 11, 2021) at UFC 269 in Las Vegas, Nevada, after she was submitted by Julianna Pena in the second round of their women's Bantamweight title fight.
Immediately after the bout, some felt that Nunes tapped too quick to a choke hold that wasn’t all the way in, suggesting that “Lioness” wanted a way out because she may have been spent. One man who was sitting cageside to see all the action was Joe Rogan, who was flabbergasted to see Nunes get tired so quick.
In his assessment, that is simply inexcusable from a combatant many have as the pound-for-pound best female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time.
“For you to be a world champion in two divisions and universally recognized as the greatest woman fighter of all time, which Amanda is, it’s inexcusable to be that tired in the second round,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast (transcribed by MMA Junkie).
Rogan suggests that perhaps Nunes underestimated the type of pressure Pena was going to bring into the cage with her. After making adjustments in round two, “The Venezuelan Vixen” started to push the pace, getting the better of Nunes in the striking exchanges, blooding up her nose and forcing her to step backward.
If Nunes did look past Pena, that could have been a major sticking point in her downfall that night.
“The thing is, one thing I did say leading up to the fight, as they were getting ready, you have to think of all the times where someone has underestimated someone,” Rogan added. “You can never underestimate an opponent. You can’t go into a fight not nervous. You can’t go into a fight completely sure you’re going to win when that other person is hungry and scared, because weird things happen when people underestimate people. But f—k, that was nuts.”
Of course, we can’t skip over the fact that Nunes tested positive for COVID-19 in July, which was the reason their fight in August at UFC 265 was scrapped. There have been cases where a fighter was unable to return due to breathing and conditioning issues long after contracting and recovering from the virus.
For her part, Nunes has never offered up an excuse for the defeat, but she did say she plans on accepting an immediate rematch once she “gets her shit together.”
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 269: “Oliveira vs. Poirier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.