Reigning UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, who also wears gold at 145 pounds, is scheduled to face longtime bantamweight contender Julianna Pena at the upcoming UFC 265 pay-per-view (PPV) event in August.
Pena, no stranger to trash talk (or fat jokes), believes her exhaustive wrestling and forward pressure will disrupt the champ’s rhythm and drain “Lioness” of her legendary punching power — which is potent enough to fell even the mightiest of opponents.
“All my opponents, it’s the same thing,” Nunes told MMA Junkie. “Since I get this belt, they say the same thing. None of them has been able to stop me. She’s going to be the next. She’s not going to stop me with her wrestling. I promise you. We’re going to do interview again like, ‘I told you. She’s not stopping me.’ I will defend, and I will take her down, and I will finish her on the floor. She’s good with her wrestling, but also she has a lot of holes. The girls that I finish submit her. Valentina (Shevchenko) and Germaine (de Randamie) – two strikers – submitted her. So she has a lot of holes. I will do the same.”
Pena (10-4), currently ranked No. 6 at 135 pounds, is just 2-2 since her upset win over Cat ZIngano way back at UFC 200, a performance that did little to impress Nunes. “The Venezuelan Vixen” was last seen choking out Sara McMann at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi.
As for Nunes (21-4), she’s the winner of 12 straight with eight violent finishes. There used to be talk about her long-distance conditioning but during her championship stretch “Lioness” has gone five rounds on four separate occasions without fail.
Pena is currently a +525 underdog.