Julianna Pena couldn’t disagree less with claims against her getting an Amanda Nunes trilogy bout.
The now-former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight titleholder went one and done as a champion, dropping the crown to the woman she beat for it, Nunes. At UFC 277 in July 2022, Nunes’ avenged her second round rear-naked choke submission loss to Pena from Dec. 2021 (watch highlights), dominating Pena throughout their five-round sequel en route to a unanimous decision win (watch highlights).
The outcome of that bout has few within the community clamoring for a third encounter next, including former dual-division UFC champ turned commentator, Daniel Cormier. Recently stating that he believes an immediate trilogy isn’t warranted for Pena, “The Venezuelan Vixen” fired back in front of the lights.
“You’re saying that my work doesn’t warrant it?” Pena said last week (Nov. 4, 2022) while working as a desk analyst for ESPN (h/t MMA News). “I’m the first-ever woman to win The Ultimate Fighter, I’ve torn four out of five ligaments in my knee and came back from that — actually both knees — I gave birth and had a baby and came back from that.
“I have been clawing and scratching my way to the top and been in this division since 2013 when they first allowed women to join the UFC, and I did everything that I said I was going to do leading up to that fight,” she concluded.
Nunes currently awaits her next move as she’s once again a double champion, holding the Bantamweight and Featherweight titles. In Jan. 2023, UFC returns to her home country of Brazil for the first time since early 2020, providing a great possible return spot to defend.
A pivotal Bantamweight contender clash is already on tap at UFC 283 between Ketlen Vieira and Raquel Pennington. Therefore, that would presumably leave Irene Aldana as the only other top candidate for a title shot at 135 pounds ... unless Pena gets her wish.
“‘DC,’ you’ve had 10 title fights, bro,” Pena said. “Like, why are you hating on me for wanting to get a trilogy fight? 10! I think that’s the most title fights in UFC history. Like, come on, dude. Like, don’t block me out, dude.
“Your pinnacle of getting to the top is winning the belt and fighting and clawing your way to get there,” she added. “So I did that. I got to check that off, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to give this immediate rematch to prove it wasn’t a fluke, and I ran out of time. I don’t have a fight scheduled, I know Amanda doesn’t have a fight scheduled, and I think a trilogy fight is what the fans want to see.”
Who should Nunes defend against next?
This poll is closed
The Ketlen Vieira-Raquel Pennington winner
A featherweight challenger