Newly-crowned bantamweight champion Julianna Pena ended one of the great runs in UFC history when she survived a first-round blitzkrieg from Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 then battled back to submit “Lioness” and capture the women’s 135-pound title.
It’s not outrageous to suggest UFC President Dana White was “bummed” by the result.
“He’s a little bit bummed that his little golden goose got tapped out,” Pena told Barstool Chicago (transcribed by Cole Shelton). “Of course, it’s so much better for them financially to have this girl who’s never been beaten in seven years, never been tapped out, never lost, and has belts in two weight classes, she’s fought the who’s-who of the division and she’s slayed all those giants.”
All but this one.
“Of course, they’re not thinking I have a chance and they want her to win because it looks better for the promotion, it looks better for the UFC,” Pena continued. “They weren’t expecting to me to win. I literally looked at them after the fight and all of their jaws are to the floor. I was like, ‘sorry to ruin your day guys,’ sorry but what am I going to do? It’s not anything that’s rigged by any means so it’s up to the individual.”
Not surprisingly, White ordered an immediate rematch.
After they complete their coaching duties on Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Pena and Nunes will rematch in the UFC 277 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, scheduled for Sat., July 30, 2022 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
For the current UFC 277 fight card and PPV lineup click here.