Julianna Pena's victory over Amanda Nunes in their first fight against one another is widely regarded as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Pena entered their UFC 269 clash as a huge betting underdog, challenging the formidable Nunes for the latter's UFC women's bantamweight title.
Their fight transpired on December 11, 2021, and it witnessed 'The Venezuelan Vixen' shake up the MMA world. After getting dominated by 'The Lioness' throughout the first round of their fight, Pena drew Nunes into a brawl in round two.
During their back-and-forth exchanges, Julianna Pena's punches badly stunned Amanda Nunes on the feet. With Nunes rocked and exhausted during the striking exchanges in the second round, Pena eventually chose to drag her to the mat. Following that, she swiftly took Nunes' back and trapped the Brazilian MMA legend in a rear-naked choke to secure the tap.
Pena won via second-round submission and ended Nunes' legendary 12-fight win streak. On the first anniversary of Pena's iconic win against 'The Lioness,' the official ESPN MMA Twitter handle posted a throwback video of the same.
Watch highlights from the epic UFC 269 fight in the video below:
Following her title-winning performance at UFC 269, Julianna Pena faced Amanda Nunes in an immediate rematch at UFC 277 on July 30, 2022. This time around, Nunes refrained from getting into a brawl with Pena. Instead, 'The Lioness' utilized her technical striking and grappling to outwork and beat Pena via a unanimous decision and reclaimed the bantamweight belt.
Julianna Pena lobbies for trilogy fight with Amanda Nunes; sounds off on Daniel Cormier
Julianna Pena notably challenged Amanda Nunes to face her in a trilogy matchup next. Nevertheless, certain sections of the MMA community have suggested that Pena ought to earn her way back to a title shot. On ESPN MMA's DC & RC Show, former UFC double champ Daniel Cormier echoed similar sentiments. Cormier stated:
"The work hasn’t warranted an immediate rematch, because if not, then every champion that loses gets an immediate rematch. It’s not like that. It just doesn’t work that way."
Presently, neither Julianna Pena's nor Amanda Nunes' respective next fights have been officially announced. Pena, for her part, continues to lobby for another matchup against Nunes. Speaking to ESPN MMA in November, Pena lambasted Daniel Cormier.
Moreover, The Ultimate Fighter 18 winner and former bantamweight champion highlighted her long list of accolades. Noting that 'DC' himself received multiple UFC title shots, Pena said:
"'DC' you had ten title fights, why are you hating on me for wanting to get a trilogy. Ten? I think that's the most title fights in UFC history."
Watch Pena discuss the topic at 2:11 in the video below: