July 17, 2024

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‘Classy’ Julianna Pena wanted to break into the cage during Amanda Nunes’ retirement: ‘She’s dead set on me’

‘Classy’ Julianna Pena wanted to break into the cage during Amanda Nunes’ retirement: ‘She’s dead set on me’

Julianna Pena showed some restraint at UFC 289 this past weekend (June 10, 2023).

One of the best fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history touted it as a career after UFC’s recent pay-per-view (PPV) event. After Amanda Nunes’ successful bantamweight title defense against Erin Aldana via unanimous decision, the two-division UFC champion has announced her retirement from the sport.

Pena was seated next to the cage at the event, he was initially supposed to face Nunes in what would have been a three-way bout. Unfortunately for the former champion, Pena suffered a rib injury that forced her out of the match, costing her the last chance she would have against Nunes. To say she was upset at how it all ended would be an understatement.

“There was a part of me that really wanted to break into the cage,” said Pena. MMA watch. “I’ve had a lot of people who were like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to throw you over the gate. ‘” But then my coach, Wayne, said, “Don’t do that. Be classy and don’t do it. So, I let her have my moment, but it was hard for me because there were so many times I had the urge to go. Like, now it’s time, go, go, go. But at the end of the day, retired to sunset, it’s dead to me at this point.

“You just have to keep the division moving, and now we’re moving into day one of the Pena Power Era. I’m a champion of synthesis, I’ve always been a champion in my heart and in my head. I get up every day to say, “Good morning, champion. looking great.’ So, it’s only a matter of time before the belt wraps around my waist again.”

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Pena will go down as the last person to defeat Nunes in a 28-fight career against The Shining “The Lion” (23-5). Pena scored a second round naked choke in December 2021 (highlight of the hour), Pena failed to rematch the duo this past August 2022 via a one-sided unanimous decision (highlight of the hour).

With the UFC women’s bantamweight title now vacant, Pena versus the number two contender, Raquel Pennington, looks like the next potential bout at the top of the division.


For full UFC 289 results, coverage and highlights, click here here.

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