This past weekend, Julianna Peña authored one of the biggest upsets in UFC history when she introduced Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to become the new w
This past weekend, Julianna Peña authored one of the biggest upsets in UFC history when she introduced Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to become the new women’s bantamweight champion. As with any big surprise, the conversation quickly turned to whether Nunes, who was a -1000 favorite before the fight, had taken the challenger lightly, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan seems to think that was. part of it.
“The thing is, one thing I said before the fight, while they were getting ready, you have to think about all the times that someone has underestimated someone. You can never underestimate an opponent. You can’t get into a fight without being nervous. You can’t go into a fight completely sure you’re going to win when that other person is hungry and scared, because weird things happen when people underestimate people. But hell, that was crazy.
In her post-fight comments, Nunes refuted the idea that she looked beyond Peña, saying she trained hard and simply “scored” in the fight, but questions remain about the now-former bantamweight champion. After a strong opening round in which Nunes dropped Peña several times, “La Leona” got caught up in a sloppy fight in the second round where he sold out, ultimately leading to submission. It was a shocking performance from Nunes, one that harks back to some of Nunes’s previous career losses, and one that remains impressive for Rogan, even several days into the event.
She was swinging toward the fences. He was trying to get her out quick and then when Julianna was still there you could tell she was fucking tired. For you to be a world champion in two divisions and universally recognized as the greatest fighter of all time, as is Amanda, it is unforgivable to be so tired in the second round. And just stand in front of her, just sway in front of her. No movement from side to side, standing in front of her as if you were watching a regional fight …
“It was caused by Julianna. Julianna made her quit, she didn’t give up on her own. You have to give Julianna all the credit. … You know, that’s what Julianna said before the fight. He said I’m going to bring her back to what she was when she was younger and that she would quit in fights. There were fights where it sold out and lost its way, and then it became the best of all time. It’s amazing to see the difference.
While the loss is undoubtedly a setback for the greatest fighter of all time, Nunes will likely have a chance to avenge the misstep in no time. Both Peña and UFC president Dana White have said that an immediate rematch makes sense, and Nunes herself has said she accepts the rematch once she gets a chance to “fix my shit.”