Julianna Pena says she made Amanda Nunes relevant again.
At UFC 269, Nunes was looking to defend her bantamweight title for the sixth time and extend her win streak to 13. During the win streak, she also won the featherweight title and not many of those fights were all that competitive. With that, Pena believes fans started to not care about Nunes’ fights until she pulled off a submission win to become the new champ.
After Pena beat Nunes, the two then rematched in the headliner of a pay-per-view and ‘The Lioness’ reclaimed the throne. Nunes will once again be headlining a pay-per-view on Saturday at UFC 289. With bout originally slated to be opposite Julianna Pena, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ believes she made Amanda Nunes relevant again by beating her and thinks the Brazilian should thank her.
“You know, everybody always has that one person that’s just stuck in their butt and that’s me for Amanda. I know that she knows that. I think at the end of the day she’s probably really thankful for me making her relevant again when I beat her because no one really cared about Amanda Nunes because she was just stomping everybody out and knocking them out in the first round,” Pena said to Shak MMA on YouTube. “So, I think that they were excited to see somebody come in and stop her dead in her tracks with dominance and I think they were excited to see the savagery and the heart that I had. The determination to never give up in the second fight and unfortunately for me, I ran out of time. I think she is probably thankful we are (going) to do this trilogy because it once again elevates her.”
Unfortunately for Julianna Pena, she suffered a broken rib and was forced out of the trilogy match against Amanda Nunes at UFC 289. Replacing her is Irene Aldana and should Nunes win, perhaps the trilogy will happen next time out. Regardless, Pena says she is the reason why fans care about Nunes’ fights again.