LAS VEGAS – Julianna Pena doesn’t understand why the UFC hasn’t already booked a trilogy bout between her and Amanda Nunes.
Peña (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) scored a shocking upset submission to dethrone then-bantamweight champion Nunes at UFC 269, but Nunes avenged her loss and reclaimed the title in dominant fashion this past July at UFC 277. Now that they ‘re tied at one a piece, Peña thinks it’s only fair for Nunes (22-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) to return the favor.
“The champ Amanda doesn’t have a fight, and former champ soon to be and new champ doesn’t have a fight, so I feel like that’s the only fight to make,” Peña told MMA Junkie on the World MMA Awards red carpet. “That’s the only fight that makes sense for me, and that’s the only fight I see in my future.”
She continued, “For me, there could be no other answer. They’re making Deiveson Figuieredo vs. Brandon Moreno 4 for Pete’s sake. I finished her the first time, I ran out of time the second time, and I allowed her that opportunity to make those adjustments and to go back and change those things in that camp in the rematch. I absolutely feel like the kosher thing to do would be to allow me to make the same adjustments.”
Peña showed incredible toughness by going the distance with Nunes in the rematch but was dominated for the most part. But Peña wants the same opportunity to make the necessary adjustments, and she’s confident that she can.
“That was my first time going 25 minutes,” Peña said. “I never fought 25 minutes before, and then I would say just a whole jumble of just disorientation in terms of feeling like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ She had the balls to fire everyone, build a new gym and start from the ground up, and I just want that same opportunity to be able to change some things, go back to the drawing board and kind of solidify my name and legacy in this division and in the UFC.”