Amanda Nunes wasn’t expecting trilogy fight with Julianna Pena but is prepared for domination: “Ready for everything”

By Josh Evanoff - April 11, 2023

UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes is ready for her return.

Julianna Pena Amanda Nunes

‘The Lioness’ has been out of the cage since her rematch with Julianna Pena last July at UFC 277. In their first outing in December 2021, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ shocked the world. In the second round, Pena took down the champion and scored a submission victory to win the gold.

Their rematch months later wasn’t nearly as competitive. While Pena showed heart, she was battered for all five rounds. At the end of the contest, Nunes earned the victory by a lopsided unanimous decision, reclaiming bantamweight gold in the process. Nearly a year later, the two are set to run it back.

Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena 3 is now slated for UFC 289 in June, but it wasn’t what ‘The Lioness’ expected. In an interview with ESPN MMA after the fight announcement, the champion discussed her return. There, Nunes admitted she expected to face Irene Aldana next.

However, she’s also onboard with a trilogy bout with Pena. Ahead of her return, Nunes stated that she expects to dominate her rival and leave with her hand raised.

Julianna Pena, Amanda Nunes, UFC 277

Amanda Nunes discusses Julianna Pena trilogy fight 

“I always leave it for the UFC’s side.” Amanda Nunes stated in the interview. “I’m ready, I’ve been training, I’m healthy, so whatever the UFC wants to do, I’m ready. I love to do this, I love to fight. So I’m here defending my belt against Julianna again and I don’t have any problem defending my belt against her… I did, I thought it was going to be [Irene Aldana]. But, everything changes, and with Julianna, I’m okay with it too.”

She continued, “No matter what UFC shows me, the opponents, I’ll be happy to defend my belt. I’ve been in the gym every day… So it’s MMA, gotta be ready for everything. Got to be sharp everywhere, well-rounded, this is what I like to do… I still grow as a fighter, and I’m really excited what my head will bring out for the next matchup.

“… It’s going to be domination. If I have the chance to finish her, I’ll decide to finish her. So whatever happens, I’m going to be the one with my hand raised at the end of the night.”

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Amanda Nunes Julianna Pena UFC UFC 289