Amanda Nunes is finding herself fueled by her next opponent’s recent trash talking.
The current UFC bantamweight and featherweight queen is set to once again defend the first of the two titles she won when facing Julianna Pena at UFC 265 on August 7. Venezuela’s Pena was originally set to do battle with Holly Holm at an earlier date before Holm was forced out with an injury. Now, many have criticized Pena for only getting the title shot due to her outspoken ways.
“I love that,” Nunes told MMA Junkie of Pena’s comments. “Those kind of girls bring the best of me in the cage. I love what she did. She got it. I’m happy for her, and we’re going to see each other soon. I know she don’t have nothing to lose, so I’m still ready. Nobody is going to take this from me. I’m going to become a lion inside the cage, and no one is going to take that belt from me.
Amanda Nunes most recently defended her featherweight crown for the second time when earning a first-round triangle armbar submission over Megan Anderson at UFC 259. As for Pena, she is 2-2 in her last four as she enters into the title opportunity with a win over Sara McMann.
“All my opponents, it’s the same thing,” she said. “Since I get this belt, they say the same thing. None of them has been able to stop me. She’s going to be the next. She’s not going to stop me with her wrestling. I promise you. We’re going to do interview again like, ‘I told you. She’s not stopping me.’ I will defend, and I will take her down, and I will finish her on the floor. She’s good with her wrestling, but also she has a lot of holes. The girls that I finish submit her. Valentina [Shevchenko] and Germaine [de Randamie]—two strikers—submitted her. So she has a lot of holes. I will do the same.”
Since the birth of her daughter, Amanda Nunes has felt reinvigorated and like she could continue fighting for years to come.
“I’m going to defend this belt as long as possible,” she said. “Whatever UFC want to do, I’m going to be there, ready to defend the belt. Whoever steps in front of me, I’m going to take it.”