UFC women’s bantamweight, Julianna Pena, earned the first finish of the night in a submission win against Sara McMann. Pena submitted McMann via RNC choke at 03:39 of the third round of their contest that took place in the Etihad Arena.
Her win came at a crucial time in her career as the ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ hasn’t been very consistent. She lost her previous fight against Germaine de Randamie via a guillotine choke in round three. As a result of her win, Pena has managed to insert herself in the jam-packed women’s 135-pound division that is chalked full of elite combatants.
She took the opportunity to issue a surprising challenge.
Following her emphatic win, Pena took to the mic and made sure she grabbed the attention of the MMA world with her interview. Speaking to Jon Anik, the 10-4 fighter made sure she got the attention of the bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. Chiefly, ‘The Lioness’ has been waiting for a comprehensive challenge and it seems like she’s got one.
“I’m coming off of fighting three former world champions, and I just beat the best wrestler in the division. I have some news, Amanda Nunes, I want to fight you. This girl is fighting a girl who only has three wins. Nobody has had a tougher road in the UFC except for me, and I want to fight Amanda. It’s time for her to quit ducking, that’s my fight.”
Julianna Pena believes that her most recent win over a veteran in Sara McMann is enough to warrant the biggest fight currently available. Nunes has been a force to be reckoned with, and her reign is truly unparalleled as it stands. In fact, some might argue that a lack of high-level adversaries has come in the way of crafting her legacy as of late.
Amanda Nunes took to social media and aired out her sentiments about Pena’s performance. ‘The Lioness’ was as fiery as ever when making reference to the claim that she was ‘ducking’ divisional contenders. As a proud champion, it’s easy to see why Amanda Nunes resents such a claim.
Julianna Pena has faced some massive names in her relatively short career, including former champions as she mentioned. A notable opponent is Valentina Shevchenko who she found some amount of success against. However, from Nunes’ immediate response, it’s clear that ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’s’ call-out fell on deaf ears. Nunes seems to have her own course chartered out for 2021.
Can Pena string together a series of wins to become the challenges to Nunes’ belt?
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