Julianna Pena Reveals How Amanda Nunes and Her Kids Shared an Awkward Moment Right Before Their Fight

Published 12/25/2021, 3:00 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 11: Julianna Pena celebrates after defeating Amanda Nunes of Brazil to win the women’s bantamweight title during the UFC 269 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 11, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)


Julianna Pena did what many believed to be impossible. ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ took on Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 and stopped the former champion in the second round via submission.

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Nunes entered the fight as a favorite and not many expected Pena to get the victory. The ‘Lioness’ was on a 12-fight win streak entering the fight and dominated the first round. However, Pena came out confident in the second round and finished the fight.

There were many things that happened in the aftermath of the fight. According to Pena, her daughter, Issa Cruz, was her biggest supporter going into the fight. She constantly told her mom that she would win. And after the fight, she gave her a reminder.

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In an interview, Pena said, “I had her by the hand, she said, Momma, I told you, you were going to win. I told you, mom. When she woke up that morning, she says, Momma, I want to be a winner like you when I grow up…..That’s what we do it for, moments like that.”

Pena also talked about the moment between her and Amanda‘s daughter. She said, “Amanda is a great mom champ, and she has been a phenomenal champ-champ. I am the new champ and her daughter hugging my daughter just showed me that baby is raised in a house with two loving parents that show her love day in and day out, because some kids don’t just go up to other kids and start hugging them. The fact that they were embracing each other shows me how much love that girl has in her life and how great of a mom Amanda is,” she added.

Julianna Pena couldn’t believe people were cheering for her

After pulling one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, Pena had the spotlight on her. A win of that magnitude would do it for anyone. However, she found it hard to believe it at first.

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While walking through ARIA Resort and Casino with her cousins, a group of people surrounded her and started chanting ‘Pena, Pena, Pena!’ At first, she couldn’t believe it was for her and was looking around to see who they were cheering for.

But then she realized it was all for her. In the interview she said, “I’m like, this is so awkward. I just kind of wanted find this random person, and to know that it was me… I know you step into the spotlight, but for me, I’m not this person that needs all that type of attention.”

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Pena even made it clear that she wants to fight Amanda Nunes again. Who do you think wins the rematch? Let us know in the comments!

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Arunaditya Aima

471 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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