Julianna Pena learned something new about Amanda Nunes while filming The Ultimate Fighter season 30 with her rival.
According to the women’s bantamweight champion, she was surprised that Nunes was kind of a prima donna. Asked what it’s like to spend weeks with the Brazilian, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ told The Schmo
Peña was able to break Nunes with her pressure and eventually submitted her in Round 2. But Peña says the process of breaking down the former dual-champ started a while back when she was consistently calling her out.
“I think I’ve always had the mental edge when it comes to Amanda,” Peña said in an interview with Morning Kombat. “I’ve been calling out this fight for the last five years and she hasn’t wanted to fight me. She’s always made every excuse, like me not making myself worthy for her.”
“Or, ‘Oh, I’m going to find Ronda (Rousey) instead.’ Or just finding a way to get out of every fight that we have. Obviously, what I feel and what I say and how I approach things bothers her because she’s made that very clear.”
“I would say that she’s a little bit more high-maintenance than I originally anticipated, that’s for sure.”
Pena, however, refused to elaborate on her comment. Pressed to explain her statements, she said, “You’re just gonna have to tune in to the show” to find out what she meant.
Pena also said she noticed a behavioral change from Nunes during their time together. The Spokane, Washington native told The Schmo:
“I would definitely say that there’s a little bit of a sad bravado about her that I think she’s really wanting to come back and get her belt back. So we had some words, we had some choice words. You’re gonna have to watch the show, but yeah, not gonna happen.”
The newly crowned champion is expecting Nunes to come back with a vengeance and hopes they can run things back by fall.
“I think I lit a gas can of fire right underneath her behind,” Peña said. “She is going to be more focused than she has ever been. I think she is going to be the best Amanda that she’s ever been, which is funny because that is what she said she is going to do the first time. So now I have to be like, ‘OK, this time it’s serious. This time she’s being for real.’
“She’s coming at 110 percent, and I’m going to get the best version of Amanda Nunes. That’s great, because I was ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes in August. I was ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes in December. Whenever that date happens, hopefully in September on the Jon Jones card, I will be ready for that best version of Amanda Nunes.”
With Nunes being dubbed the greatest female fighter of all time, does that mean Peña took that title too? “The Venezuelan Vixen” prefers another label.
I can’t pic.twitter.com/zJC7yjqsVL
— Hayden Doumergumedov (@HDoumergumedov) July 31, 2022
NUNES STUNS AND DROPS PEÑA IN THE SECOND ROUND 😳
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 31, 2022
PEÑA ALMOST SUBMITTED NUNES AGAIN 🤯
— ESPN (@espn) July 31, 2022
Legacies hanging in the balance and Nunes drops the champ!
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) July 31, 2022
— Gonçalo Botto (@bottobjj) July 31, 2022