Amanda Nunes UFC 289 title defense running on 100% pure pettiness

UFC double-champ Amanda Nunes was ready to retire before UFC 289.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
Amanda Nunes UFC 289 title defense running on 100% pure pettiness
IMAGO | Zuma Amanda Nunes considered retiring before her UFC 289 bout.

UFC double-champ Amanda Nunes suffered a huge upset loss to Julianna Peña at UFC 269 in late 2021. At the time, it was the first defeat for ‘The Lioness’ after a seven-year undefeated reign. 

Nunes was apparently ready to hang up her gloves but decided against it. And during Wednesday’s media day, she revealed the reason why. 

Amanda Nunes was ready to retire

The 35-year-old Nunes has been pondering retirement for years now. As the most dominant female fighter in the game today, she had pretty much swept the opposition and barreled through everyone that was put in front of her. 

But the loss to “The Venezuelan Vixen” lit a fire under her and urged her to fight on. 

“I decided to not retire, because if I retire, I leave my belt with Julianna. No way. No way. It can be with somebody else, but with Julianna, no.” Nunes told reporters (quotes by MMA Fighting). 

Nunes admitted that she did commit a crucial mistake that ultimately cost her the women’s 135-pound title. But after reclaiming it in a rematch at UFC 277 last July, the Bahia native says ‘never again.’

“I know I could kick her ass any time I want,” Nunes said. “She was supposed to win that day, I was supposed to make the mistakes that I made to fight without being in great shape, and I paid for it, and I’m never going to do that again. Ever, ever, ever.

“I was confused a little bit, but I got my foot in the floor, I got home, and everything was ready to go. My mindset was ready to get the belt back and never lose again.”

Amanda Nunes belittles Peña’s skills

Peña defeated Amanda Nunes in their first fight via second-round submission, causing a major upset. It even cost a fan more than $300K after placing a bet on the champion and losing. 

But even with how the fight ended, Nunes still refuses to give props to Peña’s performance and overall skillset. And that, to her, makes the loss even more unbearable. 

“She’s not that good,” Nunes said of Peña. “That was harder to swallow. She’s crazy. She goes forward and punches, and just being tough, and she has the belt. She can get hit. No. No way.

“I knew I’m going to go back there and get that belt again. The second fight, I knew I’m getting my belt back, and I did it.”

Amanda Nunes open to Peña trilogy

Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña were supposed to headline UFC 289 this Saturday for what could’ve been a trilogy fight. Peña, however, pulled out due to an injury and was subsequently replaced by Irene Aldana.

But from her end, Nunes is still open to a third fight down the line, assuming she gets through Aldana. 

“I’ll fight her again after this, no problem at all. She makes me better. This is MMA. If she sticks with her style, I’m sorry, you’re going to be gone soon,” she said. 

“I’m evolving all the time. Yeah, I can strike. I can wrestle you. My wrestling is better than yours. My ground is better than yours. If you attack anything, I can defend. I’m stronger. So I’m better than you everywhere. You’re gone.”

A look at UFC 289

Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana will headline UFC 289, which takes place this Saturday, June 10th, in Vancouver. The card had already gone through numerous shake-ups through fight cancellations, but it will be pushing through. 

Co-headlining the event is a lightweight title eliminator fight between former champion Charles Oliveira and number four-ranked contender Beneil Dariush.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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