Nunes Global IconsIn the Clinch: Nunes, Peña Determined to Add to Legacy, UFC 277 – Sometimes, you need a wakeup call to realize where things are. For Amanda Nunes, that wakeup call came right after UFC 269 last December.

TUF 18 winner Julianna Peña (11-4-0), 32, withstood all that the No. 1 Nunes (21-5-0), 34, dished out. Then she was able to choke Nunes out in the second round to become the unlikeliest UFC bantamweight champion in history.

Pena Relic AutoAnd now Nunes is in the same position she put former champion Ronda Rousey in at UFC 207.

Nunes publicly said that her training camp was bad, and she wasn’t healthy going into the fight last December. She split amicably with American Top Team (ATT) and training partner Kayla Harrison. Accordingly, Nunes has been training with some ATT coaches in her own gym replete with living arrangements.

In other words, Nunes is taking this fight seriously.

At her best, it’s hard to see anyone beating Nunes the way she lost to Peña. But now, she will be facing an improved and more confident champion in Peña.

Julianna Peña boldly offered Nunes the rematch almost immediately after winning the title. “The Venezuela Vixen” is determined to prove that the first fight was not a fluke.

The original word on Peña was that she is a ground fighter. That is probably still true to some degree. However, her striking needs to be respected, and now. She goes in once again as the underdog and that’s a good thing.

There is a lot on the line for Nunes at UFC 277.

“The Lioness” is fighting for legacy as the clear GOAT. I expect her to be cautious early but to use her striking to create opportunities. Peña will want to get the fight to the ground early, but also make sure to use her striking to set up the shot down the line.

This is a fight that should reveal who did the necessary work to push forward and prevail.

Drake, who you got?

 

In the Clinch: Nunes, Peña Determined to Add to Legacy, UFC 277 – More Resources

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Amanda Nunes

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