UFC 277 Fight Breakdown: Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 277, a five-round women’s bantamweight title bout between champion Julianna Pena and challenger Amanda Nunes. The event takes place on Saturday, July 30 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Amanda Nunes (-280)

Nunes (21-5) is the UFC women’s featherweight champion. The 34-year-old Brazilian joined the UFC in 2013 and since then has racked up an impressive record of 14-2 with notable wins over the likes of Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm. She is arguably the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time and she has proven that throughout the years time and time again. That being said, she was just finished by Pena in their first fight, and it will be interesting to see how this rematch goes. Despite losing the first fight, Pena enters this rematch as a big favorite again.

Julianna Pena (+240)

Pena (12-4) is the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. The 32-year-old American is the former Ultimate Fighter winner and she has had a very good career in the UFC ever since debuting back in 2013. Since then, she is 7-2 overall in the Octagon with four of those wins coming by stoppage. Pena is coming off of one of the biggest upsets of all time when she finished Nunes at UFC 269. It was an incredible victory for Pena, and it should give her a ton of confidence moving forward in her MMA career. It will be interesting to see how this rematch goes compared to the first matchup.

Fight Breakdown: This is one of the most intriguing rematches in UFC history, in my opinion. No, I wasn’t someone who picked Pena to defeat Nunes in the first fight. The bout did not go how I expected it whatsoever, with Pena winning by second-round stoppage in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. At the time, I thought the result was a fluke. But honestly, after eight months to think about it, I don’t think it was a fluke. I actually think Pena showed that she has what it takes to hold her own against Nunes, and I’m surprised she’s such a massive underdog in this rematch. This wasn’t some one-punch KO. Pena showed in the first fight that she has the chin to absorb Nunes’ power punches, she showed she has the grappling skills to hang on the ground, and she showed that she has superior conditioning. I also believe Pena is very mentally strong and that aspect of her game is underrated. Nunes is still the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time, but every fighter has a shelf life at the top of their game. Although she has the tools to pull off the victory and get her belt back, I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion by any means. In this rematch, I’m going with Pena to pull off another upset and finish Nunes again. I think she can stand and trade with the champion, hurt her on the feet, and then finish her on the ground just like in the first fight to defend the title.

Prediction: Julianna Pena

Written by Adam Martin.


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