Julianna Pena made history at UFC 269 by defeating dominant female champion Amanda Nunes, whose reign in two weight divisions includes five bantamweight titles and two featherweight defenses. Participating in the fight for a few gave Pena many chances… she was a +600 dog against -1000 Nunes and the fight was in fact considered a form, just a supplement to keep Nunes active while waiting for another legitimate opponent to emerge from the pack.
But Pena proved all the detractors wrong. As Nunes’ heartbeat seemed to falter in the second round, Pena bit her stethoscope and continued, gunning down the consensus women’s GOAT and injuring her leg. A minute later Nunes was on the ground touching a naked reducer behind (see highlights here).
It didn’t seem like that at first. Through the first half, Nunes stalked Pena like “The Lioness” we know, and at one point pinned Pena on the ground with an evil grin on her face as if this were just the beginning of a show. Unleash epic proportions. The tide is sure to turn to round two.
“I wasn’t discouraged in any way at halftime,” Pena said during UFC 269’s post-fight press conference. “If you’ve watched some of my past fights, sometimes it takes me a while. a little bit of time to shake or wake me up to start and make those adjustments into the second half. Round two, round three, I’m just warming up. So for me, I was not discouraged by any means.”
“Actually, I left her in limbo for a good part of that first round. The corrections from my coach were ‘Keep being you, you’re doing great. Just keep going out there and do exactly what you did there. ‘”
While the rematch took place immediately, Pena looked upset.
“We can do it next week, I’m free next month, two months from now,” she said. “Whenever they want to do it, I’m available. To be fair, I was at the camp for a year. I think my daughter deserves a good time with her mother, a little vacation. Then if she wants to rematch, we can rematch. I’ve always been a company girl. Whatever direction they point me in, I’ll get there. You point, I’ll shoot. So whatever they want to do, we’ll talk about that later. I just want to enjoy the moment right now.”
Head-to-head matches in general are big on her mind for the future.
“I think there are some rematches that I want to do,” Pena said. “I want to come down and fight Valentina Shevchenko again. Get a rematch with Germaine De Randamie. I want a rematch, if she wants, with Amanda Nunes. Those are the rematches that I have on the periphery and with that said, for now I just want to get in and enjoy the moment of being champion tonight. ”
But Julianna caused some controversy online after responding to a reporter who suggested she deserved the ‘Worst Mother’ belt for winning a mom-to-be match against Nunes.
“The UFC absolutely needs to make a new belt for me, and it needs to be ‘Worst Mom on the Planet’,” Nunes said. “I’m not trying to take anything away from Amanda, she’s a wonderful mother. But I gave birth to my daughter and I feel like when I gave birth, I was the ‘First Mom Champ.’ And for me it’s a little feather on a hat. “
This caused a firestorm on Twitter, where fans’ disapproval of Pena implied Nunes wasn’t the mom it was.
What I like most that happens when people talk about “champs mom” is to discredit Amanda as a mother just because she wasn’t the one born. She is still her mother’s first champion. She is not a mother less because she did not give birth.
– wholesomeMMA (@wholesome_mma) December 12, 2021
What a disgusting thought to put out into the world. My aunt is the mother of two adopted children. MOM
Amanda Nunes is a mother and champion. She is the first “champion mother” in UFC history. Julianna Pena is the second. Both mother and son. Stage = Stage. https://t.co/WjAV3Jkh3s
– Scott Fontana (@Scott_Fontana) December 12, 2021
I agree with her 100% that she carried a child in her and gave birth to that baby. There’s something amazing about that feat alone, and then it’s about restructuring your body and training to beat the top female boxer in the world. What she did was unbelievable!!
– AJ (@judmanlh) December 12, 2021
literally Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg
if you want to distinguish that you are the first born UFC champion then… well, I guess
but Nunes and Cyborg are both mother champs (also Kayla Harrison) https://t.co/mzJZZRFzTa
– Alexander K Lee (@AlexanderKLee) December 12, 2021
Removing motherhood from the equation, we recognize Pena’s status as the first woman to throw away her body in childbirth and then get back in shape for a successful championship run. I don’t know where you rank that along with other impressive MMA rehabilitation feats like completely blowing out both knees or fusing half of your vertebrae together, but good for her to grasp. catch that particular difference.
If Nunes took Pena’s words to heart, perhaps they could have dealt with this over a dozen weeks in a future installment of The Ultimate Fighter?
“It was a great idea,” Pena said. “I would love to train The Ultimate Fighter, it has always been my dream. And yes, I love it [Nunes] to train with me. I have nothing but love and respect for Amanda, I think she is a great champion and training Ultimate Warrior will be another dream come true for me. “
https://www.mmamania.com/2021/12/12/22831078/momgate-julianna-pena-riles-up-twitter-after-declaring-shes-the-first-mom-champ UFC 269: Julianna Pena Claims She’s The First Real ‘Mom Champ’