DALLAS – Amanda Nunes says she deliberately dragged her UFC 277 fight with Julianna Peña to the final bell to prove her point.
Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) avenged her stunning loss to Peña (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday with a lopsided five-round defeat that resulted in in a unanimous decision to regain the women’s bantamweight title.
Despite three knockdowns in the fight and opening a nasty cut on Peña’s forehead, Nunes was unable to stop the fight in the distance. However, she said it was all meant to be and that she could have forced a shutdown several times.
“I know Julianna is tough,” Pena told MMA Junkie and other reporters after the fight at UFC 277. “I know. I was ready for that. I could have finished her, but I wanted to go five rounds with her tonight to prove that I was better than her. … I am better than her. I proved that tonight.”
With the win, Nunes regained her status as a two-division UFC champion, once again adding the 135-pound title to her mantel next to the women’s featherweight belt.
Nunes’ second-round loss to Peña at UFC 269 in December was one of the biggest upsets ever in the octagon. She said her mission was to show that this was just a stumbling block.
“Tonight proved it was a lucky day for her,” Nunes said. “If she had to become a champion like that, she had her time, but now it’s over.”
Nunes attended the post-fight UFC 277 press conference over crutches and limping. However, she said it was nothing serious, and once she’s healed, she’ll be willing to talk about her next step.
“It was war tonight,” Nunes said. “I expected to come out with something, but it’s going to be okay.”
To learn more about the map, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 277.