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Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Amanda Nunes loses the UFC Bantamweight belt to Julianna Pena. How is that even possible?


This wasn't just some lucky punch that landed on the button like what happened in the GSP vs Serra fight years ago. The fight between Nunes and Pena began like most Amanda Nunes fights begin. Nunes was landing the harder crisper, heavier shots. To Pena's credit she was throwing back, just not as effectively. As was expected the fight went to the Ground with Nunes changing levels, and then securing top position.


This is where things changed. Although Nunes was in a dominant position. She was unable to impose her will. In fact you could argue that Pena had her most effective attack from the bottom. She almost secured a Kimura on Nunes' left arm with around a minute left.


In their corners between the first and second Round I saw something in Nunes' eyes that I haven't seen in a long time - doubt. Even though she easily won the first Round. I believe she expected the fight to be over by now with her hand raised. If not, I don't think the possibility of losing to Pena ever entered her mind until that Kimura attack. I don't think Nunes was thinking about everything she did right. She was just thinking about the one thing that went wrong.


In Round 2 we saw a completely different Nunes. Instead of strategically picking Pena apart. Nunes started throwing wild powerful shots with little accuracy. Pena doesn't have Nunes' power but she continued to use her jab, and follow up with another shot whenever it landed. Instead of changing levels like we have seen Nunes do so many times. She just kept throwing bombs. She did not want to be back on the mat where Pena had threatened the submission. So when the fight did go down to the mat Nunes already felt defeated, and didn't even defend the Rear Naked Choke.


Julianna Pena wins the UFC Bantamweight championship.


That's my take. Take it or leave it.

- Corbert de Ronde

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