DALLAS – Amanda Nunes says she intentionally dragged her UFC 277 fight with Julianna Peña to the final bell in order to prove a point.
Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) avenged her stunning upset loss to Peña (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas with a lopsided beatdown over the course of five rounds that resulted in a unanimous decision win 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 inside the distance. She said that was all by design, though, and she could’ve forced a stoppage on multiple occasions.
“I know Julianna’s tough,” Pena told MMA Junkie and other reporters post-fight at UFC 277. “I know. I was ready for that. I could’ve finished her, but I wanted to go five rounds with her tonight to prove I was better than her. …I’m better than her. I proved it tonight.”
With the win, Nunes regained her status as a two-division UFC champion, adding the 135-pound title to her mantel once again alongside the women’s featherweight belt.
Nunes’ second-round submission loss to Peña at UFC 269 in December was one of the biggest upsets to ever take place in the octagon. She said it was her mission to show that was a mother stumble.
“Tonight proved that was a lucky day for her,” Nunes said. “If she needed to become a champion like that – she had her time, but now it’s over.”
Nunes attended the UFC 277 post-fight news conference on crutched and a limp. She said it’s nothing serious, though, and once she heals will be prepared to talk about her next move.
“It was a war tonight,” Nunes said. “I expected to come out with something, but it’s going to be fine.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 277.