DALLAS – Amanda Nunes says she intentionally dragged out her UFC 277 fight with Julianna Peña until the final bell in order to prove a point.
Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) avenged his stunning upset loss to Peña (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on Saturday at American Airlines Center in Dallas with a lopsided beatdown in five rounds that resulted in a unanimous decision victory 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 from a distance. She said it was all intentional, though, and she could have forced a stop many 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 this. I could have finished her, but I wanted to go five rounds with her tonight to prove that I was better than her. … I’m better than her. I proved that tonight.
With the victory, Nunes regained her status as a two-division UFC champion, once again adding the 135-pound title to her mantle 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 come to the octagon. She said it was her mission to show it was a simple stumble.
“Tonight proved to be 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 press conference about crutches and lameness. She said it was nothing serious, however, and that once she recovers, she’ll be ready to talk about her next move.
“It was a war tonight,” Nunes said. “I expected to release something, but it’s going to be okay.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s Event Center for UFC 277.