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Amanda Nunes rips ‘clown’ Julianna Pena for seeking attention, calls her ‘delusional’ about UFC 269 fight

It appears Julianna Pena has managed to awaken the beast inside Amanda Nunes.

For the past few months, Pena has often said she’s the toughest stylistic matchup at bantamweight for Nunes as their title fight approaches at UFC 269. She’s also questioned why the reigning two-division UFC champion was forced out of their original meeting scheduled in August.

Pena even went as far as tp confront UFC President Dana White at the UFC 265 pre-fight press conference, asking as a member of the media, “Where’s Amanda?” She also asked when she would get her long-awaited title shot.

“She’s a clown,” Nunes said of Pena’s stunt during the UFC 269 media day on Wednesday. “[She] wants attention. That’s it.”

Nunes hasn’t engaged in fiery back-and-forth with too many of her past opponents. But it appears Pena has managed to get under her skin just a little bit.

According to Nunes, the most egregious statements coming from Pena boil down to her opponent’s assessment of her perceived weaknesses on the ground.

As an experienced wrestler, Pena has often referred to her grappling as her biggest strength, questioning Nunes’ ability to survive if she gets stuck on her back.

“She’s delusional,” Nunes said when answering Pena’s charge. “What about her best friend Miesha Tate? What about Sara McMann? Sara McMann almost beat her. Sara McMann gave up in the fight. If she didn’t give up, she would have beat Julianna. But I beat Sara McMann years ago.

“I feel like she can talk whatever she wants. I feel like she has to do that to be able to bring all the attention, but I’m going to tell her, she can have all the attention she wants. All of it. Because Saturday is my night, December is my month. Nobody’s going to take this belt from me.”

As much as Pena has touted her wrestling as an advantage, Nunes is quick to counter that the challenger has been submitted on the ground in two of her past four fights.

Nunes knows that Pena didn’t just lose by submission, but she was toppled by Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko — two fighters best known for their striking.

“Julianna has all the holes where I can finish her on the floor as well,” Nunes explained. “Germaine [de Randamie] finished her. Germaine de Randamie is a striker and she finished Julianna Pena [on the ground]. I feel like my game is way above all those girls she fought.

“We’re going to see what’s going to happen. I just need a mistake from her. In striking, in the floor, whatever she brings up, I’m going to have the answers and I’m going to finish the fight.”

Because Pena has said a lot leading up to the fight, Nunes can’t help but question if the constant jabs are actually confidence – or just false bravado to make the former Ultimate Fighter winner believe she actually has a chance to win.

“I think she’s trying to get that confidence,” Nunes said. “Because she knows the truth. She says so many lies, things to try to make her believe in that. I’m telling her right now, that’s not going to happen.”

Considering she’s currently riding a 12-fight winning streak, including nine straight in title fights, Nunes has every reason to believe she’s going to walk out of the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night with the title wrapped around her waist.

That said, Nunes isn’t looking past Pena just because her opponent has rubbed her the wrong way leading up to the fight.

“When they lock that door in the cage, everybody becomes dangerous,” she said. “Especially for her, she has nothing to lose. I have to really be ready for everything she’s bringing up. She’s definitely dangerous.

“She’s definitely a very good fighter. I’ll be ready to go. She never fought a lioness before.”