The fight was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 265 in August but was postponed after Nunes tested positive for COVID-19. Now that she’s back at American Top Team getting ready for another fight, Brown has noticed a more evolved version of the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound women’s fighter in MMA Fighting’s global rankings, which is a scary thing to think about.
“She’s just getting better all the time,” Brown told MMA Fighting during a visit to American Top Team. “It’s amazing. She’s the No. 1 fighter in the world and still improving all the time. It’s pretty crazy how much she’s still evolving and I think people will be surprised when they see her next fight, I think. For whatever reason, I don’t know what’s clicked with her, but in the last year, two years, she’s accelerated.
“She’s trying new things, managing things—maybe her training—better. I don’t know exactly what it is, but she’s improving for now then [she has] in the past.
“There’s just more techniques added to her arsenal. She’s more composed, more relaxed, better vision, better octagon awareness, the whole thing all combined. There’s a lot of pieces to it and I feel like she’s really accelerated.”
Nunes has been victorious in 12 straight, which includes winning and defending—multiple times—the bantamweight and featherweight titles. “The Lioness” will put her 135-pound title on the line for the first time in nearly two years against Pena. In her most recent defense of the bantamweight title, she defeated Germaine De Randamie via unanimous decision at UFC 245. She went on to defend her 145-pound title in her next two appearances, earning a dominant decision against Felicia Spencer at UFC 250, and a first-round submission win over Megan Anderson in March at UFC 259.
For Brown, seeing a fighter with such accolades, such a strong resume still not find her ceiling admittedly leaves him scratching his head.
“It’s impressive and it makes you wonder,” Brown said. “That’s what happens, sometimes. Maybe it’s confidence. With confidence, you grow. Your mentality changes, you do more, you can be more open-minded to a lot of different techniques, and maybe it just kind of snowballs from there. That’s my best guest.”