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Julianna Pena eyes summer date for Amanda Nunes rematch, not interested in Brazil booking

Julianna Peña isn’t planning on taking a summer vacation.

The UFC bantamweight champion is ready to face Amanda Nunes again and offered a vague timetable on when their rematch might occur. Peña scored one of the biggest upsets in MMA history in December when she defeated Nunes by second-round submission to snap seven-year unbeaten streak of “The Lioness.”

An immediate rematch has been discussed by Peña, Nunes, and UFC President Dana White, with Nunes’ schedule likely playing a major factor on when a second fight can be booked. At a media scrum Wednesday ahead of UFC 270, Peña acknowledged that the former champion leaving her longtime gym American Top Team could potentially delay Nunes’ return to action.

“What a zoo, huh?” Peña said when asked about Nunes’ camp change. “Best of luck. I just hope everything goes according to her plans and that we can get this fight booked. That’s all I care about.”

“Amanda probably wants to get back in there as soon as possible and she wants to try to get her belt back, so I don’t anticipate her waiting a super long time,” Peña continued. “I think that she wants to get in there as soon as possible and summer’s looking good for me, I’m free. I don’t know what she’s doing, but summertime is good for me.”

Early odds for the rematch positioned Peña as a heavy underdog and as far as she’s been told she expects that to remain the case if the fight becomes official. However, despite the incredible upset she authored at UFC 269, Peña really doesn’t think too much about the betting side of the business.

“Somebody told me that I still was gonna be the underdog,” Peña said. “I don’t know, everyone likes to talk about the betting lines and underdog and favorite and all that stuff leading up to the fight. I do my best to put my blinders on.

“I don’t pay too much attention to the odds and the oddsmakers and being the underdog or not a favorite, I just focus on what I do and what I know I can do. I let the people that like to bet and stuff take care of the rest of that, so that stuff’s not for me. I’m not into the betting stuff.”

As for the possibility of heading into enemy territory to fight Nunes at a rumored Brazil card in May, Peña’s response to that suggestion was short and clear: “No, thanks.”

Watch Peña’s full media scrum above, which includes her figuring out how best to carry around her newly won belt and whether she thinks an upcoming fight between Irene Aldana and Aspen Ladd could produce a No. 1 contender.

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