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Morning Report: Amanda Nunes warns Julianna Pena ‘I’m gonna put your ass down’ if she rushes her again

UFC 277: Pena v Nunes 2 Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Amanda Nunes doesn’t see things going any differently in fight No. 3 against Julianna Pena.

Headlining UFC 289 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on June 10 will be the first women’s trilogy bout in promotional history as bantamweight gold is on the line. Tied 1-1 in the series, each woman will look to put to rest this unexpected rivalry.

Pena did the unthinkable in December 2021, submitting and dethroning the arguable greatest of all-time Nunes with a second-round rear-naked choke. Due to her legacy and remaining status as the UFC featherweight champion, Nunes rightfully received her instant rematch, righting her wrongs with a strong and one-sided performance that earned her a unanimous decision where she won all five rounds.

Nunes and Pena sat down for an online interview with TSN where they exchanged their unique brand of banter.

“I took her down at the right time with her crazy punches. Easy peasy,” Nunes said of the rematch. “My judo throws too when you were crazy in the middle of the fight. I took you down. That’s exactly what I did to you. Your headbutt was why my eye was so swollen like that, let’s be honest. What happened was the headbutt.

“My wrestling got a lot better after that so I’m gonna take you down every time if you come crazy at me. If you rush, Julianna, I’m gonna put your ass down. I’m telling you. Rush me and I’m gonna put your ass down. My timing is on point.”

Nunes scored three knockdowns — all in round two, earning her a 10-8 scorecard — and landed six takedowns on Pena in the rematch. While the majority of the wrestling exchanges came in the latter three rounds, they were points of positivity for Pena despite her being the one known for her wrestling at 135 pounds.

“I turned the greatest striker of all time into a Holly Holm counter-punching southpaw,” Pena responded.

The trilogy bout will be the third consecutive bout between Nunes and Pena, providing no breaks from each other in between. Nunes’ change to the southpaw stance in the rematch was something Pena admitted after the fight threw her off and now feels she’s made proper adjustments.

Ahead of the first encounter, there was speculation from not only the community but UFC President Dana White regarding Nunes’ desire to continue fighting. Whether or not we’re at the end of the road at this specific juncture, “The Venezuelan Vixen” feels this third fight will speed up any progressions of that possibility.

“At the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that has to come to an end,” Pena said. “There’s one person that’s stuck in your butt and that person is me. It’s all gonna come to an end and it’s gonna come to an end on June 10 when I regain my belt back and we show the world who the best in the world truly, truly is.

“She says no one knows what she’s gonna do. No one ever knows what the other person is gonna do. That’s what fighting is, that’s what a gameplan is. At the end of the day, I’m gonna be ready for you whether you come out southpaw, I’m gonna be ready for you whether you come out orthodox, I’m gonna be ready for you if you come out walking on your hands and your head. At the end of the day, at some point, it’s gotta end and you may want to think about laying those gloves down inside the octagon after this fight on June 10.”

Win or lose on June 10, Nunes’ legacy is set in stone as one of the greatest fighters of all time, and arguably the best female fighter of all time. “The Lionness” has fought exclusively in title fights since first being crowned the bantamweight queen in July 2016, defeating Miesha Tate via a first-round rear-naked choke. She’s since racked up seven UFC title defenses with five coming at bantamweight and two at featherweight.

“I’ve been in this sport for so long, I did everything I want,” Nunes said. “I accomplish everything, baby. This fight’s not gonna be my retirement fight, I can tell you now 100 percent. I want to grow my family, yes. I love having babies at home. But I also keep my focus as a double champion, defending my belt for so, so long, and being on top of my game and beating Julianna again is going to be amazing.

“We’ll keep it moving forward. A lot of girls are in the division. [Irene] Aldana, [Raquel ‘Rocky’ [Pennington], all those girls that want an opportunity to fight for the belt, we’ll keep going. When I want to retire, I’m gonna do. This is not a big deal, baby. This is what it is. I did everything I want. I can go any time that I want. Right now, my focus is you, kick your ass, and take my belt home like I did last time. That’s it and move on.”


Verification. ‘This is bulls***’: MMA pros react to Twitter’s mass removal of blue check marks

Problematic. Bellator 294 weigh-in results: DeAnna Bennett misses for flyweight title fight, another fighter heavy by over 6 pounds

Delay. Paddy Pimblett: ‘I’ll be lucky to fight this year’ after ankle injury downgrade

Return. Ray Borg addresses flyweight return in Bellator after disastrous weight cuts in UFC

Fight. Marcos Breno says Bellator 294 opponent Danny Sabatellotucks his tail’ when cameras are off: ‘He didn’t look me in the eyes’

Prediction. Curtis Blaydes doesn’t expect Francis Ngannou return to UFC, but not because Dana White won’t take him

Statement. Brandon Royval declares himself No. 1 contender at 125 pounds, hopes Alexandre Pantoja beats Brandon Moreno at UFC 290


Between the Links.

Garcia-Davis presser staredown.

Davis vs. Garcia pre-fight press conference highlights.

Davis vs. Garcia preview show.

Blaydes’ takedowns.

Gracie swims.

Why Bellator 294 and 295 matter.

Italian Gangster.

Fancy paper cutter.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses who Francis Ngannou will fight next. Plus, the UFC 288 co-main event mystery continues.





Let’s see it.


Good question.

Title talk.

Always training.


The infinite staircase.


Colby + Natan.


Belal Muhammad (22-3, 1 NC) vs. Gilbert Burns (22-5); UFC 288, May 6

Alex Caceres (20-13, 1 NC) vs. Daniel Pineda (28-14, 3 NC); UFC Vegas 74, June 3

Luan Lacerda (12-2) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (12-5-1); UFC Vegas 74, June 3

Khalil Rountree Jr. (12-5, 1 NC) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-6); UFC 289, June 10

Mike Malott (9-1-1) vs. Adam Fugitt (9-3); UFC 289, June 10

Charles Oliveira (33-9, 1 NC) vs. Beneil Dariush (22-4-1); UFC 289, June 10

Marvin Vettori (19-6-1) vs. Jared Cannonier (16-6); UFC Vegas 75, June 17

Sean Strickland (26-5) vs. Abus Magomedov (25-4-1); UFC Vegas 76, July 1


I just want this “rivalry” to be over.

In other news, that Strickland vs. Magomedov fight is about as blatant as a hopeful fast-tracking as there has ever been in MMA history. Poor Strickland potentially getting used as a stepping stone once again. Well, not “poor” Strickland. He agreed to it, after all. Should be an interesting one.

Happy Friday, everyone. Quite a weekend of action overall. Stay safe out there and enjoy. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you Monday.



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