Continuing her campaign for her first title challenge under the UFC’s banner, the #6 ranked, Julianna Pena has suggested a Mother’s Day bantamweight title fight against UFC 259 feature, two-weight world champion, Amanda Nunes.
Pena, the victor of The Ultimate Fighter 18 returned to winning ways in January on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 257, securing an impressive armbar victory over former title challenger, Olympic silver medalist, Sara McMann — earning her slot just beneath the top-five.
Immediately after the submission win, Pena spoke with UFC play-by-play leader, Jon Anik, where she called for a matchup with champion, Nunes, claiming the Bahia native has been “ducking” her for some time now.
Whilst Nunes was booked opposite past weekend opponent, Megan Anderson, Pena was then slated for a potential title-eliminator on May 8th. — drawing the returning former champion, Holly Holm. In the search for a new opponent amid a recent injury to Holm, Pena has suggested a quite fitting Mother’s Day matchup with Nunes.
“She’s (Amanda Nunes) ready to go,” Pena said during a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “I don’t see why we couldn’t fight each other next, albeit next there’s pretty much no one else I can think of that has made themselves available for her to fight. I definitely think it’s my turn. It’s my time, and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be fighting next on May 8th.“
“I definitely think that it’s great that we’re both moms,” Pena explained. “That’s why I think that on Mother’s Day would be a perfect time for all of this to happen. There’s no better time than live on ABC on Mother’s Day.“
Lodging her second successful title defence at featherweight in the co-main event of UFC 259 last Saturday, Nunes made short-work of challenger, Anderson rocking the Australian striker on the feet before wrapping up a triangle armbar win inside just two minutes.
Speaking following the matchup, UFC president, Dana White insisted that as long as Nunes wanted to compete at the 145-pound limit, they would keep the division open, despite the clear lack of real contenders, and the fact that Nunes appears to have cleared out the ranks in just two Octagon appearances at 145-pounds since claiming the championship against Cris Cyborg.
Washington native, Pena is an eight-fight Octagon veteran, securing an impressive 6-2 record, dropping defeats to both former featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie, and current flyweight best, Valentina Shevchenko, the second of which, a January 2017 title-eliminator.
In Octagon victories, the 31-year-old mother of one managed to score triumphs over Jessica Rakoczy, Milana Dudieva, Jessica Eye, inaugural flyweight best, Nicco Montano, the above mentioned, McMann, as well as common-foe, Cat Zingano — whom just so happens to be the last combatant to defeat Nunes scoring a UFC 178 knockout win over the Brazilian in September of 2014.