Juliana Pena and Amanda Nunes are fighting again this upcoming weekend with the UFC women’s bantamweight championship being on the line. The two ladies will headline UFC 277 which takes place in Dallas, US.
The first fight that took palce back in December at UFC 269 ended in a disaster way for “The Lioness”, as she got submitted by Peña via second-round rear-naked choke in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.
According to the Brazilian, her knees were messed up. She even revealed that because of the severity of her injuries, she was urged to withdraw from the fight and use the time to recover. However, her concern was that with a second deferral (Nunes vs. Peña was originally scheduled for UFC 265), an interim championship would be introduced in her absence — a scenario she wanted to avoid.
“I made a mistake, a huge mistake,” said Nunes. “A lot of things went wrong in my camp, and I still moved forward with the camp. I didn’t want to let the fight fall through. Nina was trying to tell me like, ‘Listen, if we have to pull out of this fight to get 100 percent, we can do that.’ But I didn’t listen to her. I wanted to fight.
“I let the fight fall through once because I got COVID and I didn’t want to let the fight fall through again,” continued Nunes. “So that pressure to not fight once again and then [if] the UFC put an interim belt and that was giving me a hard time to let that fight go. So I didn’t think that would’ve been right for me to let an interim belt be put out there. And because of that, I decided to fight. But a lot of things went wrong, I had a hard time to keep training. Sometimes we do mistakes and I paid that night. It is what it is. Sometimes you get things wrong to get things right the next time.”
“I had both knees pretty bad,” said Nunes. “I sprained that I won’t be able to recover. I was in and out of the doctor, doing a lot of repair to see if I’d be able to at least get a good, solid camp, and I wasn’t. I was doing whatever was possible to move forward in the camp, using only my arms and doing things with the upper body so I could really be able to step into the cage. I convinced myself that I was good and I paid.”