Julianna Pena’s longtime BJJ coach Luiz Claudio believes Amanda Nunes underestimated her opponent at UFC 269 and believes a second fight between the two ladies will be one of the biggest title fights of the century.
Claudio doesn’t think Nunes underestimated Pena to the point of not training but claims ‘The Lioness’ didn’t expect ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ to match her blow for blow on the feet.
“I do think she underestimated [Peña],” Claudio said during a recent appearance on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast. “Same thing [that happened with] Anderson [Silva]. I love Anderson, I respect him a lot, his style is to showboat, but unfortunately [Chris] Weidman touched his chin and we lost the fight. And I think that’s normal. [Nunes] had no one left to beat, really. Who else was she supposed to beat? Julianna, and who else?”
“I don’t think Amanda underestimated her to a point of not training,” he added. “I think she trained hard, she knew Julianna wasn’t easy. If we do have a rematch, she will obviously [be motivated]. We poked the lioness. We’ll respect her. It’ll be complicated. If this rematch happens, it’s the rematch of the century.”
Pena, 32, won the fight via second-round submission to seize the women’s bantamweight throne and relieve Nunes of her championship duty. It is considered by some pundits to be the biggest upset in UFC title fight history — although UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping vehemently disagrees.
Pena headed into the matchup as a massive underdog but surprisingly outstruck Nunes on the feet before submitting the Brazilian with a barely-locked in rear-naked choke in the second round. Pena’s upset victory elevated her to #4 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. She has offered Nunes an immediate rematch, which the latter has accepted.