Amanda Nunes reaffirmed her greatness to the few who doubted her after losing her bantamweight title to Julianna Peña in December. And although Peña relinquished her belt to Nunes on Saturday in the main event of UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, she proved to be one of the toughest fighters to ever put on. feet in the Octagon.
It was an incredible fight, as Nunes went southpaw early and cracked Peña repeatedly with hard right hands. She went to wrestle in the second half of the fight and Peña, despite being covered in blood, was throwing submission attempts.
But it was Nunes’ night and she put on perhaps her biggest performance since stopping Cris Cyborg in 2018 at UFC 232.
Nunes swept all five rounds on the three judges’ cards, winning by scores of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-43. Yahoo Sports had Nunes, 50-44.
There was little doubt when it was over, although there was plenty of doubt throughout the fight. Nunes was clearly in control, but Peña caught her in several submission attempts, including an armbar and a Kimura, which gave Nunes several nervous moments.
Nunes had said before the fight that she was not in the right condition before their first fight, when she lost the title at UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Peña submitted her in the second round with a rear naked choke that night.
But Nunes dominated from start to finish and repeatedly wobbled Peña. She cut Peña with an elbow to the top of the forehead and blood poured into Peña’s eyes for most of the last two rounds. Peña’s cutter, Don House, did an admirable job of stopping him, but Nunes continued to reopen him and Peña was fleeing all over the Octagon.
Nunes reaffirmed her status as the greatest fighter in MMA history, but Peña remains her biggest challenge after two fights.