Peña (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) had her surprising UFC women’s bantamweight title reign brought to an abrupt end this past month when she was dominated to a unanimous decision by Nunes (22-5 MMA, 15-2 UFC) in the UFC 277 main event.
The fight was a rematch of Peña’s monumental upset of Nunes at UFC 269 in December, where she shocked the world with a second-round submission to claim the throne. The rematch was a completely different fight, however, and much of Nunes’ success came from changing to a southpaw stance, where she racked up multiple knockdowns.
Peña admits she was caught off guard by the approach, but said there’s no way that would happen again in a definitive rubber match.
“When someone has entirely revamped and completely switched their entire stance, and their entire fighting style because of me, I take that as a complement, you know?” Peña said on Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 40 post-fight show. “And I think that if you give me time to get ready for both stances of Amanda, she doesn’t touch me next time. I’m just really hoping that she heals up and that she’s able to get back in there before the end of the year because I’ll absolutely be ready for that trilogy fight.”
Peña and Nunes both absorbed plenty of facial damage from their 25 minute fight. Peña was still wearing it a week later as she attended UFC on ESPN 40 to watch the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter 30.” She was there to support the athletes after coaching the reality series opposite Nunes ahead of their fight, but she made sure to note she was the only coach there.
“I’m ready to go Round 8 right now, like, let’s freakin’ go. I’m here, where you at Amanda? Amanda, seriously, where you at?” Peña said. “You left your girl hanging out there. I showed up for Team Peña, she didn’t show up for Team Nunes. I’m here, I’m ready to go Round 8.”