UFC's Dana White Comments on Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena 2 and Kayla HarrisonDecember 12, 2021
Consider UFC President Dana White just as stunned as the rest of the fighting world after Julianna Pena defeated Amanda Nunes by a second-round rear-naked choke at UFC 269 on Saturday night, ending Nunes' 12-fight winning streak.
"It's up there with [Matt] Serra and [Georges St-Pierre]," White told reporters regarding the upset. "Julianna is a person who always believed in herself and believed that she could win this fight if she got it. You heard it at the press conference, you heard it in the months leading up to this fight—and she did it. She did it tonight. That’s one of the things that makes this sport so incredible."
As for a rematch, White said that was in Nunes' hands.
"Yes," he said when asked if she deserved a second shot at Pena. "It's a big rematch if she wants it."
And then there was two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who was in the crowd for the fight. White said in his press conferences that there were talks to bring her to UFC, hinting that a matchup with Nunes would have been in the cards, at least before Pena's upset.
"For a Kayla Harrison, the Amanda Nunes fight was huge," he said. "If they would have faced off, it would have been a massive, mega-million dollar fight. ... Let me tell you, if Amanda Nunes had won tonight, the Kayla Harrison fight would have been one of the biggest fights that you would have ever seen."
MMA Junkie @MMAjunkie
Kayla Harrison (<a href="https://twitter.com/KaylaH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KaylaH</a>) had dinner with UFC officials in Las Vegas. 👀<br><br>"Amazing hospitality. Interesting conversation."<a href="https://twitter.com/MikeBohnMMA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeBohnMMA</a>'s interview: <a href="https://t.co/qADsPO5ZjH">https://t.co/qADsPO5ZjH</a> <a href="https://t.co/1JiQmj5J7Y">pic.twitter.com/1JiQmj5J7Y</a>
Shakiel Mahjouri @Shak_Fu
WATCH: Kayla Harrison repeatedly yelling "F**K" at the top of her lungs after Pena upsets Nunes. You have to think that big money fight was coming next <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC269?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC269</a><a href="https://t.co/YLwHe0N3H8">pic.twitter.com/YLwHe0N3H8</a>
If Nunes accepts a rematch with Pena, however, that will take priority. And if she wins, the UFC would likely push for a trilogy. That could move a potential Harrison-Nunes fight well into the future.
There are plenty of other opportunities in the UFC for the two-time PFL champion, should she choose to sign. But a Nunes-Harrison matchup is an obvious one, at least once the new Pena-Nunes rivalry is settled.
One thing is for certain—there are some very exciting matchups in the works for the women in the UFC.