Amanda Nunes Beats Julianna Pena via Decision to Retain Title in Rematch at UFC 277

Alex BallentineJuly 31, 2022

DALLAS, TEXAS - JULY 30: Amanda Nunes (top) of Brazil grapples with Julianna Pena in their bantamweight title bout during UFC 277 at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Amanda Nunes reclaimed her bantamweight throne with a unanimous decision win over Julianna Peña in their main event rematch at UFC 277 in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday.

From the jump it was clear that Pena was seeing a different Nunes than the one she beat at UFC 269.

The Brazilian surprised her opponent by coming out in a southpaw stance which set her up to easily counter the jab that gave her so much trouble in the first fight.

Things really started to turn for Nunes in the second round where she was able to knock down Pena three times, primarily with her lead right hook out of the left-handed stance.

The latter rounds featured a bit more grappling. It also offered the only glimmer of hope for Pena. She nearly locked in an armbar that would have stunned the crowd again.

However, it wasn't in the cards as Nunes clearly earned the right to be the champion of the 135-pound division again.

The win is another bullet point on one of the best resumes in the history of the sport. The Lioness has defeated some of the best women of her generation, but lost her belt after more than five years in an upset loss to Pena at UFC 269.

The Lioness didn't look great on that night, and she has since opened up on a difficult training camp preceding the loss.

"I had a bad knee injury leading up to that fight," Nunes said, per E. Spencer Kyte of UFC.com. "I tried to push, push, push, and I was trying to do it. In my head, I thought I was going to be able to beat Julianna with how my training was going, and obviously, I should have prepared better."

Lesson learned.

Nunes looked much more focused this time around. The end result was something similar to what we've seen when she faces the titans of her weight class.

Her resume includes wins over Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey and several other top names.

With one of her few career losses avenged, the division is once again ruled by Nunes. As long as she maintains her focus, she's going to be tough to dethrone.