UFC 269’s Amanda Nunes: Julianna Pena A “Clown” Who Wants Attention

Las Vegas. NV — For the first time in two years, Amanda Nunes defends her women’s bantamweight championship this weekend at UFC 269.

That there is still a dearth of contenders at 135lbs might been see as an indictment of the division, and its lack of growth of late. Opponent Julianna Pena has been granted a title shot off just a single win, over fell former title challenger Sara McMann.

Still, double champ Nunes (21-4) knows Pena is dangerous. “Definitely. I feel like when they lock that door on the cage, everybody becomes dangerous,” she told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 269 media day. “Especially for her; she don’t have nothing to lose. So I have to really be ready for everything she brings. She’s definitely dangerous, she’s definitely a very good fighter, and I’m going to be ready to go. She’s never fought a Lioness before.”

Ahead of the fight, opponent Pena suggested that the champ hasn’t been tested off her back. Nunes had a firm response. “She’s delusional. What about her best friend, Miesha Tate? What about Sara McMann? Sara McMann almost beat her.” Nunes believes that McMann gave up in the Pena fight. “If she didn’t give up, she would have beat Julianna. But I beat Sara McMann years ago.”

“She can talk whatever she wants. I feel like she has to do that to be able to bring all the attention,” Nunes continued. “But I’m going to tell her, she can have all the attention she wants. All of it. Because Saturday’s my night, baby. December’s my month. Nobody’s going to take this belt from me.”

Pena wanting attention is a common occurrence to hear Nunes tell it. Asked about Pena’s infamous press conference appearance earlier this year — after their fight was pushed back, Pena publicly questioned UFC President Dana White as to where Nunes was — “The Lioness” called her opponent “a clown. Wants attention. That’s it.”

Should she successfully defend her 135lb title this Saturday, don’t expect Amanda Nunes to focus on that weight class alone. She still holds the women’s featherweight title, despite the lack of a viable division. And she intends to hold on to it.

“I go step-by-step, but I have the belt,” said Nunes. “I’m not going to let that belt go as long as I’m able fight, I’m healthy, I can go to the gym every day training. I’m going to be 34-year old, I still feel very young. I have a lot to go still.”

Asked about defending the belts, Nunes replied “Both? Yeah for sure. I can go up and down no problem. So let’s see the future, I’m excited.”

Watch the full UFC 269 media day scrum with Amanda Nunes above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. More coverage can be found below.