Anaheim, CA — Like the rest of the world, Julianna Pena heard the news about Amanda Nunes leaving American Top Team to start her own gym.
Unlike the rest of the world, Pena has a vested interest in Nunes’ immediate future. The new women’s bantamweight champ, who shocked MMA fans around the globe with her upset win over Nunes at UFC 269, knows an immediate rematch is in the cards.
Nunes founding her own team could delay that match-up.
“Yeah, what a zoo, huh?” Pena responded when the situation was brought up backstage at UFC 270 in Anaheim. “Best of luck. I just hope everything goes according to her plans, and we can get this fight booked. That’s all I care about.”
Despite the potential complication, Pena (11-4) does believe Nunes will want the fight to happen sooner rather than later. “I think Amanda probably wants to get in there as soon as possible, and she wants to try to get her belt back. So I don’t anticipate her waiting a super long time. I think that she wants to get in there as soon as possible, Summer’s looking good for me. I don’t know what she’s doing, but summertime is good for me.”
Currently, the UFC has a card expected for Brazil in May, while UFC 276 will take place in July in Las Vegas. When the Brazil card was mentioned, Pena’s reply was straight to the point. “No thanks.”
Pena was a massive underdog in her first fight with Nunes. While things are likely to be a little more even in the rematch, the champ said she was told recently that the odds would still be against her.
“Somebody told me that I still was going to be the underdog. I don’t know. Everyone likes to talk about the betting lines, and underdog and favorite and all that stuff leading up to the fight. I do my best to put my blinders on. I don’t pay too much attention to the odds and the odds-makers, and being an underdog or not a favorite. I just focus on what I do and what I know I can do. I let the people that like to bet and stuff take care of the rest of that. That’s not for me, I’m not into the betting stuff.”