After weeks spent coaching opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter 30, former bantamweight (and current featherweight) champ Amanda Nunes says she didn’t really learn anything about rival Julianna Pena on the show.
Speaking during this week’s UFC 277 media day — the pair headline the card — Nunes said that outside of Pena being a little weird, she really didn’t learn anything about the woman who shockingly defeated her last December.
“I just think she’s weird. She’s like in her own world there, and I always do my own thing,” Nunes (21-5) explained, adding that two two really only saw each other a couple of times, outside of when fights were happening. “But she’s always on her phone, doing something else, not looking at me. It’s like, you know what girl? You stay there, and let’s do what we came here to do, and that’s it. So I [didn’t] learn anything about her.”
Despite the “weird” lack of interaction from Pena, “The Lioness” loves having a rival in the vein of Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen, and Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier.
“Definitely. I love that actually,” Nunes exclaimed. “Julianna really fired me up. I love that. It happened a little bit with me and Valentina [Shevchenko], and that was very good too. Like I said, this was the opponent that I needed. Now, I feel like she really brings that fire back. So I can’t wait until Saturday.”
Should things turn out in her favour, Nunes is open to what would no doubt be a massive trilogy fight with Pena. But, she said, she’s open to other options as well.
“It’s up to the UFC. Now, it’s about only the UFC, what they want to see. For me, I’m open to anything. There’s a lot of girls out there, and whatever happens, I’m going to be open to fighting. I just don’t want to take that [many] days off, I want to try to get back as fast as possible. But let’s see what the UFC is going to tell me to do, because you never know, you know? It can be Julianna, it can be so many girls out there.”
Watch the full UFC 277 media day appearance by Amanda Nunes above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 30, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.