It was a submission that stunned MMA fans all over the world and whether you were residing in New York, London, or Moscow, you would not have believed what unfolded at the recent UFC 269 event.
Because with the legendary two-weight champion Amanda Nunes going up against Julianna Pena, the Brazilian Women’s Bantamweight Championship was on the line and for those who use New York sports betting websites, they would have backed the 33-year to come out on top.
However, one of the wonderful things about the world of MMA and the UFC in particular, is the fact that a stunning upset is not all that far away and as Nunes entered the octagon as a two-weight champion, she is now only the queen of one.
As far as sporting upsets go, this will rank right up there and although the fighter also known as The Lioness will take some solace at still being the Women’s Featherweight Champion, defeat to Pena will certainly rankle.
Going into their UFC 269 meeting, Nunes had an impressive 21-4 overall MMA record and perhaps more importantly, had created an incredible 12-flght winning streak within the confines of Dana White’s fight league.
A streak that has seen her get the better of such names as Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate and also Valentina Shevchenko on two separate occasions. Quite simply, she has beaten the best of the very best.
Which is why the Brazilian is so feared within the world of combat sports and with her jokingly suggesting that one day she would like to take on Kim Kardashian, it suggested that there were no more foes left for her to fight.
Maybe with no top tier goes left to get the better of, perhaps complacency set in before her latest fight and as any world-class combatant will know, that is the one thing that you will always look to avoid.
Then again, one could also offer another and perhaps, more mitigating circumstance and that is Nunes’ recent positive diagnosis of COVID-19 – one that meant a delay from the fight’s initial UFC 265 scheduling.
As many other sporting stars have attested to, recovering from COVID-19 is one thing but fully regaining fitness is another and if there was any reason to be fatigued before UFC 269 took place, this would certainly be it.
Which means perhaps fate was shining on Julianna Pena instead and although excuses for defeat will always be offered, nobody can take away such a stunning victory from a fighter who is now 11-4 in her career.
A record that has seen seven of those wins come in the UFC and with The Venezuelan Vixen now at the top of the Women’s Bantamweight mountain, it will be interesting to see what 2022 has in store for her.
Because although she has picked up seven UFC wins, she has also suffered two defeats and perhaps her next pair of moves will be to erase the copybook blots that both Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie have previously made.
While it was the current Women’s Flyweight champion who dealt Julianna Pena her first UFC defeat, as the two faced off at the eponymous UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Pena card back in January of 2017.
When these two met almost five years ago, it was a second round armbar which did for Pena and although a loss is nothing to celebrate, it will have at least offered the newly crowned Bantamweight champion a lesson in defeat.
A lesson that she would love to put into practice, should a rematch between the two occur and if the powers that be could pair these two champions together, it would be one of the more appealing fights of 2022.
Of course, another direction could be the aim for more revenge, and this could be dealt in the direction of Germaine de Randamie - as the Dutch fighter got the better of Pena during last year’s UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana card.
With a new champion in the Bantamweight division, it means Pena is now the target for everyone and when it comes to potential fight options, do not forget that a certain Amanda Nunes will soon want her rematch of her own.