Julianna Pena’s submission win over Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 was one of the biggest upsets of all time, and now UFC president Dana White has predicted that their eventual rematch will go on to become the biggest female fight ever.
“The Peña rematch with Nunes will probably be the biggest women’s fight of all time,” White told ESPN. “That rematch will be the biggest women’s fight of all time. (Right now) it’s Ronda Rousey and Holly. Every way that it could possibly beat it, it will. I don’t think it. I know it. It will crush that fight.”
Rousey vs. Holm back at UFC 193 in November of 2015 was a massive fight for WMMA, coming at a time when ‘Rowdy’ was at the peak of her powers, carrying a 12-0 pro-record and coming off a 34 second KO victory of Bethe Correia.
Meanwhile, Holm was a former decorated boxing champion who was also undefeated in her nine MMA fights, setting the stage for a headliner that saw 56,000+ fans at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia and 1.1 million watching on pay-per-view bear witness to another jaw-dropping outcome as ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ beat Rousey from pillar-to-post before finally KO’ing her with a head kick.
Neither Nunes nor Pena has anything like Rousey’s lightning-in-a-bottle star power at that time, but prior to her loss ‘The Lioness’ had compiled a formidable record that had seen her run through the best both the bantamweight and featherweight division’s had to offer, including the aforementioned Rousey, Holm and others like Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Miesha Tate and more, resulting in her being declared the undisputed Greatest Of All-Time in women’s MMA.
However, Nunes unexpectedly disappointing display against Pena has saw her stock take a significant hit and set the stage for a fascinating rematch that leaves everyone intrigued as to whether it was simply an off-night for the long-time double-champ, or if ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ really is her nemesis.