UFC 269 video: Julianna Peña makes Amanda Nunes tap in shock title win

Few fans gave Julianna Pena much hope for her UFC women’s bantamweight title fight against champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 269. This dismissal was more due to Nunes’ dominant streak than a comment on Pena’s abilities. 

Nunes had won her previous 12 fights, often comfortably. It was not uncommon for fans to react to a Nunes booking by proclaiming that her opponent was ‘being fed’ to the Brazilian, a nod to her ‘Lioness’ nickname. 

Pena, the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’, had called for this scrap for a long time. Two losses in her previous four fights damaged her title credentials.

For some, it seemed as though Nunes was simply running out of competition in her divisions – she is also the featherweight champion – a claim she made herself in the build-up to the event.

The UFC adjudged Nunes to be on another level to her rivals.

She stood apart like a superhuman fighter at a carnival attraction, with a promoter urging passers-by to step right up and test their might against the great Amanda Nunes. Pena watched from the back of the crowd and studied the woman in the spotlight, trying to find a weakness.

Julianna Pena submits Amanda Nunes

Pena had a shaky first round, perhaps partially resulting from the nerves accompanying the occasion. She ended up on the mat twice, although these instances were not the result of clear or damaging knockdowns.

Halfway through the round, both fighters were on the ground.

Read: Five of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

Nunes had more than two minutes of control time, and things looked ominous for Pena. Then, suddenly, it became apparent that Pena had control of one of Nunes’ arms and was attempting a kimura lock.

Nunes defended this attempt well, but the craftiness of Pena on the ground worried the champion, this concern written all over her face.

Pena came out ready to fight in the second round and took the contest to Nunes in a way that few opponents have in recent years.

The challenger lured her into a wild brawl, territory which Pena wanted to enter. The Venezuelan was prepared to take shots provided she could get her own licks in, and she did that, rocking Nunes more than once. 

Nunes looked exhausted from the ferocious exchange in the moments before the finish. Pena twisted her to the canvas again, taking her back and moving to put on a rear-naked choke. Before Pena even properly locked it in, Nunes was tapping. A worthy challenger had finally stepped out from the crowd.

Featured image credit: Getty.