Amanda Nunes’ 5 1/2-year run as UFC women’s bantamweight champion is over. Julianna Pena stopped it Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 269.
Pena submitted Nunes in the second round of their bout in Las Vegas, which came immediately before the Charles Oliveira-Dustin Poirier main event. She sank in a rear naked choke to end the bout at 3:26 of the round.
“I’m not surprised, motherf—ers,” Pena said in a postfight interview with Joe Rogan in the Octagon as she held her daughter. Pena was confident beforehand that she would dethrone the champ. “I told you, don’t ever doubt me again. Willpower, strength and determination, it will take you places.”
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Still, the result represents one of the biggest upsets in UFC women’s history. Pena (29-6) was a 6-1 underdog vs. 10-1 favorite Nunes (21-5), who won the belt in July 2016 from Miesha Tate.
“I thought I was going to have to fight longer, like she was going to fight longer, but she tapped,” Pena told Rogan.
The loss ended a 12-fight winning streak for Nunes that began in 2015. She said she wasn’t caught off guard by how Pena fought.
“Honestly, no surprise at all,” she told Rogan in the Octagon. “I know she’s a warrior, I know she’s going to come forward. I know she can get hit and still keep moving forward. I just, today, like, checked out.”
Nunes still holds the UFC women’s featherweight crown.