Amanda Nunes has revealed that she received medical advice urging her NOT to fight Julianna Peña at UFC 269, and that she was “lying to herself” by convincing herself that she was fit enough to compete in her title defence.
Nunes was on a run of 12 consecutive victories in the UFC, simultaneously defending both the women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight titles during this extensive run of success. ‘The Lioness’ entered her title defence against Peña as the overwhelming favourite, with many viewing this fight as simply another stepping stone of domination. Instead, Peña defeated Nunes in the second round to complete one of the greatest upsets in MMA history.
Amanda Nunes confirms she ignored medical advice not to fight
Speaking in a recent media press conference, Nunes admitted that she was nowhere near ready enough to face Peña’s challenge and that she was foolish to ignore the medical advice she was given:
“I thought it wouldn’t look good if I let that fight fall through one more time,” she said. “So I put what I was [dealing with] aside, but I didn’t have a very good camp, that was the honest thing.
“I tried putting into my head that I was ready, I was 100 percent, but I was lying to myself. That is exactly what I was [doing]. But as a fighter, as a warrior, I wanna fight. I want to do that. I’m gonna fight whatever, even if I have an injury. But at this level, you cannot do those stupid moves. So, I paid for it.
“I was supposed to let the fight fall through, get 100% again, and fight Julianna,” Nunes continued. “And I know Julianna is a very tough opponent. I know that [defeat] could have a chance at happening cause my timing was very off. I wasn’t even able to do sparring in my camp.” Nunes also stated that her doctor demanded that she withdraw from the blockbuster pay-per-view due to the severity of her physical issues. Looking back now, the 33-year-old concedes she was “dumb” to ignore this medical advice and that she paid the price as a result.
“Unfortunately, sometimes we do dumb things, and especially at the level I’m at, we’re not supposed to do those things.
“Sometimes I say, ‘Man, I really should’ve listened to my doctor.’ He told me, ‘Let me handle it with the UFC, I’ll tell them exactly what you’re going through right now, and you have to have time to rest and recover. If you don’t, you’re not gonna perform as well.’ I was like, fighting with my doctor. I said, ‘You’re not gonna do that, you don’t have my permission to do that. I’m gonna fight.’
“So, I went back to his office [after the fight] and he looked at me like, ‘I told you.’ So now, after watching the fight as well, I had a hard time for a little bit watching the fight because I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know what happened.’ Like, I kept lying to myself after the fight.”
Both Nunes and Pena were scheduled to compete originally at UFC 265, with Nunes unfortunately having to pull out do a contraction of the COVID-19 virus, but both fighters eventually met at the aforementioned UFC 269 event. Both Nunes and Peña have also been confirmed as coaches on the latest, upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter in anticipation of their rematch, which is rumoured to be scheduled for later this year. With Nunes hopefully to be at full health in this future rematch, one can only speculate as to whether a different outcome could be anticipated in this rematch.
Do you think Amanda Nunes will beat Julianna Pena when they rematch?