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Julianna Peña submits Amanda Nunes to win bantamweight title in UFC shocker

Julianna Peña submitted UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes via rear-naked choke in the co-main event of UFC 269 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Peña (11-4) forced Nunes to tap out in the second round, to the shock of those in attendance at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena in a fight widely considered as one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

The ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ was a 10-1 underdog against the undisputed champion, who had defended her belt five straight times and is known as the best women’s fighter in the sport’s history. Nunes won 12 consecutive fights since 2014 and reigned simultaneously atop the 135-pound bantamweight and 145-pound featherweight divisions for three years.

However, Pena stood toe-to-toe with with the hardest-punching woman in the UFC and came up on top. They exchanged huge shots before Peña dropped Nunes and forced the champion to quickly tap out with a choke around her neck with 1:38 left.

Peña had said she had the style to beat Nunes and proved she knew what she was talking about.

“I told you!” said Peña, who was a +625 underdog at BetMGM. “Don’t ever doubt me again. Willpower, strength and determination will take you places.”

Nunes largely dominated the first round with two knockdowns and later got Peña’s back and was working for a rear naked choke.

But Pena started well in the second round and was calmly dancing to Nunes’ walk-out music as the champion headed to the Octagon, decided to exchange with Nunes.

Nunes, who came into the bout widely considered as the greatest women’s fighter of all-time, made no excuses.

“I have to go back to the gym, train hard and get the next one,” she said.

Peña had won just two of her four fights over the past 5 1/2 years, and the Spokane native got the title shot as one of the few legitimate 135-pound fighters that Nunes hasn’t already beaten.

Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is the lead Combat Sports writer for AfroBallers. He is an expert in Boxing, Mixed Martial Art and Wrestling reportage. Isaac is a journalist with newfound love for athlete management and digital media.

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