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Julianna Pena: Amanda Nunes not a quitter, ‘had no choice but to tap’

“She had no choice but to tap – I would have broke her neck.”

Amanda Nunes is no quitter, says newly-crowned UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena.

Nunes has been accused of quitting against Pena in their bantamweight title bout at UFC 269, but ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ says ‘The Lioness’ had no choice but to tap otherwise she would have ‘broke her neck.’

“She had no choice but to tap,” Nunes told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting). “People want to say she quit – she didn’t quit, she was getting choked. She had no choice but to tap – I would have broke her neck. She tapped because she had no choice.”

“[My coach] Rick [Little] and I have been working this choke for a while, and it was the same pretty much as I got with Sara McMann,” she added.

Pena, who submitted Nunes with a rear-naked choke in the second round, believes the Brazilian made a grave error in underestimating her prior to the fight.

“I definitely think she dismissed me, but no, I didn’t use it as motivation,” Pena said. “I just knew who she is as a fighter and how the fight was going to play out, and it played out pretty spot on to the way that I practiced and the way that I had been training for. I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was over in Round 2, but at the end of the day, you’re always a little bit shocked, like, ‘Man, it’s all over?’”

The 32-year-old became the first woman to beat Nunes in over seven years and end the former champ’s twelve-fight win streak. She is currently ranked #4 in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings.