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UFC 269: Head-to-head look at Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena

Can Julianna Pena elude the strikes of UFC women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes?

Amanda Nunes after her fight with Megan Anderson at UFC 259.
Two-division UFC champ Amanda Nunes faces Julianna Pena at UFC 269
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It’s been nearly two years since Amanda Nunes last defended her UFC bantamweight title. The last time Nunes put the belt up for grabs was December 14, 2019. She defeated Germaine de Randamie via decision in that contest. The victory was the fifth title defense for Nunes, who won the belt in 2016 with a first-round submission of Miesha Tate. Nunes looks to make her sixth successful defense of that title when she faces Julianna Pena in the co-main event of UFC 269.

Don’t mistake the gap between title defenses for inactivity. Nunes, who also holds UFC gold at 145 pounds, defended the featherweight title twice since her win over De Randamie.

The biggest question facing Nunes at this point in her career is motivation — as in, can she find the motivation to fight opponents she is so heavily favored to defeat? Nunes is currently listed as a -900 favorite over Pena, who is a +600 underdog.

Statistically, Nunes is better than Pena in every major category except significant strikes absorbed per minute. Pena has an incredibly low rate of 1.7 in that department, which ranks her 10th among all active UFC fighters and second all-time in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. On the flip side, Nunes has a UFC career striking differential of plus 1.93 at 135 pounds. In short, Pena needs to be at her best if she hopes to avoid getting tagged by the champ, who is the fourth most accurate striker in the history of the UFC’s women’s 135-pound division.

Pena, who is the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC women’s bantamweight rankings, earned her shot at Nunes with a January submission win over Sara McMann.

in UFC 269 marks the first fight for Nunes since she tested positive for COVID-19 in July.

UFC 269 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2 and early prelims on ESPN+.

Here is a look at how Nunes and Pena match up in key stats ahead of their title fight.

UFC 269: Nunes vs. Pena head-to-head

Stats Nunes Pena
Stats Nunes Pena
Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min. 4.5 2.8
Striking Accuracy 51% 47%
Strikes Absorbed Per Minute 2.45 1.7
Striking Defense 57% 53%
Takedown Avg./15 min 2.5 2.49
Takedown Accuracy 53% 53%
Takedown Defense 84% 23%
Submission Average Per 15 min 0.9 0.8