Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes are expected to fight again, but the rematch could be after another season of The Ultimate Fighter is filmed. That news comes with reports that Peña and Nunes are the ‘front-runners’ to coach TUF 30, though details of the upcoming season have yet to be announced by the UFC.
Ariel Helwani was first to report the plan, and the newly crowned bantamweight champion has confirmed that talks about the coaching stint have already begun.
“I would love to stay active,” Peña told Caroline Pearce of BT Sport. “Summertime is good for me. I think that’s a great turnaround. That’s kind of where I’m aiming at. A dream come true for me would be to coach The Ultimate Fighter and then go right into the rematch, so that’s a perfect-world scenario. I know we don’t live in a perfect world, but that’s what I would like. As long as I can get the rematch at whatever time, that’s what’s going to make me happiest.”
Peña was a member of TUF 18, the season that was coached by Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate over eight years ago. The ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ was part of Team Tate and fought her way to the grand finale, where she defeated Jessica Rakoczy via first-round technical knockout to become the first-ever female winner of the show.
The 32-year-old went on to join the promotion and amassed a record of 6-2 before earning a championship opportunity against Nunes at UFC 269 this past December. She stunned the world by dethroning the ‘Lioness’ with a second-round rear-naked choke. A rematch was immediately proposed, but the former champion said she needed some time to “get her s—t together” before her return.
Should Peña and Nunes serve as coaches, it will be the third time a pair of women have spearheaded the show. The aforementioned Rousey and Tate were first, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha soon followed.