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‘I don’t know if she was faking it’ - Nunes surprised by Pena’s lack of trash talk on TUF

Amanda Nunes shared some insights into the recording of the next edition of The Ultimate Fighte with Julianna Pena.

Amanda Nunes lost to Julianna Pena in December 2021.
Amanda Nunes lost to Julianna Pena in December 2021.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion had another thing coming at the TUF 30 set. A team captain in the next edition of the reality show, Amanda Nunes was surprised with Julianna Pena’s behavior during the recording of the new series.

On MMA Fighting’s podcast Trocacao Franca, Nunes confessed to be confused by Pena’s lack of trash talk on the show. Puzzled, Amanda shared a theory about Julianna’s different behavior: maybe the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ does not wish to leave a bad impression of herself on television.

“Since Julianna was talking a lot, being the trash talker she is, I thought she would really bring that to TUF, but it didn’t go as I expected,” said Nunes, who will rematch Pena at UFC 277 on July 30 in Dallas.

“She was cool, completely different from who she really is. I don’t know if she was faking it because it would air on TV and she doesn’t want bad publicity. She’s too much, and everything’s full of Julianna already – imagine if she’s the way she [really] is on TUF. I think it wouldn’t be good for her, so I think she held back a little bit.”

“I don’t know if she was used to seeing me all the time and that’s why she pumped the brakes on that stuff,” Nunes said. “I even told her, ‘Don’t you talk online? I’m in front of you now, open your mouth.’ But it was cool. [Normally] I don’t talk too much but I asked her, ‘What’s up?’ That’s what TUF is all about, it’s a reality [show] and people want drama.

Although Amanda was confused by Julianna’s tamer persona on the set, that was not the only aspect of the process which affected the former champion. In Nunes’ opinion, Julianna should put a stronger effort into promoting their rematch in order to draw more attention to it.

“I don’t know if she was used to seeing me all the time and that’s why she pumped the brakes on that stuff,” Nunes said. “I even told her, ‘Don’t you talk online? I’m in front of you now, open your mouth.’ But it was cool. [Normally] I don’t talk too much but I asked her, ‘What’s up?’ That’s what TUF is all about, it’s a reality [show] and people want drama.

“I even tried to poke her a little bit to see if I could get something out of her, but didn’t get much. I didn’t understand much of it. I really expected something completely different than what she was on the show.”

In her last outing, Nunes lost her first fight in over seven years, when got submitted by Julianna Pena, back in December 2021. The defeat snapped a twelve-fight win streak for the 34-year-old. with wins over notable names such as Valentina Shevchenko, Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, among others.

Now, Nunes is expected to take on Pena for the women’s bantamweight title at UFC 277’s main event. The card is scheduled to take place on July 30, in Dallas, Texas.