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Amanda Nunes admits Peña loss was ‘very good for me’: The ‘pressure’ was ‘a lot to carry’

“It’s natural you slow down a little bit.”

Former double-champion Amanda Nunes during her UFC 269 title fight with Julianna Peña.
Former double-champion Amanda Nunes during her UFC 269 title fight with Julianna Peña.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

For a good six years, Amanda Nunes reigned over the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division as its immovable, unstoppable champion. “The Lioness” pretty much cleaned out the division and even won the women’s featherweight title before running into Julianna Peña and losing the 135-pound title at UFC 269 in December.

In those years of dominance, it looked like Nunes was comfortable being at the top, with how she handily disposed of her opponents. But in her recent interview with UFC correspondent/analyst Laura Sanko for her YouTube channel One on One, she admitted being relieved of all that pressure as champion.

“Everything about that fight was very good for me,” Nunes said (quotes via MMA Mania). “Of course, I lost my belt, I don’t want to lose my belt, but it kind of takes the pressure away from me, too.

“For so long I had the belt with me and prepared for big fights and all those things. It’s a lot. For years and years, everything was happening in my life so fast. I become this, I become that, it’s a lot to carry yourself as.

“I was cleaning the division as well. Nobody was there anymore. It’s natural you slow down a little bit.”

Nunes will get the chance to reclaim the bantamweight title when she faces Peña in a rematch at UFC 277 on July 30th in Dallas.