Julianna Pena’s reign as UFC women’s bantamweight champion may have been short-lived, but she certainly drew plenty of praise for going the distance in her one-sided defeat to Amanda Nunes at UFC 277.
Pena (11-5) survived several knockdowns, forehead-slicing elbows, and even a late submission attempt to make it the full 25 minutes in what was ultimately a 50-43, 50-44, and 50-45 unanimous decision loss. During that beating she also threw up several submission attempts, with a 4th round armbar looking the most threatening as she gamely searched for a miracle finish.
There was no post-fight interview for Pena, as she was immediately transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. In her first post-fight statement, Pena revealed some good news about the state of her forehead, as well as called for a trilogy.
“Tougher than a two dollar steak,” Pena wrote on Instagram. “Thanks for the love everyone! Just a cat scratch that required a few stitches, no chunks missing, no surgery necessary.
“Love you all! We’re 1-1 now. #peopleschamp #trilogy #penavsnunes3 #lfg”
Dana White had said in the post-fight press conference that Pena was seeing a plastic surgeon due to a “big chunk missing from her forehead,” but it looks as if it’s not so drastic that surgery is needed. Whether a trilogy will happen any time soon remains to be seen.