Pena stuns Nunes to claim UFC bantamweight crown

Reuters

Posted at Dec 12 2021 02:04 PM

Julianna Pena moves in with a hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Julianna Pena moves in with a hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.


LAS VEGAS, United States - Julianna Pena pulled off one of the biggest upsets in mixed martial arts history to score a second-round submission win over Amanda Nunes and win the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 269 on Saturday.

Pena looked to be in trouble in the first round against one of the most dominant champions the sport has ever seen, but the 32-year-old came storming back in round two, rocking Nunes with combinations.

Nunes' five-year reign at the top came to an end when she tapped out at the 3:23 mark of the second round as Pena sank in a rear naked choke to hand the Brazilian her first defeat since September 2014.

"I told you, don't ever doubt me again. Willpower, strength and determination will take you places," Pena said in a post-fight interview in the cage. "You literally have the ability to do anything you want in this life, and I just proved that tonight."

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by William Mallard)