This week it is UFC 277 with the controversial and highly anticipated rematch of Pena v Amanda Nunes.
UFC 277: Peña vs. Nunes 2 will take place on July 30, 2022, at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, United States.
It will be a fight where Nunes is looking to exact her revenge on Pena, and show her why she has been champion for so long with an impressive undefeated streak and reclaim her belt.
The first fight between the two female fighters lead to an unexpected result. Pena won much to the amazement of UFC fans around the world who were shocked to see Nunes lose. Nunes lost in the second round after getting submitted by Pena, and she lost without much of a fight. This was a huge shock because Nunes is normally seen as a predator in the ring, who hunts her opponents down, and eats them for breakfast. However, in this fight it appears that Nunes had finally met her match. When Nunes threw big punches, Pena threw them straight back. You could see on Nunes' face that her energy was being drained away from her when Pena was fighting back even stronger after Nunes' attacks. She looked completely lost in the ring, and nothing like the fighter fans are so used to.
Peña vs. Nunes 2 is a fight where Nunes is looking to exact her revenge on Pena.
She needs to come in as the challenger and look for a longer fight. Nunes also need to accept that there is a fighter now who can beat her, and she cannot just rush in looking for an early round finish. This would help her prepare better for the fight and be more cautious, and approach the fight with a better mindset. It must be noted that her last loss must have had a toll on Nunes confidence, and hopefully she will have rebuilt that in preparation for this fight. Nunes has a lot of motivation in her life since she recently started a family and has a new born and she will be inspired to fight for her new daughter.
Mentality is a huge factor in MMA, and a big loss can have a huge impact on a fighter in their career.
However, we have also seen that it can be a big wake up call for fighters and can light a new flame in them to be the best they can be. With Nunes new family she will have a strong wind behind her pushing her forward to take on new challenges and fight to reclaim her title in the women's division.
Being a UFC champion does not mean winning a fight. It means staying at the top and defeating all challengers to show that you deserve to be there.
Nunes must do this now, and she must use her new found inspiration to stay as the reigning champion.
For Pena she will be looking at this fight in a whole new perspective. She will realise now that she really is a great fighter, and has what it takes to be champion. She will see this as her time now to dominate the women's division and retain her world championship belt. Pena is a great fighter with tenacity and this could be kryptonite for Nunes. Until now Nunes has not met many fighters as capable as Pena, and her determination to win has an effect on her opponents and we saw this in the first fight.
Nunes almost caved in the first fight purely due to the fact Pena's sheer determination, and unwillingness to give up. It was almost as if all the energy was simply sucked out of Nunes, and she collapsed on the floor in a heap.
There is a saying that says 'it is not the size of the dog that matters, but the fight within a dog'.
Pena proved this. She now knows that she can beat Nunes, and all fighters know it greatly helps your confidence when you have already beaten your opponent before. Not only this, but there is a lot more pressure on Nunes' shoulders, because people are expecting her to win back her belt. This is a great advantage for Pena going into the fight, and there could be another great upset in the UFC this weekend if all goes well for Pena.
Could this UFC rematch mark a turning point for Nunes?
Will she have what it takes to fight for her new family, and daughter and cement her legacy in UFC history? Will the pressure be too much for her? We will have to find out on Saturday night.
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