How long will Julianna Peña hold the belt?
We had a lot of speculation as we were watching this but I don't think that anyone thought that Pena stood even a micron of a chance in this showdown. The Vegas odds had Amanda Nunes at a +1000 favorite, which is really rare for major UFC events. The reason behind this is because Nunes has just decimated everyone that she has faced in the past few years.
I honestly think that Julianna was put into this situation simply because there was no one else for Nunes to fight in the rather empty women's bantamweight division. At the bar I was watching it at we took side bets about how long it was going to take Nunes to finish Pena. I bet 2 minutes into the second round and I was kind of right, but I just bet on the wrong horse.
Let's just say that nobody in the bar won the bets because there wasn't a single person in attendance that thought that Peña, who has lost 2 of her last 4 fights, stood a chance in hell of winning this thing.
It's tough to say exactly what went wrong in Nunes' corner but in the first round we were all kind of surprised that Peña was still standing. Then once the second round started, we noticed something about Amanda's eyes.... she didn't seem to be all there and was noticeably slower.
I've done a bit of cage fighting many years ago and there was one fight where I lost particularly badly and don't even remember the second round and while I can't say for sure because it was so long ago, Nunes appeared to have that "the lights are halfway off upstairs already" look in her eyes in round two.
After the fight, there was a lot of talk about how Amanda Nunes may have "Rousey'd" herself in this fight by not being prepared for what everyone, including perhaps Nunes, didn't think that Peña even belonged in the octagon with the champ.
The thing about the finish that made me feel a bit suspicious about the entire thing was the "choke" wasn't even locked in very well and the tap out on the part of Nunes kind of seemed like she just gave up rather than being unable to continue.
When Nunes tapped, a lot of us in the bar couldn't believe what we were seeing. Peña didn't even have her arm fully across the throat of Nunes and of course, there was some speculation that this was a fix. I'd like to think that most fighters would never consider doing something like this but there has been a lot of talk about how Nunes fights weren't really big draws anymore because it was just a foregone conclusion that she was going to completely dismantle her opponent.
I'm not trying to take away from Peña's victory at all because she was outboxing Nunes in round 1 as well. Also, as someone that has been on the giving and receiving end of punches with light gloves, I know that it only takes one special and lucky placement to completely change the momentum of a fight even against a far more skilled opponent.
Now back to my original question: How long do you think Julianna Peña will remain the champion? My guess is right up until the next time she fights. If they decide to have an event in Texas or even better, New Mexico I would imagine that Dana White would love to pit her up against Holly Holm, who has won 3 of her last 4.
This would be a great matchup in my mind rather than simply having an immediate rematch with Nunes and would also give Nunes a chance to move to flyweight to face Shevchenko, which is something that Dana White has probably been pushing to happen for quite some time.
What do you think?