Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña put on a Fight of the Year candidate at UFC 277 when they faced off in their second meeting. In this piece we’ll go over some of the options that Dana White and the UFC Matchmakers have for the greatest women’s fighter of all time. Could a third fight with Peña be in the cards? Could a fight with Valentina Shevchenko be in order? Or Could a matchup with someone in the Defunct Featherweight division be next for Nunes?
Peña has gone toe to toe with the GOAT multiple times now and has a 1-1 record against the champ. I think the promotion would love to make a third fight as it would definitely be a money maker, but I don’t know if it will be next for the Champ. In the seven rounds that the pair have faced off against each other Nunes has won six of them, making one think with how lopsided the fight was, is it really needed as there’s other fighters in the division that deserve a crack at 135. So I think that rematch will happen again but not right away.
Fans would love to see a matchup with Valentina Shevchenko. Since their last meeting Shevchenko has gone on a crazy title reign at 125 where she’s literally cleaned out the division much like the way Nunes did at 135 and 145. Shevchenko is 0-2 in her matchups with Amanda Nunes, but they both have run out of people to fight so it would make sense that Dana White would make this fight as it would make money and when two champions fight its something very special the fans would love to see.
Could a matchup at 145 be in the cards for Amanda Nunes. The division has a handful of fighters left on the roster. It seems like it’d be interesting to bring back the division with a new season of the Ultimate fighter where the winner takes on Amanda at the end of the season. White’s done odder things with the series, including adding divisions to the biggest MMA promotion naming champions, this would make sense to fans as they’re probably dying for another season of the Show as it just wrapped its latest season where Nunes coincidentally was a head coach of one of the teams.
These are some possibilities or ideas that would definitely work for the two division champ.
The UFC is having two interesting PPV cards this month with the second coming up at the end of the month headlined by the rematch of Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Peña at UFC 277 for the UFC Bantamweight title. The card also features other great bouts including a matchup between Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev and MMA veteran Anthony Smith. Heavyweight Derrick Lewis will also be fighting in a bout with Sergei Pavlovich. The Co-Main event will be a matchup between former Men’s Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France.
A bout between Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev and Anthony Smith is the first fight we’re excited for. Smith who has been fighting MMA for almost a decade and a half has compiled a career 36-16 record and is riding a three fight win streak since going through his last rough patch where he lost three out of four fights. He will be facing Magomed Ankalaev who came into the UFC in 2018 and since losing his promotional debut has not lost since with an amazing 17-1 record. Ankalaev hails from Dagestan and is a wrestler and a master of sport in combat Sambo.
Knockout artist Derrick Lewis will be facing off against Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 277. Lewis who is one of the most active fighters, lost in his last outing when he faced off against Tai Tuivasa at UFC 271. Lewis who hails from Houston is an interesting case as he doesn’t care about titles or glory he cares about knockouts and getting paid and going back to his property and his cars and living peacefully. Lewis is an entertainer and he looks to add to add to his knockout count when he stands across the Octagon against Pavlovich. Pavlovich is a talented wrestler who has heavy hands, with 12 of his 15 wins coming by way of knockout.
The Co-Main Event at UFC 277 is a matchup between former Men’s Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. Moreno is coming off his title fight against Deiveson Figueiredo where he lost his belt to Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno has an odd looking 19-6-2 record. Kara-France is a formidable opponent for Moreno in his last outing Kara-France beat a then undefeated Askar Askarov. Before that he had a great TKO victory over former Champion Cody Garbrandt. Kara-France hopes to beat another former UFC Champion.
The biggest upset in the MMA world was when Julianna Peña shocked the world and took the Bantamweight title from Amanda Nunes. The pair which are coaches on the Ultimate Fighter will face off again for the Bantamweight title at UFC 277. Nunes is still a favorite on every sports book for the rematch but not as heavy a favorite as she was in the last fight, where Peña showed everyone what a puncher’s chance really means.
Peña did everything she said she was going to do to Nunes, proving that she is a fierce opponent worthy of taking on any fighter in the division. Nunes, who holds her Black Belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu and can throw her heavy hands, successfully defended the Bantamweight belt five times and won the Featherweight title in the process of defending that belt twice. We shall see if she regains the Bantamweight belt next from current champ Peña.
Usually we write about three MMA fights we’re excited for during the month ahead, but July is so jam packed with great MMA fights that we really had trouble picking fights we are super excited for, so we decided to look at some great fights during the second half of the month. Dana White and the matchmakers have put together some amazing Cards in the month of July.
Brian Ortega Vs. Yair Rodríguez UFC Fight Night Ortega Vs. Rodriquez July 16th
Brian “T-City” Ortega will make his return to the UFC octagon at UFC Fight Night Ortega Vs. Rodriquez, live from the UBS Arena, in Elmont New York. Ortega was in the fight of the year when he faced off against Alexander Volanovski, where Ortega took significant damage, but almost pulled off a bunch of amazing submissions against the Australian Featherweight Champ. Ortega has the best Jiu Jitsu in the UFC and we hope we get some crazy submission action from Ortega. Across the cage from him will be Yair Rodríguez has a 13-3(1) record and has been mostly inactive with his only fight in the last three years being a loss to Max Holloway.
Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett vs. Jordan Leavitt UFC London July 23rd
Paddy ‘The Baddy’ took the MMA world and internet world by storm when he popped up in the UFC apex last year the MMA star has been in San Diego training Judo and has gone through a spectacular weight loss transformation after a heavy bulk up after his last fight. The Liverpool lad is electric to watch, and always puts on a show. People forget how good Paddy’s amazing Jiu Jitsu is with eight of his victories coming by way of submission. Jordan Leavitt will be Pimblett’s opponent Leavitt is a 10-1 Lightweight who has six submission victories in his short MMA career. This should be an interesting fight between the pair.
Amanda Nunes Vs Julianna Peña UFC 277
The biggest gambling upset in the MMA world was when Julianna Peña shocked the world and took the Bantamweight title from the Lioness Amanda Nunes. The pair which are coaches on the Ultimate Fighter will face off again for the Bantamweight title at UFC 277. Nunes is still a favorite on every sports book for the rematch but not as heavy a favorite as she was in the last fight, we’re Peña showed everyone what a punchers chance really means. Nunes, who holds her Black Belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu and can throw her heavy hands, successfully defended the Bantamweight belt five times and won the Featherweight title in the process of defending that belt twice. We shall see if she regains the Bantamweight belt next.
Valentina Shevchenko stepped into the UFC Octagon at UFC 275 and everyone thought this would be a typical Shevchenko title defense where Shevchenko would show how she is the most dominant Flyweight in MMA history. But to everyone’s surprise Taila Santos gave Shevchenko a very big challenge, one that Shevchenko rose above in the end but it was very close with one judge even scoring it for Santos. We decided to look ahead at what should be next for Shevchenko.
One obvious fight to make is a rematch with Santos. That fight was a great fight, and once Santos recovers from that broken orbital we think that she should face off against Shevchenko in an immediate rematch as Shevchenko has cleared out that division and it looks like no-one in that division is of the same caliber as the Bullet. If Shevchenko doesn’t move up I think it’s imperative that we see this fight run back sometime in 2023, but Shevchenko might want to be more active than that.
The Obvious other matchup in the Flyweight division is a rematch with Katlyn Chookagian. since their last matchup at UFC 247 before the Pandemic, Chookagian has put together a 5-1 record with a four fight win streak. Chookagian was supposed to face Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris, but has since pulled out of that matchup. We think the number one Flyweight contender would be a good matchup fans would like to see.
The real matchup fans would like to see is Shevchenko vs. the winner of the Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes Bantamweight title bout at UFC 277. Shevchenko’s only losses in her MMA career were against Amanda Nunes. I think that fans would like to see these two fight again even though Shevchenko lost both bouts. This would be a good fight if Nunes wins her bout and her belt back after she faces Peña. If Peña wins against Nunes again this sets up an interesting situation. Shevchenko won her bout against Peña in January of 2017. She’d be a heavy favorite if she went up and challenged Peña for the Bantamweight belt. Both these fights would make Shevchenko a two division champion which we’d love to see.
These matchups make sense for Shevchenko in our eyes. We can’t wait to see her in the cage again very soon.
Christmas may be over and Santa has delivered his last package, but we still have a wishlist of fights that we’re asking Uncle Dana to deliver us in the new year. The UFC has done a lot of great things persevering through the Pandemic, and we have some thoughts on fights we want to see in a post pandemic year, a full year with fans in the stands at all the PPV events. Here are our four big fight wishes for the New Year.
Dustin Poirier Vs. Nate Diaz
Dustin Poirier just lost his title shot against champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 earlier this month. After the fight many fans wondered what was Next for Poirier. Some even wondered if Lafyette’s own would retire. I doubt Poirier retires and I think that him being one of the promotion’s biggest stars he will go after money fights. And one of the big money fights that he could go for would be a matchup with Diaz. It’d be a grappler vs. grappler matchup but one would think fans would look past that and want to see these two guys throwing shots at each other and see who reigns supreme. Both Poirier and Diaz have beef with McGregor so this potentially sets the stage for either one of them to fight McGregor again.
Derrick Lewis Vs. Stipe Miocic
Derrick Lewis has the most Knockouts in UFC history and he is one of the most entertaining Heavyweights in the division. It is rumored that Lewis wants to fight Miocic next. Miocic has been on the sidelines since losing his title to current Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. Miocic has stayed busy working on his podcast, at his second job at the Fire Department, and being a father two his daughter and new son, Mateo. Miocic is considered to be the Heavyweight GOAT and it’d be interesting to see the Heavyweight GOAT vs. the UFC Knockout King. Let’s not mention that Stipe is very proficient on his feet being a Golden Gloves boxing champion and could go toe to toe with Lewis.
Jon Jones Vs. Anyone in the Heavyweight Division
After a recent arrest Jon Jones’ future with the promotion looked odd. Jones being cut always seemed unlikely as the UFC would probably like to control Jones as he’s one of the promotion’s biggest stars. It was Rumored that Jones was offered a fight with the UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou but the money wasn’t right in Jone’s eyes. After talks for that fight fizzled out it was rumored that Jones was offered a fight with former Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic. Jones wasn’t interested in that fight either. Hopefully Jones figures out what he’s interested in, possibly another title fight offer is in Jones’ future to fight the winner of Ngannou and Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
Amanda Nunes Vs. Julianna Peña 2
This month Julianna Peña shocked the MMA world with her defeat of Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 in the Co-main Event for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. Peña, who had called for the fight for many years, won via Submission in the second round. She did everything she said she would and did not fear Nunes. The two now have even more resentment towards each other as after the fight Peña went after Nunes with verbal barbs saying she was the first Mom champ when Nunes had adopted a daughter that was birthed by her wife, fellow UFC fighter, Nina Nunes. This vitriol between the two and the addition of Nunes being the most dominant female UFC champion in history trying to get one of her titles, absolutely makes this a rematch that you the viewer don’t want to miss.
This past Saturday Night at UFC 269 Julianna Pena shocked the world. Her hard work and determination paid off and she pulled off an amazing victory. But what is next for Peña? We’re not the UFC matchmakers and they definitely don’t care what we think, but we definitely think that there are some amazing matchups that they could make. One possibility would be running it back with an immediate rematch with Amanda Nunes. Another fight that would be a rematch against Germaine de Randamie Peña. Then there’s another rematch that I think the UFC would love to put on and that’s a rematch against Valentina Schevchenko.
The MMA world was shaken up when Peña beat Amanda Nunes. The Lioness had been dethroned and one of her belts was now on the challenger. Nunes came out yesterday on her instagram and said she’d take the rematch eventually. I think fans want to see this fight. The fans love the idea that Nunes in her current form is beatable and this might sell a lot of PPV cards so it’d be interesting to see these two fighters run it back. This also gives Peña the opportunity to solidify herself as a champion making a title defense against the female G.O.A.T.
Germaine de Randamie and Peña fought in October of 2020 de Randamie got the win by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) At her post fight press conferences Peña suggested that they run this fight back. de Randamie is a tough opponent; her only losses in the last ten years have been to Amanda Nunes. It makes sense that de Randamie would be in the mix to get a title shot now that Nunes is not holding the title. I think fans would like to see this matchup but I don’t know if it will sell PPV cards like a fight with Nunes or Shevchenko would. Remember the fight game is actually a business and they’re more apt to pick fights that would sell cards.
Peña faced Valentina Shevchenko in January of 2017. Schevchenko has since gone on to move down to Flyweight and won the title in that division and has made six successful title defenses. This would be an interesting fight because it could take place at two different weight classes. Peña could go down to 125 and fight Shevchenko at Flyweight or Shevchenko could come back to Bantamweight and fight for the 135 pound strap. Shevchenko might be more likely to go up and fight at 135 to possibly become a two division champ if she were to beat Peña.
Peña is the new Bantamweight Champion we think she has many options open for her. Whether it be with Nunes, de Randamie, or Shevchenko we hope the best for her.