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In the co-main event of the evening, we have a title fight in the Women’s Bantamweight division, as the Champion Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes takes on Julianna ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ Pena. Currently riding a twelve-fight win streak, Nunes will look to defend her Bantamweight title for the sixth time. As the current Featherweight Champion as well, Nunes is not only the greatest woman in mixed martial arts, but one of the best of all-time regardless of gender. Meanwhile, Pena comes into this title fight off a victory over Sara McMann back in January. While that victory doesn’t particularly scream title shot, Pena has been very vocal about fighting Nunes and is a fresh opponent in a division that has been cleaned out.
Unless Julianna Pena has something up her sleeve, I find it really hard to imagine that she wins this fight. While Pena has shown that she has good offensive wrestling to go along with her grappling, the lack of volume and overall striking abilities have weighed her down. In fights against upper-tier competition, Pena has yet to show that she has what it takes. While I give her a pass against Valentina Shevchenko, I can’t overlook that she was submitted by Germaine de Randamie. A kickboxer who had never won won a fight via submission. As for Amanda Nunes, what’s there more to say? She’s the complete package, and has shown that she not only can win fights via knockout, but with her wrestling. With her cardio down pat, Nunes is making it harder and harder to see where she has deficiencies.
As for a prediction, I obviously have Nunes winning. While I get why Pena is getting the title shot, I don’t think her night ends in anything other than a devastating loss. Nunes is too strong, too powerful and has excellent takedown defense. In my opinion, this fight might look like a mismatch very early. So with that said, I predict that Nunes retains her Bantamweight title via knockout.