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In a moment that shocked the MMA world to its core, Pena [11-4] was crowned UFC bantamweight champion after she submitted one of the greatest of all time by submission in round two.
Pena, who claimed ahead of the fight that she would take out Nunes, landed some big shots before taking her to the ground and locking in a rear-naked choke to pick up a historic win at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
JULIANNA PENA JUST SHOCKED THE WORLD!!!
SHE JUST SUBMITTED AMANDA NUNES!!!
AND NEWWWWWWWWW!!!#UFC269 pic.twitter.com/ITDFIq81ij
- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 12, 2021
The 32-year-old couldn't quite believe what she had just achieved in the octagon and neither could the commentary team at ringside. Check out the incredible reactions from Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier below.
These reactions to Julianna Pena's win over Amanda Nunes :flushed: @espnmma #UFC269 pic.twitter.com/z14Zrp5Xp7
- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 12, 2021
Pena was in a state of disbelief after the win but never doubted she could do it against former two-division UFC champion Nunes, who is regarded by many as one of the all-time greats.
"I told you," Pena said after her win. "Don't ever doubt me again. She tapped and I asked the commission, 'Is it over?' He said, 'Yes, you won.' It didn't [seem real]. It feels crazy.
"But I expected to win. The world is my oyster. You have the ability to do anything you want in this life."
Julianna Peña is the first woman to give birth to a child and then become UFC champ. Pretty darn cool.
- Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 12, 2021
Julianna Peña has been calling Amanda Nunes out since UFC 200.
She will finally get her shot Saturday at #UFC269 pic.twitter.com/hI2lyCqOKF
- ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 10, 2021
Nunes, meanwhile, paid tribute to her opponent in a classy post-fight interview.
"Honestly, it's no surprise at all," Nunes said. "I know she's a warrior. I know she can come forward and I know she can get hit and still keep moving forward.
"I just today checked out. I still need to work on a couple of things. I'm going to keep working until I fix them and soon I will come back to the gym and come back here. Thank you guys for all the cheers. I'll see you guys all again soon.
"Honestly, I did everything tonight," Nunes continued. "I trained very hard for this, but I feel like I still fought with a couple of things I thought I fixed, but they came back tonight.
"Congratulations to Julianna, she's a warrior. I knew that the whole time. I'm going to go back to the gym and train hard and then come back strong."
Julianna Pena says she should be considered the first "mom" champ and not Amanda Nunes because, "All respect to her, but I gave birth to my daughter." Says there should be a "baddest mom on the planet belt" made. #UFC269
- Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) December 12, 2021
Thoughts on Pena's victory against Nunes at UFC 269?
Let us know in the comments.
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