Nunes dominated the sport before 269 Loss
Amanda Nunes (21-5 MMA, 14-2 UFC) is widely regarded as the greatest fighter in MMA history, and there are tons of ways to back that claim up. A lethal, well-rounded striker and black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Lioness has a bag of tools that has been used effectively against any style of opponent.
The 34-year-old UFC legend holds multiple records in the women’s UFC, including most wins overall (14), most wins in UFC title fights (nine) , most first-round finishes (14) and longest winning streak (12). She also holds bantamweight records for most wins by knockout (six) and wins by stoppage (eight).
Nunes is one of four fighters – and the only female fighter – to hold two titles simultaneously and earn the “champion” label. Given that Peña is the one who took that honor away from her, the former two-time champion seeks revenge and will try to reclaim what is rightfully hers.
Peña defies the odds in first encounter
Peña’s win over Nunes at UFC 269 is one of the biggest upsets in UFC history – story – and at the betting level.
Nunes entered the December fight on a 12-fight winning streak – with eight finishes – beating the likes of Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg. Its last loss before the match was in 2014. It was practically unbeatable and the rout of Peña was supposed to be a fatality.
Peña odds opened at +500 and closed at +700 on BetMGM. After taking twice as many big strikes as she landed in the first round, her odds increased to +1100 – a implied probability 8.33% to win.
Nunes-Pena betting update on @BetMGM
After turn 1: -3000
After round 1: +1100
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) December 12, 2021
The underdog, however, showed another side of herself in the second round. She went blow for blow with the champion, to the point of landing much more devastating blows. Noticing that Nunes couldn’t handle the fire, Peña threw her to the ground, put her in a rear chokehold and tapped her. With closing odds of +700, Peña’s win is the fourth-biggest upset bet in UFC history, according Tapology.
Trains fighters as favorite, underdog
Nunes is 7-1 in UFC fights as a favorite, only loss to Pena.
The underdog status bodes well for Peña, posting a 3-2 record at the UFC level. This time, however, she faces second-longest rating of his UFC career. The longest, of course, was against Nunes in the first go-around.
Preview in the octagon
If the first meeting went otherwise, a bet on Nunes at short odds may be justified, but the winner showed something in this first fight.
Pena was outmatched in the first round, getting tagged with a flurry of punches and spending most of the round on the wrong side of a grappling hook. She then called a daring audible in the next round, in which she challenged – and beat – the supreme striker to his own game of stand-up.
Expect to see a much more confident version of the Venezuelan vixen this time around. She was the fighter who ended Nunes’ dominant run as a two-time champion when no one else could.
To be fair to the loser, she did to quote knee injuries as the reason for the loss, which could explain his slow fights and overall night off. It could also be that age is starting to catch up with the Brazilian. It will be interesting to see if the 14-year-old MMA veteran can regain her speed and rhythm in time for the rematch.
The two flyweights met at UFC 245 in December 2019 in a preliminary bout, in which Moreno won via decision as an underdog. The Mexican-born grappling specialist is the rematch favorite, with odds as low as -225 on FanDuel.