Julianna Pena grounds herself earlier than Amanda Nunes combat

LAS VEGAS – The second Julianna Pena has labored for her complete profession is simply three days away, and the subsequent UFC ladies’s bantamweight title challenger is making an attempt to maintain herself grounded regardless of the intense lights.

At UFC 269 on Saturday, Pena (10-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will tackle two-division champion Amanda Nunes (21-4 MMA, 14-1 UFC) within the pay-per-view co-main occasion. Due to the lengthy, delayed build-up and championship stakes, Pena goals to not let the eye get to her to be able to carry out at her greatest.

“I’m excited, and I’m prepared,” Pena informed MMA Junkie on Wednesday at a pre-fight information convention. “Such as you mentioned, I’ve been working for this my complete profession. … I completely attempt to normalize it. Maintain it easy, silly. It’s simply one other combat on the finish of the day. If you happen to get a belt on the finish of the night time, that’s cute. I don’t wish to make it larger than what it’s and let the media and every thing like that get to me. I simply must deal with what I do and go to work.”

Since March, Pena has engaged in two separate stretches of lobbying for a combat with Nunes. The 2 have been booked for August, however Nunes withdrew after testing optimistic for COVID-19. As a way to get the rematch, Pena as soon as once more hit social media to speak some smack, promote the combat, and guarantee she didn’t lose the chance. Regardless of her feedback, Pena indicated she has no private beef with Nunes.

“I at all times knew that this second would get right here, and I wasn’t involved. ‘Mouth of the South’ over right here needed to do what I needed to do to get the combat,” Pena mentioned. “Now that I’ve acquired the combat, and I knew the combat was going to occur, I knew {that a} month from now, two months from now, previously, no matter, finally the combat was going to occur. I simply wanted to be affected person, and we’re right here.

“… It’s nothing private. Once you develop into the champ, you will have a goal put in your again. I might anticipate nothing much less. You’ve acquired to imagine persons are going to wish to gun on your spot. That’s simply the character of the beast and the way this factor works.”

Although she has a chance to be champion, the prospect of changing into the primary girl since September 2014 to take down the consensus biggest feminine combined martial artist ever holds extra worth to Pena.

“Any time you may take out the GOAT, that’s simply clearly the feather within the cap there,” Pena mentioned. “I really am able to step into the sunshine of changing into the brand new bantamweight world champion. I’m able to be that function mannequin for younger ladies, for younger males, simply to allow them to know from just a little, tiny storage in Spokane, Washington, you may make it. You can also make your goals come true. I’m able to step into that mild.”

UFC 269 takes place Saturday at T-Cell Enviornment. The primary card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

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