While Julianna Peña is considered a huge underdog for her upcoming UFC title fight against Amanda Nunes, the bantamweight star is not fazed by the public’s opinion.
This weekend, the 32-year-old finally takes on the two-division women’s champion at UFC 269, in a fight that has been building for years.
Peña says Nunes agreed to fight her way back in 2016 but a contest between the pair never came to fruition until now.
The fight was initially scheduled to happen at UFC 265 but Nunes was forced to withdraw from the event after reportedly testing positive for Covid-19.
Now, with the rearranged date right around the corner, Nunes will attempt to defend her bantamweight title for the sixth time.
The Brazilian is on a run of 12 consecutive victories in the UFC and is widely considered the best female MMA fighter of all time.
Unsurprisingly, this has made her the heavy favourite for Saturday’s fight against Peña, who is challenging for the title for the first time.
Peña believes people are not giving her the credit she deserves but stressed that she would not let it impact her preparation.
Speaking to the MMA Hour, she said: “Nobody is counting me in as far as winning the fight. Everybody’s against me. No one is rooting for me. And literally, the whole world, it feels like, is against me. And that’s just kind of the way that it’s always been for me.
“It’s like everybody has always counted me out. They counted me out on The Ultimate Fighter. They’ve counted me out my entire career. No one ever takes me seriously. They’re willing to lose, but they don’t want to lose to me. And I just think that you cannot let what these people say get to you.”
Indeed, the American has accomplished a lot during her career so far. She is the first woman to ever win The Ultimate Fighter reality TV show and has scored some impressive wins over the likes of Cat Zingano and Nicco Montaño.
While she may not have the same résumé as Nunes, she is deserving of a title shot at long last.
And though few consider it likely she will beat the Brazilian, Peña is supremely confident she will prove people wrong.
“I don’t give an F what other people think. It’s what I know and what’s in my heart. And in my heart and what I know is: I’m a champion, and I’m gonna be a champion, and I am the champion.”News Now - Sport News