Amanda Nunes has revealed that a doctor told her to pull out of her fight with Julianna Peña at UFC 269 and that she was ‘lying’ to herself by believing she was fit to compete.
Nunes was on a run of 12 consecutive victories prior to facing Peña and held both the UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship and the Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
Many saw the Brazilian as an overwhelming favourite to defend her bantamweight title, but the American stunned the MMA legend in one of the biggest women’s UFC upsets of all time.
In the end, Nunes was submitted in just the second round –– her first loss in the sport since 2014.
But speaking in a recent media conference, the Brazilian admitted she was injured heading into the fight.
The pair had originally been scheduled to face one another at UFC 265 and Nunes stressed the right thing to do would’ve been pushing back the contest again.
“I thought it wouldn’t look good if I let that fight fall through one more time,” she said. “So I put what I was [dealing with] aside, but I didn’t have a very good camp, that was the honest thing.
“I tried putting into my head that I was ready, I was 100 percent, but I was lying to myself. That is exactly what I was [doing]. But as a fighter, as a warrior, I wanna fight. I want to do that. I’m gonna fight whatever, even if I have an injury. But at this level, you cannot do those stupid moves. So, I paid for it.
“I was supposed to let the fight fall through, get 100% again, and fight Julianna,” Nunes continued. “And I know Julianna is a very tough opponent. I know that [defeat] could have a chance at happening cause my timing was very off. I wasn’t even able to do sparring in my camp.”
Nunes also stated that her doctor told her to withdraw from the blockbuster pay-per-view due to the seriousness of her physical problems.
Looking back now, the 33-year-old concedes she was “dumb” to ignore this medical advice and that she paid the price as a result.
“Unfortunately, sometimes we do dumb things, and especially at the level I’m at, we’re not supposed to do those things.
“Sometimes I say, ‘Man, I really should’ve listened to my doctor.’ He told me, ‘Let me handle it with the UFC, I’ll tell them exactly what you’re going through right now, and you have to have time to rest and recover. If you don’t, you’re not gonna perform as well.’ I was like, fighting with my doctor. I said, ‘You’re not gonna do that, you don’t have my permission to do that. I’m gonna fight.’
“So, I went back to his office [after the fight] and he looked at me like, ‘I told you.’ So now, after watching the fight as well, I had a hard time for a little bit watching the fight because I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know what happened.’ Like, I kept lying to myself after the fight.”
A rematch between the two fighters is expected to take place sometime this year, with both Peña and Nunes keen to face off again.