Amanda Nunes' coach expects Julianna Pena rematch in 'July or August'

  • Tom Ward

Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena II is ‘probably happening’ in either ‘July or August’, according to the Brazilian’s coach Balbino Junior.

The UFC bantamweight clash is also set to coincide with the season 30 finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, where Nunes and Pena are currently serving as opposing coaches.

But coach Junior revealed everything is still up in the air as he admitted ‘we don’t have a date set yet’.

He said on MMA Fighting‘s Portuguese-language podcast ‘Trocacao Franca’: “We’re here [in Las Vegas] for two more weeks [shooting The Ultimate Fighter 30], and we don’t have a date set yet, but Amanda is getting the rhythm and we’re doing some training already.

“Since we’re doing TUF and I think the [TUF 30] finals will be on the same day of the Julianna fight, I believe this fight it’s probably happening around July or August.”

Nunes, 33, recently made the headlines after she decided to part ways with her long-time base, American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.

The Lioness has set up her own gym in the Florida area, which Junior says will only serve her well moving forwards.

Dec 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Amanda Nunes moves in with a hit against Julianna Pena during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

He added: “She needs to be with people that believe in her 100 per cent, that trust her, so she’s comfortable for a nice camp.

“I’m very confident in the work we’re doing together and she’s very excited. Change is good sometimes.

“Our goal is to make Amanda bring this belt back. We know what Amanda is capable of. She’s a complete athlete.”

“I’m not here to find excuses for anything. All credit goes to Julianna. But Amanda at her 100 percent, I believe this belt comes, and comes in tranquil fashion.”

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In one of the most stunning upsets in MMA history, Nunes lost her bantamweight title to the woman who many had given no chance at all of beating her, having previously been submitted by Germaine de Randamie.

No one gave Pena a chance, but despite being dropped in the first round the Venezuelan-American battled back to take control of the fight before it was stopped in the second round.

But Junior insisted Nunes will bounce back.

He continued: “I think [Nunes will win by] submission. I see Amanda knocking Julianna down and maybe submitting her. But we’ll be ready for everything.

“Our goal is to bring the belt back no matter how. We hope she really gets the payback with the submission. [Laughs.]”

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