Julianna Pena is a person who has always believed in herself and thought that if she got into this fight, she could win it.  U.F.C. president Dana White said at a press conference. “It’s part of what makes this sport so wonderful.”

Nunes, 33, has seldom been dominated in this manner since joining the U.F.C. in 2013. Her meteoric ascent saw her handily defeat Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and Cris Justino, also known as Cyborg. They were all cornerstones of women’s MMA and served to drive its growth. She won against Justino in 2018 for the featherweight championship, making her the first woman in UFC history to hold two titles at the same time.

But Julianna Pena, who joined the UFC in 2013, has wanted to face Nunes for five years, ever since Nunes defeated Tate to become champion at UFC 200 in 2016. According to Pea, Nunes avoided her and picked alternative opponents each time, claiming that their clash would be a bad stylistic battle. The two were supposed to fight in August, but Nunes got the coronavirus, forcing the match to be postponed. It irritated Pea to the point where she impersonated a reporter at a press conference and asked White when the two would eventually compete.

Julianna Pena coronation on Saturday is the next chapter in her ups and downs. She tore the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament, and meniscus in her right knee during exercise in 2014. She had to sit out for nearly a year due to the recuperation process. She also did not compete in 2018 since her daughter was born.

“Nothing was going to get in the way of me obtaining this belt,” Pena said. It’s taken 13 years of hard work, but it’s finally paid off. “And now it’s my turn.”

The conclusion, however, hindered the United Football Club’s plans for a potential blockbuster. If Nunes had won, her next bout would have most likely been against Kayla Harrison, a Professional Fighters League champion. Harrison’s contract with the league expired in October. In a phone interview last week, White stated that he and other U.F.C. officials spoke with Harrison on Thursday night.

Nunes, who was not made accessible to the media following the hearing, has other choices. A rematch is very certainly in the cards, but she might also defend her featherweight title. Nunes, the first openly lesbian U.F.C. champion, just married her girlfriend and had a kid last year; White stated that it would not be shocking if Nunes retired from fighting.