Mom Knows Best She fights for the best Pena

November 21, 2022

Pena Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, start that women would not be allow to fight in the promotion in 2011. He had witnessed a fight between women in Northern California, which was not well matched. The loser received a beating.

White stated recently that “Television wasn’t ready for this.” “I was still trying getting people to accept guys fighting inside a cage, let’s not forget women.”

It is a sign of how much the world has changed that a rematch between Julianna Pena & Amanda Nunes will be U.F.C.’s main event. Saturday night, 277 in Dallas.

They are more than champion fighters or major stars in mixed martial arts. White stated that they are mothers to young daughters. This adds to their fascinating back stories.

Pena stated that while our country may be in some ways regressing over 50 years, this is an indication of how far women and sport have come.


Pena, a single mother, walked towards Isabella, her 4-year-old daughter. She was sitting on a pink blanket at a Chicago jujitsu studio. After a hard workout, Pena’s hair was frizzy and her face was sweaty. She drank from a bottle and kissed Isabella, saying, “Almost done sweetie.”

Recently, Nunes was at a private gym near Miami when Nunes had just completed a five-round sparring class and was lifting weights.

Her 1-year-old daughter Raegan crawled up to Nunes and stomped on a barbell. Nunes comforted Raegan’s sobbing baby and soon was joined by Nina, her wife and a U.F.C. member. fighter. The child stopped crying, and smiled.

Saturday’s fight will see Nunes attempting to regain Pena’s bantamweight title, which she lost in December at U.F.C. 269 in Las Vegas. White anticipates that the fight will surpass Holly Holm’s shocking 2015 defeat of Ronda Rousey to become the most lucrative women’s fight.

White stated that he was wrong about his opposition to mixed martial arts fighting for women. “When you do it right, and put the most talented women in the world against one another, these have been some the greatest fights we’ve ever seen.”

Pena: A major upheaval

At Pena and Nunes’ homes, there are signs of children everywhere. In the basement of Pena’s brick Chicago home, a slide was placed next to a rowing engine. A pink scooter leaned against a U.F.C. glass case in Nunes’ waterfront home in South Florida. Championship belts

Pena, 32 years old, was admit to the U.F.C. Pena, 32, had entered U.F.C. 269 in Las Vegas as an Underdog. Nunes, 34, is widely considered to be the greatest female fighter of mixed martial arts.

She had won eight of her 12 fights by knockout, submission or both, and was the winner of the 2016 135-pound bantamweight title.

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Nunes is also the women’s featherweight champion at 145 pounds. She is one of four female fighters and the first to hold two U.F.C. belts at once. divisions.

Pena, however, stunned Nunes in the second round with punches and then took her down. Pena then grabbed Nunes’s back and wrapped her arms around her throat tightening her submission. Pena’s win was so unexpected, Joe Rogan, a podcast host and commentator, called it “the greatest upset in the history” of the sport.

Pena, with a swelling left eye, entered the Octagon to greet loved ones. He picked up Isabella, smiled, and then he went on to enter the Octagon.

Pena stated in an interview that “To be in a position to share that moment is one of the greatest feelings in the world,”

Raegan met Nunes as she walked towards her locker room and greeted both of her mothers through a tunnel. Nunes picked the child up and later, the child wanted to play backstage with her.

Nunes stated in an interview that she had just lost her belt and is now playing with her daughter. I was happy. I wanted to be happy, but I didn’t have the time. It was amazing.”

Amanda Nunes was the second U.F.C. member when Nina Nunes had Raegan, in 2020. The first champion was also a mother. Cristiane Justino (ex-featherweight champion, better known as Cyborg), adopted a child in 2018.

Pena, the mother of Isabella, stated that she felt like she was the first mom champ in a news conference following defeating Nunes. This comment drew ire on social media.

Pena later clarified that she didn’t mean to offend Nunes, U.F.C.’s first openly homosexual champion, but was merely highlighting her own recovery after childbirth.

Pena stated, “I respect Amanda as both a mother” and “I think the way they raise their daughter is admirable”

Amanda Nunes claimed Raegan called her wife “mommy” while she called her “mamae,” her native Portuguese word for mommy. Raegan would give an answer to anyone who asked her parents, she said.

She said, “If I wanted to have children, I could. But this is what I chose.”

Becoming Mothers and Fighters

Electronic tablets are, aside from gloves and mouth guards, Pena and Nunes may consider them the most important piece of training equipment. They are used by both to distract their daughters while they practice.

Isabella protects her pink butterfly case. Raegan’s was placed on a tray in a highchair on a recent afternoon. The sound of cartoons echoing over the loud thumps and slaps of sparring and wrestling.

M.M.A. provides many opportunities for women

M.M.A. offers women many opportunities. After 2012, White signed Rousey (an Olympic medalist in Judo), to a contract. Fighting boomed. She was the first women’s bantamweight champion and began a two-year streak that led to international stardom.

She was a major force in the sport’s growth. The U.F.C. The U.F.C. roster currently has over 100 female fighters in four divisions and 16 pay per view cards are headlined by women.

Miesha Tate, a former bantamweight champion who was Rousey’s first rival, start that the U.F.C. had given her the opportunity to be recognize, get sponsorship opportunities, and become a household name for women. “Before that it was like the minorleagues, and U.F.C. “It is now the major leagues.”

Pena, a Spokane native, began mixed martial arts shortly after graduating high school. She started kickboxing to lose weight and soon became a master in mixed martial arts. Soon, she began training with Rick Little, the coach of that class.

She competed in “The Ultimate Fighter” 2013, a reality TV show where fighters compete for a U.F.C. She was the first woman to win this tournament. However, her U.F.C. debut was delayed over a year. Her U.F.C. debut was delayed by more than a year.

Pena injured her knee while training and required major surgery. In 2015, Pena won her first three fights, before she lost to Valentina Shevchenko (current women’s flyweight champion).

Pena, who is surround by extended family members, stated that she has always want to become a mother. She and her boyfriend believed the time was right after Shevchenko’s loss in 2017.

White and Sean Shelby, U.F.C. matchmaker, were contacted by Pena to inform them that she was pregnant. White said they were supportive.

Pena spent nearly two years away from Isabella, a breech infant, after she was deliverey by emergency cesarean section.

Pena stated that she didn’t feel pressure to return at a specific time, because she wanted to be a part of her childhood. Pena said, “That was my chance to be a mother, and I fully accepted it.”

Nunes was also admit to the U.F.C. In 2013, Nunes entered the U.F.C., five years after her arrival from Brazil. She was an athlete who loved soccer and she says she knew she was gay from a young age.

Nunes, wearing a baseball cap and a tank top, said that she was never a feminine girl. “I grew up the way you see me today,” Nunes said.

At 17 she had started mixed marital arts, focusing on the Brazilian M.M.A. circuit until she finally moved to Florida.

Nina Ansaroff was also a member of the same gym, where she met her. They began as sparring partners but soon fell in love. They shared a two-bedroom apartment with seven others in Little Haiti, a Miami area with the highest poverty rates.

As they joined the U.F.C. their lives stabilized. After winning her first three fights and continuing on a 12-fight win streak, Nunes established her legacy.

She defeated some of the most prominent women in mixed martial arts, including Rousey, Holm, Tate and Justino, often with devastating knockouts or submissions.

Nina Nunes and Amanda Nunes were marrie in 2019. They had always wanted children but Amanda Nunes was reluctant

Nina Nunes stated, “My dream was always and will continue to be a mother. Hers was to be a champion. So it was about finding the right time to make sense of both.”

Amanda Nunes stated that she had moments when she was unsure if she would be a good mother or not. “I was a bit conflicted.” It’s a baby, not a dog.

Nina Nunes stated that the timing was perfect after losing a fight in June 2019. Amanda Nunes and she started in vitro fertilization using donor sperm.

Amanda Nunes stated that her doubts about having children subsided after she met Raegan. She was elated all the way through her first diaper change, even though her wife was still recovering from the birth.

Amanda Nunes stated, “This is my next step in life now, which I love,”

What Mommy Does “Is Important”

Isabella’s burgundy-colored car seats add color to the otherwise monochromatic interior of Pena’s white B.M.W. Sport utility vehicle that keeps the child safe while she and her mother travel through the Chicago suburbs.

Pena split with Isabella’s dad in late 2020 and now the two share custody. Instead of Isabella being placed in day care for the summer, Pena takes Isabella to practice sessions where coaches and other friends keep her occupied. Isabella is very quiet with her mother.

Little, Pena’s coach, said that Pena knows what her mommy is doing and it’s important.

They take Raegan to practice sessions, but for now.

They built their own gym from a rented space, added equipment, and created a living area with a kitchen, shower, and playroom for Raegan.

White stated that he wasn’t sure if Nunes would retire after losing to Pena. He was concerned about her new family and career achievements. Nunes stated that she had briefly considered the idea.

Nunes said that she suffered from undisclosed knee injuries during Pena’s bout and believes that her performance was not an indication of any decline.

Nunes stated, “I must do this fight right.” “I can’t let this go like it is so easily.”

Pena said she has been training for the fight with a fiery, motivated fighter and is looking forward to a second win. If Pena wins, women’s mixed martial arts will experience another power shift with an ex-champion releasing her grip just as Rousey did in 2015 when she lost to Holm.

Both women stated that they expect aspiring women’s fighters will watch and, unlike their ascents, they will be able to see the future generation of women who can win in the sport.

Pena stated, “It’s an exciting time to be young woman fighters and to see who will come up in the next ten years.” “When this new generation emerges, they’re going be saying, ‘This generation suckers.’ That’s just how frighteningly good these girls are at such an early age.”

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