On Saturday at American Airways Heart in Dallas, Nunes rematches Peña for the bantamweight title in the principle occasion of UFC 277. Of their first encounter, Peña pulled off one of many greatest upsets in UFC historical past, submitting Nunes within the second spherical after drawing the champion right into a wild brawl.
Within the aftermath, Nunes blamed the loss on injuries and a bad training camp that she merely tried to push via. Anderson, who misplaced to Nunes at UFC 259, tends to agree that one thing was actually off with “The Lioness” that night time.
“The Amanda that I noticed in that combat was not the Amanda that I fought,” Anderson stated on The MMA Hour. “She didn’t appear like herself. One of the best ways for me to explain it’s, I keep in mind as soon as I educated with a head chilly. … It actually felt like my complete physique was discombobulated. I might attempt to throw as quick as I might, it felt sluggish, it felt sluggish, the lightest jab felt like my head was bouncing round within my cranium. The lightest punches actually felt like they have been going to knock me out. In order that’s type of what it seemed like once you watch Amanda in that second spherical. It’s like she couldn’t actually transfer her physique accurately.
“There’s clearly a motive for that. Was she coaching sufficient? Was it the load reduce? That’s the primary time she’d reduce to 135 kilos in two years. She’s not a small bantamweight, and we’ve seen her have points making that weight earlier than, so might or not it’s the size of time between slicing that quantity of weight? Was she capable of rehydrate correctly? [COVID-19]. She had COVID earlier than. Lots of people have come out and stated that they’ve had respiratory and cardio points put up having COVID for awhile, and that’s only a long-term facet impact. … So I feel it actually simply depends upon quite a lot of various factors.
“I like that she’s modified up her coaching, as a result of that may very well be an excellent factor. That may very well be the explanation; she might have had quite a lot of ‘sure’ folks round her and she or he wanted to alter that up. Who is aware of? Solely her and her workforce. However I undoubtedly suppose this combat’s going to look very totally different, as a result of I don’t suppose Amanda was one hundred pc herself in that combat combat.”
Since dropping to Peña, Nunes has made modifications to her preparation, leaving her longtime camp, American Top Team, to open up her own gym.
It’s a giant change, departing from the gymnasium that made her a two-division champion, and it’s one which Anderson says carries critical threat.
“I feel it’s type of a type of conditions the place she simply desires to right away like, ‘Okay, it was a fluke,’” Anderson stated. “I can perceive the place Amanda’s reasoning is … [but] you modified so many issues about your camp, how are you aware how properly it’s going to carry out in an precise combat, all of those modifications that you simply’ve made? So clearly massive threat for her, however generally that may be a optimistic factor.”
Whereas the chances are actually nearer than the primary combat, Nunes is still a sizable favorite for the rematch. And whereas Anderson stops in need of predicting that Nunes will reclaim the title, she believes that UFC 277 will not less than play out very in another way than their first bout.
“It is a combat. Something can occur,” Anderson stated. “However I feel if Amanda goes into this combat one hundred pc, there shouldn’t be any space that she is at a drawback. She’s very well-rounded. She’s received an incredible quantity of energy, however she will additionally go 5 rounds… She has the flexibility to in order that’s why it was very odd the way in which that it labored out…
“I received Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk I vibes from [the first fight]. You understand how Joanna got here out, she was like, ‘I had a horrible weight reduce, I didn’t rehydrate correctly.’ Then she got here again and she or he clearly didn’t win the rematch nevertheless it was much more aggressive, a more in-depth combat, and it additionally went the space. So I’m not saying Amanda will win it, but when she is available in at one hundred pc it may well play extra into her favor as a result of I really feel like she has extra well-rounded abilities to beat Julianna than Julianna has to beat Nunes.”