I’m ready to die in the octagon if need be

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Peña says she’s ready and willing to do anything every time she steps into the Octagon.

At UFC 269 last December, Peña delivered on a promise she made to UFC President Dana White even before she first fought under the promotion’s banner. Against then-two-time champion Amanda Nunes, considered by many to be unstoppable after 12 straight wins and seven years unbeaten, “The Venezuelan Vixen” claimed her title on the biggest stage in the sport.

In the aftermath, many, including former UFC star Chael Sonnen, suggested that Nunes “resign” after facing adversity she hadn’t faced in years. In Peña’s mind, she forced the Brazilian to do it after breaking and ‘exposing’ her.

Having been underestimated not just before UFC 269 but throughout her career, the champion knows what it takes to prove people wrong and walks into the cage every time looking to leave it all there. -inside.

And as she heads into her first title defense and rematch against Nunes, it’s that mental toughness that the bantamweight queen says will once again lead her to victory over the ‘Lioness’.

Peña: The fight is more mental than physical

During a recent interview with Kevin Iole for Yahoo! Sports, Peña discussed what it takes to succeed in the steel environment of a cage.

After sharing the oft-said sentiment that sport may be more mental than physical, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ insisted she had the kind of mental toughness needed to hold down a spot on the top rung of sport. .

With that, Peña asserted that she was ready to die inside the Octagon if she had to – a belief she considers an essential part of success in mixed martial arts.

“Your mentality, your positive self-talk, your mental state is so important in the fight. They say it’s more mental than physical, and I absolutely agree with that,” Peña said. “You have to know you’re the best, you have to know you’re going to win, and you can’t be deterred by those negative demons that try to eat your brain every night when the lights go out.

“(You have to) have that mental toughness to get through anything; fighting through this adversity and knowing that I’m literally going to die in this if that’s what I have to do. I am ready to do it, ”added Peña. “If you are willing to do this, then you will succeed.”

After losing one of his belts last December, many have questioned Nunes’ drive and thirst to compete at the highest level. While she admitted, as Dana White and Peña suggested, that she lost her fire ahead of UFC 269, the Brazilian enters the Dallas PPV with ambitions to prove that her desire burns just as bright. than that of its rival.

Which mental force will prove stronger on July 30, Julianna Peña or Amanda Nunes?

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