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Julianna Pena celebrates after defeating Amanda Nunes of Brazil to win the women's bantamweight title fight during the UFC 269 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 11, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Best Of

President's Choice - Julianna Peña

In honor of President's Day, we take a look back at some of the latest and greatest UFC moments, chosen by UFC president Dana White.

2021 gave us some of the most jaw-dropping moments, delivered on a number of incredible Octagon performances, and left us nothing short of wondering what could possibly top the record-breaking year we had.

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When it comes to best performances, nothing in 2021 topped Julianna Peña's dominant UFC 269 performance, when she dethroned the seemingly unbeatable Amanda Nunes for the UFC bantamweight title.

Previously unbeaten in the 12 fights leading up to UFC 269 with a total of seven title defenses across two weight classes, Nunes opened fight week as a -800 betting favorite, with Peña coming in as the +500 underdog.

Between the Vegas odds and the expectations of UFC fans around the world, not many people expected a changing of the guard in the women's bantamweight division — except, of course, for Peña.

“I know that I have everything that it takes. I know that I'm more than enough to get the job done," she said in an interview with ahead of UFC 269. "Team underdog has kind of been my whole m.o. my entire career. So I'm definitely ready for those changes.”

Leading up to the fight, "The Venezuelan Vixen" made it clear that she was the most dangerous challenger Nunes could possibly face, mostly due to the fact that unlike other competitors across the women's bantamweight and featherweight divisions, she simply wasn't afraid of "The Lioness." 

“In order to be the best, you’ve got to fight the best and it's nothing personal. I respect her as a woman, I respect her as a mother, I respect her as a fighter. But I want to be the UFC bantamweight world champion and I want to fight the best, and in order to do that, you’ve got to take a shot at the king."

Peña beat the best in astonishing fashion, securing a rear-naked choke submission late in the second round, taking her spot atop the women's bantamweight throne — a spot in which she intends to remain.