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EXCLUSIVE: John Kavanagh sees Amanda Nunes loss at UFC 269 as the surprise 'grenade' that makes MMA so great

amanda nunes loss

Dec 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Amanda Nunes reacts following her loss by submission against Julianna Pena during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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Elite MMA coach John Kavanagh sees the shocking Amanda Nunes loss at UFC 269 as just another example of what makes the sport so special and complicated.

Julianna Pena (11-4) stunned the MMA world on Saturday night in Las Vegas when she was able to do what no woman has in over the last seven years, and hand the women's cage fighting GOAT an L. Nunes (21-5) was a massive betting favorite, and for parts of the fight, she was dominated by the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 winner.

It was a stunning display as the dominant wrestler Pena was able to win striking exchanges against the woman viewed as the scariest puncher in the sport. That doesn't mean it was all one-way traffic. "The Lioness" landed her fair share of damaging blows against "The Venezuelan Vixen" and downed her in the first round.

John Kavanagh explains Amanda Nunes loss at UFC 269 is what makes MMA great

amanda nunes loss

Dec 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Julianna Pena moves in with a hit against Amanda Nunes during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

However, it was Pena's durability and tenacity that seemed to supersede the power and technique of Nunes. And the possible self-doubt that might have crept in for Nunes when Pena did not fall like other foes, is what the man that steered Conor McGregor into being a two-division champion believes changed the decision-making of the champ and the expected trajectory of the fight.

"I guess she's had a couple of fights now where she's just demolished her opponents, and maybe when that didn't happen a little bit of self-doubt kicks in," Kavanagh told MixedMartialArts.com at the post-fight of Sunday's Combate Global event. "And Pena is still there, still coming forward.

"That's the great thing about our sport. We think we know it all, we think [Georges St-Pierre] is gonna play with Matt Serra, we have all these stories that we think we know, and what does MMA do? Throws a grenade in there and we realize in this sport there's so many ways to win, so many things that can happen, so many things can be happening leading up to the fight. That's what I love about MMA," he continued. "It's so much more complicated than almost any other combat sport. Anything can happen, and Pena proved it."

In the full interview embedded above, Kavanagh also talks about steering Frans Mlambo to the Copa Combate tournament title championship on Dec. 12 in Miami. He then gave his thoughts on the other big fight at UFC 269 between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier, and McGregor bulking up to 190-pounds recently.

Do you agree, and Nunes' loss is what makes MMA such an entertaining sport?