Home MMA NewsLatest News Holly Holm Dismisses Julianna Pena’s Accusation that Amanda Nunes Retired to Dodge a Trilogy: ‘Nunes Has No Fear of Pena’

Holly Holm Dismisses Julianna Pena’s Accusation that Amanda Nunes Retired to Dodge a Trilogy: ‘Nunes Has No Fear of Pena’

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Holly Holm

While Holly Holm is eager for a rematch with Amanda Nunes, the ex-UFC bantamweight champion holds nothing but respect for her previous adversary’s recent retirement.

Following her victory over Irene Aldana at UFC 289, Nunes hung up her gloves and surrendered her 135 and 145-pound title belts. Given Nunes’ victories over every female bantamweight or featherweight champion in UFC history, her status as the best ever is hard to dispute.

Holm, who experienced defeat against Nunes in a title fight back in 2019, conceded that the thought of never having a rematch stings. However, this in no way diminishes her respect for the Brazilian fighter.

“Nunes has my full respect,” Holm informed MMA Hook. “She has faced all the top competitors without shying away. My aim was to defeat her in good sport. She’s a formidable champion who never shied away from any challenge. She fought and prevailed against the best in the game. I offer her my congratulations on her career and retirement. I hope she’s enjoying herself.

“While it’s clear her departure shakes up our division, my personal ambition was to take the belt from Amanda. That victory would have been sweeter. Although she’s a tough opponent, she is not invincible. Nevertheless, I wish her well. My goal remains to get the belt, and if Nunes ever decides to return, I’m ready for her.”

Post her retirement announcement, former UFC champion Julianna Pena launched a verbal assault on Nunes, accusing her of evading a third fight after splitting their two previous matches. Pena was set to face Nunes in June, but an injury forced her to withdraw.

In their initial match, Pena managed a major upset, securing the UFC championship. However, Nunes exacted her revenge with a decisive victory in the rematch seven months later. Following Nunes’ retirement, Pena accused her of fear, declaring herself the greatest female MMA fighter in history.

Responding to those remarks, Holm dismissed the notion that Nunes ended her career merely to evade Pena.

“Nunes didn’t retire out of fear of Pena,” Holm asserted. “That’s evident! Although Pena did defeat Nunes fair and square, fighters do have off days. I’m not attempting to undermine Pena’s victory. She won that night, fair and square, but Nunes certainly isn’t afraid of Pena.”

Holm also has a history with Pena. A 2021 fight was scheduled between them, but due to a medical condition named hydronephrosis that required surgery, Holm, the ex-boxing champion turned UFC contender, had to withdraw. Post-recovery, she expressed interest in rescheduling the fight, but Pena got the title shot instead.

“We have some unresolved issues,” Holm said of Pena. “She’s a formidable opponent, always a threat. She’s a true fighter and knows how to promote herself.”

Another contender, Raquel Pennington, is on a five-fight win streak. Despite having previously lost twice to Holm, she remains a significant contender.

Holm was proposed a fight against Pennington on short notice back in May, which didn’t materialize due to timing. Regardless, she doesn’t bank on her previous victories over Pena to secure a title shot and is keenly preparing for her forthcoming bout against Mayra Bueno Silva this Saturday.

“Despite defeating Pennington twice, nothing is guaranteed,” Holm asserted. “I always believe I can improve. Pennington is still highly ranked for a reason; she’s resilient and constantly evolving. There are numerous factors in play.”

As a former champion who has consistently ranked high over the past eight years, Holm is always within reach of a title contention. Her singular focus, however, is to beat Silva impressively, reinforcing her position in the race for the vacant title.

“I had my sights set on the title all along,” Holm claimed. “I wanted it when Nunes had it, and I want it now. My task is to win this fight, continue my winning streak, and keep progressing. All I want is victory after victory.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Holly Holm

What was Holly Holm’s reaction to Amanda Nunes’ retirement?

Holm expressed a great deal of respect for Nunes, acknowledging her achievements and dominance in the UFC. While she admitted a sting of disappointment at the likelihood of never getting a rematch, Holm insisted her admiration for Nunes remained undiminished.

What did Julianna Pena claim about Amanda Nunes’ retirement?

Julianna Pena accused Amanda Nunes of retiring to avoid a third fight with her. Pena also declared herself the greatest women’s fighter in MMA history.

What was Holly Holm’s response to Julianna Pena’s claim?

Holly Holm dismissed Julianna Pena’s claim, laughing off the suggestion that Nunes retired out of fear. Holm maintained that while Pena did win against Nunes, it doesn’t imply Nunes was scared of a rematch.

What is Holly Holm’s plan after Nunes’ retirement?

Holly Holm is focused on her upcoming fight against Mayra Bueno Silva. Her goal remains to win this fight and continue her winning streak to move forward in contention for the now-vacant title.

What was Holly Holm’s relationship with Julianna Pena?

Holm and Pena were supposed to fight in 2021, but the match was cancelled due to Holm’s medical condition. Holm expressed interest in rebooking the fight after her recovery, but Pena ended up getting a title shot instead.

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