Julianna Pena expresses discontent over Amanda Nunes’ decision to retire.
A scheduled women’s bantamweight title trilogy was set for UFC 289 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada last month. Pena, the ex-champion, however, was denied her chance at vindication against dual-division champion Nunes due to a rib injury.
Irene Aldana from Mexico stepped in as Pena’s replacement, but couldn’t secure a win, losing through a one-sided unanimous decision. Following her 11th UFC title fight victory over Aldana, Nunes, 35, declared her retirement, leaving Pena—an audience member at the event—distinctly disappointed with the decision. Pena perceives Nunes’ retirement as an act of cowardice.
Pena spoke to ESPN, saying, “We are tied at 1-1. I might be the only one on earth who can label Amanda Nunes a coward because we still have unfinished business. I firmly believe she took the easy route by retiring. Injuries are a part of the sport. Yes, it was my failing that I couldn’t compete at that time, but she also backed out of our first scheduled fight. She’s withdrawn from several bouts in the past, that doesn’t mean you retire.”
After her retirement, Nunes revealed that she had been contemplating the decision for a while but didn’t wish to end her career with a bout against Pena. They had a rematch almost a year prior to UFC 289, where Nunes reclaimed her 135-pound title with a resounding unanimous decision win. Six months before that, Pena recorded her latest victory by stunning Nunes with a second-round rear-naked choke at UFC 269.
Nunes had a standout 28-fight career, setting many records and notable achievements. During her 12-fight winning spree, the native of Pojuca, Bahia, Brazil became the only female UFC fighter to win both bantamweight and featherweight titles, defeating every champion in those divisions.
While Pena lost her recent title opportunity, she is expected to participate in the next vacant bantamweight title match. Pena hopes to recover fully by fall for a comeback, though the probability of her fighting Nunes again is slim. Nonetheless, if Nunes ever returns, Pena will be ready.
Pena continued, “If she decides to come back, I would always want to fight her. It’s one of the fights I want to cross off my list. I wish the fans would watch that second fight again and realize it was closer than they think. It felt unfair for her not to give me a second chance.”
Ultimate Fighter 31 Recap: McGregor vs. Chandler – Episode 6 Results
Logan Paul Proposes UFC Debut on Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg Card, Calls Out Paddy Pimblett
Tom Hardy’s Enthusiasm for Jiu-Jitsu and Competition Amazes Coach
Celebrating Fourth of July with Best Knockouts of First Half of 2023
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUNDUP
Happy Independence Day.
Bo Nickal (4-0) vs. Val Woodburn (7-0); UFC 290, July 8
Yusaku Kinoshita (6-2) vs. Billy Goff (8-2); UFC Singapore, Aug. 26
In all honesty, Nunes returning seems likely only if Pena reclaims the belt.
Thank you for reading!
Do you think Julianna Pena will win another UFC title?
VOTE view results
Please contact @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter if you have something for the Morning Briefing. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Amanda Nunes’ retirement
Why is Julianna Pena upset about Amanda Nunes’ retirement?
Pena is upset about Nunes’ retirement as she believes they have unfinished business. They are tied at 1-1, and Pena feels she was denied a chance to redeem herself due to a rib injury. She also sees Nunes’ retirement as a way of evading their final fight.
What records did Amanda Nunes set in her UFC career?
Amanda Nunes had an illustrious 28-fight career where she set several records and achievements. Notably, during her 12-fight winning streak, she won both the bantamweight and featherweight titles and defeated every champion in these divisions. She is the only female UFC fighter to achieve this feat.
How did Julianna Pena’s last fight against Nunes end?
Pena’s last fight against Nunes ended with Nunes reclaiming her 135-pound title with a dominant unanimous decision win.
What does Julianna Pena plan for her future in UFC?
Pena, after missing her most recent title opportunity, is expected to participate in the vacant bantamweight title match. She hopes to recover fully from her injury by fall for a comeback. If Nunes ever decides to return, Pena has expressed her desire to fight her again.
What was the public reaction to Nunes’ retirement?
Nunes’ retirement came as a surprise to many. Some fans shared Pena’s view that Nunes took the ‘easy way out’. However, others applauded Nunes’ stellar career and respected her decision to retire.