Amanda Nunes expected to face Aldana next, but still welcomes Julianna Pena trilogy at UFC 289

Amanda Nunes was surprised to get an immediate rematch against Julianna Pena.

By: Lucas Rezende | 2 months ago
Amanda Nunes expected to face Aldana next, but still welcomes Julianna Pena trilogy at UFC 289
July 30, 2022, Dallas, Texas, Dallas, TX, United States: DALLAS, TX - JULY 30: Amanda Nunes battles Julianna Peoa in their Women Bantamweight bout during the UFC 277 event at American Airlines Center on July 30, 2022, in Dallas, Texas, United States. Dallas, Texas United States - ZUMAp175 20220730_zsa_p175_123 Copyright: xAlejandroxSalazarx

Amanda Nunes will have to wait a little longer before she faces fresh competition in the Octagon. As the Brazilian prepares to start her training camp for her next outing, she will pass the two-year mark since the last time she faced an opponent who is not Julianna Pena.

The first trilogy of Amanda Nunes’ career

For now, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion is having the first trilogy of her MMA career in a few months. Having lost the title to Julianna Pena in 2021 and reconquering it the following year, a rubber match between Nunes and the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ is now booked for June to settle the score.

The last time Nunes faced another opponent happened in March of 2021, when the Brazilian defended her featherweight title via submission, against Megan Anderson.

Although Amanda does not consider herself a picky fighter and accepts whoever the promotion matches her up with, she revealed to be at least a little surprised to see that Pena was getting the immediate rematch treatment. In an interview with ESPN, the Brazilian explained how she thought that she would be fighting a different contender for her next title defense: Mexico’s Irene Aldana.

Nonetheless, Nunes still wanted to make it clear she has no problems taking on Julianna a third time in a row. In fact, Amanda told ESPN reporter Megan Olivi she actually loved the pairing and that the most important aspect of the booking is having an opponent to defend her title and continue her legacy.

Amanda Nunes expected to face Irene Aldana next

“I always say I have to leave it to what the UFC decides,” Nunes told ESPN. “I’m ready. I’ve been training. I’m healthy. So whatever (the) UFC wants to do, I’m ready. I love to do this. I love to fight. I’m here to defend my belt, and Julianna wants it again. I don’t have any problems with defending my belt against her,”

“I thought it was going to be (Aldana),” Amanda said. “Everything changed to Julianna, and I was OK with it, too. No matter what, whatever UFC showed me (for an) opponent, I’m going to be happy to defend my belt.”

Amanda’s belief that Aldana would be next in line for a title shot comes from the fact that the Mexican has four wins in her last five bouts and is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, with KO victories over Macy Chiasson and Yana Santos, respectively in September 2022 and July 2021.

Prior to the wins, the 35-year-old dropped a unanimous decision to former champion Holly Holm in October 2020. The defeat halted another two-fight streak for the Mexican, who had bested Ketlen Vieira and Vanessa Melo, in December and September of 2019.

Amanda Nunes is considered the female MMA GOAT by many

Before the bouts against Pena, Nunes (22-5) was on a 12-fight winning streak, with victories over the biggest name in women’s MMA featherweight and bantamweight divisions, including Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko, Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm. For those feats, the 34-year-old is considered by many the greatest female MMA fighter of all time.

Meanwhile, Pena (11-5) had a two-fight winning streak when she dropped a unanimous decision to Nunes in her last outing, back July 2022. In December 2021, the 33-year-old scored a submission victory over Amanda, which came right after another sub win against Sara McMann, in January of the same year. Before that, Julianna got submitted by former women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie, in October 2020.

Now, Amanda Nunes is expected to take on Julianna Pena at UFC 289’s main event, on June 10. The card is scheduled to take place in Vancouver, Canada. So far, no official co-main event match has been officially added to the card.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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