Two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes has been removed from UFC 265 after testing positive for COVID-19.
Originally, Nunes was set to defend her UFC bantamweight title against Julianna Peña in the co-main event of next Saturdays card. That was until Thursday, when UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell publicized the unfortunate news. Campbell told ESPN that the bout will be rescheduled as soon as Nunes is fully healthy and ready to compete. Sources from ESPN’s Mike Coppinger suggest that this will be towards the end of the year, possibly December.
Despite the pull out, UFC 265 remains a great card regardless. The August 7th event is headlined by Derrick Lewis versus Ciryl Gane for the interim UFC heavyweight championship, above a strong main card. Fans still have Song Yadong-Casey Kenney, Michael Chiesa-Vincente Luque and José Aldo-Pedro Munhoz to look forward to. So dry your eyes fellow hardcores.
As a result of Nunes-Peña being pulled, Aldo-Munhoz has been promoted to co-main event, at least temporarily. There have been no discussions as of right now on a direct replacement.
Amanda Nunes (21-4) is widely considered the greatest female MMA fighter of all time. In 2018, she became the first female UFC fighter to hold two belts, when she captured featherweight gold alongside her bantamweight strap, defeating Cris Cyborg in December. Besides belts, Nunes’ notable victories read off like a hall of fame induction list with wins over Germaine de Randamie, Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. A Résumé few are likely to ever emulate.
Her next opponent, Julianna Peña (10-4) is a true veteran of women’s MMA having made her professional debut all the way back in 2009. Peña’s crowning glory came when she won the inaugural female Ultimate Fighter (The Ultimate Fighter 18) back in 2013 with a win over Jessica Rakoczy. Since her early successes, however, Peña has been largely inactive inside the UFC octagon with four fights in the last five years. Yet her veteran status combined with a good win over Sarah McMann in January 2021, was enough to earn her a shot at Nunes’ bantamweight title.
To keep updated on the ever-changing picture surrounding this fight, keep it locked to mymmanews.com for regular updates.
George Glinski is the founder of popular bare-knuckle boxing blog toethelinebkb.com and works as a staff writer and post-fight interviewer for BKBtm. His contributions to mymmanews.com include MMA, boxing, bare-knuckle boxing and Lethwei, with a particular focus on the British scenes.