Julianna Pena On Withdrawing From UFC 289 Trilogy Bout With Amanda Nunes: ‘I Am Absolutely Gutted’

Julianna Pena recently shared some insight into her withdrawal from her UFC 289 main event against UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes

Julianna Pena
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter
Julianna Pena recently shared some insight into her withdrawal from the UFC 289 main event.
Pena was originally scheduled to main event the promotion’s highly anticipated return to Canada in June, taking part in a trilogy bout with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. Sadly, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ was forced out of the bout due to an apparent rib injury. Taking to Instagram, Pena finally shed some light on the situation and her mindset after bowing out of the UFC world title tilt.  

“Hi. Wanted to give it a few days before I addressed the situation. I am out of my fight in #vancouver for #ufc289. I am absolutely gutted. 💔 you guys only see us preform on one night but I wish you guys could see the other side of what #fighters have to go through on a daily basis,” Pena wrote.

“A fighters life is not an easy road but it’s one that lights my soul on fire,” Pena continued. “It’s my passion and I do it everyday with my whole heart. I give my everything every time I step into that octagon and I wanted nothing more then to make this fight possible. Going into a fight, you’re never 100% but in this case, the doctors intervened and I was forced to withdrawal.

“I train so hard and As you can see from my pictures I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this camp to show you guys how obsessed I am at improving myself. Unfortunately it’s going to have to wait. I trust in #Godsplan and have faith everything will work out for the best. I give my sincerest apologies to @ufc and @amanda_leoa. Wishing both @irene.aldana and @amanda_leoa a great fight- looking forward to fighting the winner to regain my belt! Oss”

Amanda Nunes Gets a New Opponent Following Withdrawal of Julianna Pena

Julianna Pena shocked the world in December 2021, scoring a second-round submission victory over Amanda Nunes to capture the UFC bantamweight championship. Many fans suggested that Pena’s win was nothing more than a fluke. Though that statement is relatively unfair to Pena, Nunes did admit post-fight that her training camp for ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ was minimal. 

Seven months later, the two women would run it back at UFC 277. It was a true return to form for ‘The Lioness’ as she dominated Pena for 25 minutes on her way to reclaim the 135-pound crown. Fight fans were ready to move on from the rivalry, calling Pena’s prior win a glitch in the matrix. However, Pena was far from done. Aggressively pursuing a trilogy bout, Pena finally pushed Nunes and UFC President Dana White into giving her what she wanted.

Unfortunately, she’ll have to wait a little longer than expected to get it.

Amanda Nunes will remain on the card, defending her title against replacement opponent Irene Aldana. Sitting in the No. 5 spot in the bantamweight rankings, Aldana has won four of her last five, including a third-round TKO against Macy Chiasson in her last appearance. 

Published on May 5, 2023 at 2:34 pm
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