Friday, April 16, 2021

With Holm/Pena Off, Dana White Says Nunes vs. Pena Could Be Next

Dana White and Amanda Nunes have a difference of opinion regarding Julianna Pena’s contendership status.

At UFC 259, Amanda Nunes continued her tenure of dominance with a first-round submission victory over Megan Anderson. Now that her work is done at featherweight for the time being, Nunes is prepared to turn her attention back to the division where she captured the first of the two titles she currently holds: bantamweight. The problem is in the form of the question: Who is there waiting for her?

Julianna Pena has been lobbying for a title fight against Amanda Nunes ever since Pena’s most recent win over Sara McMann at UFC 257. She continued to lobby for the fight via social media after Nunes’s win over Anderson. With Holly Holm reportedly out of the fight, that leaves both Nunes and Pena available. The problem for Pena is that Amanda Nunes is still dismissing the idea of her as a worthy contender, just as she did after Pena’s win over Sara McMann. 

“So Holly’s off? So she can fight Germaine, you know?” Nunes said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. “I feel like (Pena) have to get in the mix.”

Dana White Contradicts Nunes Regarding Pena’s Contendership Status

See the source image
Julianna Pena Storming Forward Against Sara McMann. Credit: Getty Images

Immediately following Nunes’s portion of the press conference, Dana White took to the podium. His response to the idea of Pena fighting Nunes next was in stark contrast to Nunes’s.

“Julianna Pena’s been texting us all night. She’s been busy tonight. Yeah, we could do that,” White responded when asked about the idea of Nunes/Pena next. 

Julianna Pena is currently ranked #6 in the bantamweight division, so if I’m Pena and/or her management, I’m pressing White to send out bout agreements before they change their mind. There are currently three opponents ranked above her who Nunes also has not yet fought: Aspen Ladd (#3), Irene Aldana (#4), and Yana Kunitskaya (#5). Both Ladd and Kunitskaya are coming off of wins as well. 

Would you like to see Amanda Nunes defend her bantamweight championship against Julianna Pena next?