Amanda Nunes has been cleared of COVID-19 and has resumed training in preparation for her next title defense.
There has been no doubt about who that defense will come against. “The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Peña has made sure of that. Peña was able to successfully lobby to be the next challenger to the Lionness’ bantamweight title, and she was all set to officially get her wish at this past weekend’s UFC 265. Unfortunately, Nunes tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw from the bout.
An unconvinced Peña put on her investigative reporter hat and questioned UFC President Dana White why Nunes could not compete at the original date when she had tested negative soon after the positive test. After hearing rumors that Nunes was hardly even training for the fight prior to pulling out, Peña also questioned the champion directly if she had planned to withdraw from the fight all along.
She would then make the suggestion that if Nunes is unable to return and defend her title by December, then she should be stripped of the title. According to an ESPN report Monday, it doesn’t look like such drastic measures will be necessary.
“UFC double champ Amanda Nunes has been cleared of COVID-19 and returned to the gym today, American Top Team owner Dan Lambert told ESPN. Nunes hopes to fight before December, per Lambert. UFC president Dana White maintained Saturday that Julianna Peña would be the challenger,” the report from ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reads.
Amanda Nunes has not competed at 135 since December of 2019, hence Peña’s December 2021 “deadline,” as that would make two years since The Lionness last defended her bantamweight turf. Nunes has been occupied fending off intruders to her featherweight throne, with a successful title defense in 2020 and 2021, most recently defeating Megan Anderson at UFC 259.
The good news for the bantamweight division and the eager Julianna Peña is that the top of the division is once again on track to get back in motion after this positive update on the status of the champion.
We’ll keep you posted on the precise date the bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña will be rebooked, so be sure to keep it locked right here on MMANews.com for all the updates!