UFC women’s bantamweight Julianna Peña has declared her skepticism of Amanda Nunes’ COVID-19 diagnosis, issuing the champ an ultimatum to fight in December or vacate the belt.
It’s the latest verbal volley Peña has aimed at Nunes since the duo’s scheduled title fight at UFC 265 was canceled. For the last few months, “The Venezuelan Vixen” has embarked on a balls-to-the-wall media tour that’s seen her trash talk Nunes into a title shot, and most recently, try her hand at investigative reporting.
Last Thursday, Peña crashed the UFC 265 press conference to level her Amanda Nunes gripes directly at UFC President Dana White. Taking the mic like a seasoned MMA journalist, the 31-year-old interrogated White as to the whereabouts of Nunes, before sensationally claiming that the women’s MMA GOAT recently tested negative to COVID-19. The claim was in reference to a tweet by Nunes’ partner Nina Ansaroff, which appears to have since been deleted.
In the months preceding, Peña has aimed a fusillade of trash talk at Nunes, which many claim resulted in the #6 ranked bantamweight—who’s lost two of her last four bouts—landing an unexpected title shot. Peña, however, believes the title shot materialized not from “talking sh*t,” but simply “speaking my truth.”
Among some of her best verbal volleys, “The Venezuelan Vixen” and self-anointed spitter of truth has claimed that Nunes shouldn’t be considered the GOAT “without fighting me.” She also said that in Amanda’s last career loss seven years ago, Cat Zingano made her “curl up in the fetal position,” and if that wasn’t bad enough, “stomped a mudhole in [Nunes].”
Julianna Peña Airs Frustration With Nunes’ Inactivity, Issues December Deadline
On the latest stop on her whirlwind media tour, Peña has taken aim at Nunes once again. Speaking to MMA FIGHTING, “The Venezuelan Vixen” claimed the champ didn’t do all she could to stay healthy for their UFC 265 bout, and raised questions about Nunes’ COVID-19 diagnosis.
“There’s all sorts of situations that happen during a fight camp, and I’m understanding of that and I sympathize,” said Peña. “But this fight was my top priority, and staying healthy has been hard for me as well, but I made sure I could do everything that I was contractually obligated to do and show up for fight week, and she did not. And so I’m just frustrated because I’ve literally seen her jumping up and down screaming at the top of her lungs during the Olympics when she’s saying she’s super sick with COVID.”
So determined to fight Nunes is Peña that she’s been stalking her social media accounts, it seems. And she passionately feels that if the “The Lioness” fails to show up to fight in December, she should be stripped of her title.
“I’m confident the fight will happen eventually,” continued Peña. “I don’t know when that time is. Whenever she’s healthy, whenever she’s ready to rock, I’ll be ready to rock. But in December, that will be two years she hasn’t defended the belt. So if she does this again, in my opinion, I believe she should be stripped. The train has got to keep moving. We’re going to need to get another girl in there who’s ready to rock and ready to fight for the belt, because I’m definitely ready to fight.”
While Peña is determined to capture the bantamweight strap against Nunes, the next best thing, she feels, is doing so in a rematch against #1 ranked contender Germain De Randamie.
“I want to be the UFC’s new bantamweight champion and I want to fight Amanda for that,” said Peña. “If she can’t make it and has problems showing up in December, the No. 1 girl is Germaine, and I would love to run it back with her.”
What do you think? Should Amanda Nunes be stripped of her title if she fails to fight in December?