“She is a coward”: Julianna Pena harshly blames Amanda Nunes for avoiding their trilogy match with retirement at UFC 289

After a stellar UFC career, Amanda Nunes finally announced her retirement from mixed martial arts. However, Nunes’ fiercest adversary, Julianna Pena, claimed that by retiring so soon, she is dodging their trilogy bout. 

In the main event of UFC 289 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Amanda defeated Irene to keep her bantamweight title. After winning the five-round fight by scores of 50-44, 50-44, and 50-43, the illustrious Brazilian MMA fighter decided to retire.

Julianna Peña is not happy about Amanda Nunes’ retirement

The long-running animosity between Nunes and Pena resulted in numerous verbal scuffles in interviews and on social media. Julianna in an interview with the MMA Hour, expressed her thoughts regarding Amanda’s retirement decision. 

“She’s dead to me at this point. Now we’re stepping into day one of the ‘Peña Power’ era. I’ve always been the champ in my heart and in my head. So it’s just a matter of time before the belt’s around my waist again.” Pena said 

‘The Lioness’ will undoubtedly be considered the top female fighter pound-for-pound for a very long time because she is the only woman in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions at once. The Brazilian fighter’s career record stood at 23-5-0 at the time of retirement.

Julianna Pena on future fight possibility with Amanda Nunes

The rivalry between “The Lioness” and “The Venezuelan Vixen” started in 2017 when Pena called out Nunes but the Brazilian didn’t take Pena as a deserving candidate for a title opportunity. The hostility between the two continued to grow.

They finally squared off in the octagon in 2021 in UFC 269. The American fighter shocked the world by ending Amanda’s 12-fight win streak. However, Nunes took immediate revenge by defeating Pena in her next bout. 

Pena, the first-ever The Ultimate Fighter winning woman, still hopes that Nunes will come back and they will have their much-anticipated trilogy bout to settle the debate once and for all. 

“Hopefully she comes back. That would be the best-case scenario so we can squash this thing and finish this trilogy. It was literally going to be the greatest trilogy in women’s MMA.” Pena said.

Other than Julianna Pena, Amanda has defeated several other notable MMA competitors over the course of her 15-year professional career, including Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko, Germaine de Randamie, Raquel Pennington, and Sarah D’Alelio.

Do you think Julianna Pena was the toughest opponent Amanda Nunes has ever faced in the Octagon? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section. 

Khandaker Muntasir

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As a passionate UFC enthusiast, Khandaker Muntasir Hossain provides coverage of MMA, wrestling, and boxing on multiple platforms. With his deep knowledge of sports, he immerses readers in the excitement of various arenas, whether it's the octagon, squared circle, pitch, court, or ring. Through his writing and love for sports, he aims to motivate others to explore their own sporting interests and experience the magic that sports bring.


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