The UFC has rebooked a massive title fight in the women’s bantamweight division. The promotion announced today that Amanda Nunes (21-4) will return to defend her bantamweight crown against Julianna Pena (10-4) in December.
The fight will take place at UFC 269 on December 11th. Originally, these two were supposed to fight earlier this month in the UFC 265 co-main event. However, after Nunes tested positive for Covid, the fight was called off.
Pena was vocal about wanting an interim UFC title shot if Nunes wasn’t going to be able to fight anytime soon. However, the promotion was able to get this fight back on the books relatively quickly.
Back at UFC 257, Pena defeated Sara McMann by third round fear-naked choke. After the fight was over, she started calling for this fight with Amanda Nunes.
Pena stated that the UFC‘s two-division champion had been ducking her for years. The callouts were odd to me considering where Pena was in the division. The Venezuelan Vixen is just 2-2 in her last four and was put to sleep against Germaine de Randamie last October.
Nevertheless, the trash talk seemed to work and the UFC decided to give Pena the fight. If the current rankings hold, Julianna Pena will enter the cage in August as the fifth ranked bantamweight.
UFC 269 Grudge Match
Amanda Nunes is the greatest of all time and let’s be clear, Julianna Pena really doesn’t deserve this shot at UFC 269. Her resume doesn’t exactly make her the number one contender. Especially considering the top contender just put her to sleep in 2020.
However, Pena called out the champion and that’s what she’s getting. Nunes has defeated the best the UFC has to offer at both 135 and 145 pounds. Pena is one of the few bantamweights that Nunes hasn’t had the privilege of fighting yet.
Perhaps that had a lot to do with this booking as well. Either way, it should be a fun build back up to UFC 269. The last time we saw Nunes was when she demolished Megan Anderson at UFC 259.
The win was Nunes’ second straight defense of her featherweight title. Now, Nunes will return to the division that made her a champion for the first time.