Former UFC Bantamweight champion Julianna Pena revealed that Amanda Nunes did not want to fight her.
Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena are set to complete their trilogy bout at UFC 289 and speaking ahead of the fight, Pena noted that Nunes wanted to fight Irene Aldana.
“She said I had to go fight Irene [Aldana] to fight for the belt against her. But I don’t know how Irene comes up in this conversation at all. We’re 1-1. This is the biggest women’s MMA fight in history. It’s a Rocky story. I think the UFC knows that. I think the UFC knows that they know how to do business, they know how to do big business and make big fights. It’s the only fight that I called for. And I said, ‘You know what, if you don’t want to fight me, Amanda, which the brass told me directly, she does not want to fight me,” Pena told in the interview on MMA Hour.
Before their battle at UFC 269 in December 2021 Pena frequently accused Nunes of delaying a confrontation and said that the UFC should take away her title as punishment. She won a second-round submission to win the bantamweight title in an unexpected upset. However, Nunes easily prevailed in their rematch at UFC 277, which took place seven months later.
According to reports, the promotion reportedly wanted to match up Aldana and Nunes at UFC 285 in March. However, the fight was never made official, and Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight championship was given top booking instead.
“You have one fighter that can be finished and one fighter that cannot be finished. We are 1-1, and she knows that it’s gonna be a long night. She knows that she’s gonna have to work hard for her money, and she doesn’t want to put herself in that risk,” Nunes added.
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