Julianna Pena took aim at Amanda Nunes ahead of their UFC 289 bout. Pena claims she’s broken her back carrying Nunes to the event during a recent episode of “The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani,” Pena joined to detail her rivalry with Nunes leading into their Main Event bout in June.
Helwani asked Pena her thoughts on Nunes saying that she thought it would be Irene Aldana for her next defense. Pena responded “She tried to do that same thing in this case" referencing her past claim that Nunes always told Pena to win one more. Pena continued “She [Nunes] said that I had to go fight Irene [Aldana] in order to fight for the belt against her again, but I don"t know how Irene comes up in this conversation at all, we"re 1 and 1, this is the biggest women"s mixed martial arts fight in history, it"s a trilogy fight, it"s a ‘Rocky" story." Pena continued, “I think the UFC knows that, they know how to do big business and make big fights, it"s the only fight that I called for."
Pena followed that up with a claim that the UFC would strip Nunes of the title if she didn"t take the Pena fight, “they [UFC] said that if she didn"t fight against me, she would be stripped. She had no choice but to fight me, she doesn"t want to fight me, they told me she doesn"t want to fight me, and she"s being forced to fight me because this is the only fight that makes sense."
Pena later explained how she"s carrying the promotional weight leading up to their trilogy bout, "I’m a star, [do] you realize how bad my back hurts right now?" Pena asked Helwani. Pena continued "My back is broken, okay? From carrying this fight and from making her relevant again after I beat her the first time. Literally, my back hurts." Pena then explained their main event booking, "We are of course going to be the main event [UFC 289]. I’m carrying us all the way there like I always do." Pena then explained her hype for the fight, saying “It"s my homecoming, back in the pacific northwest. The pacific northwest fans are jacked and it couldn"t be more perfect. I demanded this fight be in my hometown and in my home area, I got what I wanted and it"s all over but the crime."
UFC 289 in Vancouver
UFC 289 is scheduled for June 10th at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada.
The main event of UFC 289 will be Pena and Nunes" third fight against each other. Pena (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) shocked the world at UFC 269 in January 2022 by submitting the dominant champ- Nunes (22-5, 15-2 UFC) in the second round to end the champ’s 12-fight winning streak spanning seven years. The immediate rematch took place at UFC 277, Nunes pitched a shutout, recapturing her title by defeating Pena by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, and 50-43).
The UFC 289 card is as follows, keep in mind that bouts are subject to change at any given moment. Fight card via. Tapology.
- Women"s Bantamweight Title Bout: Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena
- Lightweight Bout: Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
- Featherweight Bout: Dan Ige vs. Nate Landwehr
- Welterweight Bout: Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira
- Middleweight Bout: Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis
- Women"s Flyweight Bout: Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Miranda Maverick
- Middleweight Bout: Eryk Anders vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
- Women"s Strawweight Bout: Diana Belbita vs. Maria Oliveira
- Featherweight Bout: Blake Bilder vs. Kyle Nelson
- Flyweight Bout: Matt Schnell vs. David Dvorak
- Featherweight Bout: Hakeem Dawodu vs. Lucas Almeida
- Bantamweight Bout: Aiemann Zahabi vs. Aoriqileng
What do you think of the UFC 289 card and how do you think the trilogy bout goes? Do you think the first fight was a fluke? Let us know in the comments below!
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