Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm was expected to make her Octagon return against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 champion Julianna Pena at the promotion’s upcoming “Fight Night” event on May 8.
Unfortunately for “The Preacher’s Daughter,” an untimely injury has booted her from the 135-pound matchup, leaving “The Venezuelan Vixen” without an opponent ... unless division champion Amanda Nunes is willing to pitch in.
“Holly fell out she’s injured,” Pena wrote on Twitter. “Amanda fight me! Come defend your belt at 135 that you haven’t defended since 2019! Get rid of 145 it’s dead.”
UFC President Dana White is not against it.
“Julianna Pena has been texting all of us all night,” White told reporters at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie). “She’s been busy tonight. Yeah, we could do that.”
Nunes, fresh off her first-round destruction of Megan Anderson in the UFC 259 co-main event (highlights), won’t say no to any opponent — including Pena — but didn’t sound overly-enthused at the prospect of fighting the eager “Vixen.”
“Holly is off, so she can fight Germaine (de Randamie) again,” Nunes said. “I feel like she has to get in the mix again, but we’ll see. I’m a champ, you know. I’m never going to turn down a fight.”
The 31 year-old Pena (10-4), ranked No. 6 at 135 pounds, is coming off a submission win over Sara McMann at UFC 257 last January. Prior to that, the “Venezuelan Vixen” was finished by Germaine de Randamie at UFC on ESPN 16 in Oct. 2020.
Expect a decision on Nunes vs. Pena in the coming weeks.