Julianna Pena was not impressed with Amanda Nunes’ decision to retire after a one-sided route of Irena Aldana at UFC 289 this past weekend (Sat., June 10, 2023) inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Pena and Nunes were supposed to fight for a third time in Vancouver, but the bout was scuttled after “The Venezuelan Vixen” withdrew over an injury. Aldana stepped in and froze, resulting in a one-sided mauling that ended with 50–44, 50–44, 50–43 scores. Following the fight, Nunes laid down her gloves and two championship belts, announcing her decision to retire (watch it).
“Of course she’s gonna retire when she knows she’s got to fight me — of course,” Pena said from ringside. “Don’t compare yourself to Anderson Silva! Do not compare yourself to Anderson Silva. Shut up! Boo! You suck!”
Pena shocked the world back in Dec. 2021 when she snapped Nunes’ 12-fight win streak at UFC 269, wobbling “The Lioness” with punches before securing a rear-naked choke submission in the second round of their championship fight (watch highlights). Pena’s 135-pound title reign wouldn’t last long. Nunes would come back strong a half-year later to blank her on the scorecards in the rematch. That fight featured 50–45, 50–44 and 50–43 scores.
You’d think that would be definitive enough to end the rivalry, but UFC decided to set up a third fight between the two women. A broken rib suffered by Pena in training derailed those plans, but she was healthy enough to turn up in Vancouver where she trash talked Nunes during multiple appearances and interviews.
“I scared you so bad into retirement,” Pena wrote in a tweet after Nunes’ win over Aldana. “Personally, Congratulations. Professionally, wtf was that?”
“Canadians don’t boo, they just walked out quietly before The fight was over,” she added in a second tweet, adding the hashtags #snoozefest, #terrible, #stinker, and #ducking.
During UFC 289’s post-fight press conference, Nunes addressed Pena’s chirping.
“Oh my goodness, what to say about that girl?” Nunes said. “She’s supposed to be here. I’m supposed to beat her tonight again. She’s the one who doesn’t know who to train, she broke a rib. What am I gonna do about that?”
Nunes’ retirement opens up the women’s Bantamweight division, and now Pena and other challengers finally have a chance to establish themselves as champions in the division. It looks like no one will get a shot at Nunes’ women’s Featherweight title. Following her retirement, UFC President, Dana White, suggested the promotion would shut down the 145-pound division (full details here).
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 289: “Nunes vs. Aldana” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.