Julianna Peña was supposed to co-headline UFC 265 on Saturday against Amanda Nunes. But the latter had tesed positive for COVID-19. The double-champ could not compete and “The Venezuelan Vixen” was furious.
Dana White nixed Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes
The 31-year-old Peña was left frustrated by the recent turn of events, especially as she had been in training camp since March. In a conversation with the media during Saturday’s fight night, she vented it all out while calling for an interim title fight booking.
“It’s a little bit frustrating. ‘You bleed me dry? Is this your game plan? What is the motive here?’ Especially because I heard from a teammate of hers that she hasn’t even been training. And even when she was healthy and is healthy, she has barely been in the gym.
That part has been frustrating for me because I have been making this fight my top priority. I have been living in the gym. My house is a launching pad. I literally just go there, change clothes, take a shower, and go to the next one. My kid has been taking all the sacrifices just like I have. She lives in her car seat. And I’ve been doing the mom thing as well.
If you’re not gonna fight in December, it will be two years since she defended the belt at 135 pounds. We got to keep the train moving. Let’s get a girl in there that’s ready to rock and we’ll fight for the interim belt. And when (Amanda) is ready to come back, she can come pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.”
The main event saw an interim title fight between heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Cyril Gane. It was a controversial booking because, unlike Nunes, incumbent champion Francis Ngannou just won the belt in March, was healthy and ready for his first title defense by September. Khabib ‘Humiliated’ In Training Fight By UFC Star
The UFC President opened up on booking interim title fights. Peña should be getting her shot. But according to the company president that will not be taking place.
White told the media during his UFC 265 post-fight scrum:
“What happened tonight in the heavyweight division compared to what’s going on there in that division is apples and oranges. You can’t even compare them. (Peña) didn’t disagree with that either.”