By Dane McGuire
UFC fans will soon have another trilogy fight to look forward to as Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña will square off at UFC 289 June 10 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia for Nunes’ 135-pound strap.
The series is split at one each after Nunes won the title back at UFC 277 in Peña’s first outing as champion. Nunes won via unanimous decision,50-45, 50-44, and 50-43, at UFC 277 following a submission loss at UFC 269.
In the immediate aftermath of defeat, Peña has taken to calling herself ‘The People’s Champion’ and advocating for the trilogy fight prior to the official announcement.
“The champ Amanda doesn’t have a fight, and former champ soon to be and new champ does not have a fight, so I feel like that’s the only fight to make,” Pena told MMA Junkie in December.
“That’s the only fight that makes sense for me, and that’s the only fight I see in my future. For me, there could be no other answer. They’re making Deiveson Figuieredo vs. Brandon Moreno 4 for Pete’s sake.
I finished her the first time, I ran out of time the second time, and I allowed her that opportunity to make those adjustments and to go back and change those things in that camp in the rematch. I absolutely feel like the kosher thing to do would be to allow me to make the same adjustments.”
Despite the history, Nunes has since said she expected to face top contender Irene Aldana next.
Nunes said of the next match-up with Peña, “Obviously, it’s five rounds, I look [forward] to that,” Nunes said. “It’s gonna be domination. If I have the opportunity to finish her, I will this time finish her. Whatever happens, I’m gonna be the one who has their hand raised at the end of the night.”
“I always say I leave it to what UFC decides,” Nunes told ESPN. “I’m ready, I’ve been training, I’m healthy. So, whatever UFC wants to do, I’m ready. I love to do this, I love to fight. I’m here to defend my belt, and Julianna wants it again, I don’t have any problems with defending my belt against her.
“I did [think it would be Aldana]. I thought it was gonna be her. Everything changed to Julianna and I was okay with it, too. No matter what, whatever UFC showed me the opponent, I’m gonna be happy to defend my belt.”
Meanwhile Aldana is currently rumored to be facing Raquel Pennington and it had been thought the two would face off at UFC San Antonio last month. As of yet, nothing has been made official.