UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will return to defend her belt against Julianna Pena at UFC 269 on Dec. 11, as reported by MMA journalist Marcel Dorff.
It’s been a while since Nunes has defended her bantamweight title, as the double champion has defended her featherweight title in back-to-back fights against Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson. She is arguably the most dominant female UFC champion in history with twelve straight wins, including seven straight title defenses in both of her divisions.
Nunes will face a brand-new challenge in Pena, who rose to the top of the bantamweight contenders by dominating Sara McMann en route to a submission win at UFC 257 earlier this year. The former The Ultimate Fighter winner is looking to cap off her hot streak with an upset win over Nunes.
Unlike Nunes’ past opponents, there’s some legitimate bad blood between her and Pena leading up to the matchup at UFC 269. Pena has been calling for a title shot against Nunes since her win over Nicco Montano in 2019 and cut up quite the promo during an interview with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani earlier this year. She accused Nunes of ducking her and took shots at her partner, Nina during the sit-down.
This will be the first time that Nunes has defended her bantamweight title since earning a unanimous decision win over Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245. She earned the featherweight title against Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 and has held both the bantamweight and featherweight belts simultaneously ever since.
The venue for the UFC 269 card has yet to be determined, and it’s unclear whether or not Nunes vs. Pena will be the main event on the card. The December pay-per-view was an original target date for Dustin Poirier vs. Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title, but negotiations haven’t progressed in recent weeks.
What is your early prediction for Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena at UFC 269?