Julianna Pena blasts Amanda Nunes after ‘The Lioness’ teases potential UFC comeback: ‘What a joke’

Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes

Julianna Pena knew Amanda Nunes couldn’t stay away for very long.

Nunes hung up her gloves following a successful bantamweight title defense against Irene Aldana in June, much to the chagrin of Pena who had been angling for a trilogy bout between the two. Nunes was in attendance for Raquel Pennington’s title-winning performance against Mayra Bueno Silva at UFC 297 in Toronto and opened the door for a return to the Octagon during a backstage interview with Megan Olivi.

Pena, who notoriously booed as Amanda Nunes delivered her retirement speech last summer, was none-too-surprised to hear that ‘The Lioness’ is already eyeing a potential comeback.

“Here’s the thing that really chaps my ass,” Peña said on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “When I was at her last fight, I was booing because she was going into retirement and I was like, ‘Don’t go into retirement. We have literally the biggest fight in women’s history, a trilogy that’s never been done before. What are you doing saying you’re going to retire? What a joke.’

“It warrants a boo because she’s over there telling Megan Olivi that she’s coming out of retirement. So I was right, and it was ‘Mystic Peña’ once again. Like, they were going to get mad at me and all her fans are upset at me. ‘Why would you boo her? How dare you?’ But it’s like, how dare she? How dare she say that she’s retiring and then one women’s fight later now she’s saying she’s coming back. Get out of here.”

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The Venezuelan Vixen’ scored one of the biggest upsets in UFC history with a second-round rear-naked choke submission against Nunes to claim the bantamweight title in December 2021. Seven months later, Pena handed the title right back to Nunes in a lopsided unanimous decision loss that set the stage for an anticipated trilogy fight between the two 135-pounders.

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With Julianna Pena slated to challenge Pennington for the bantamweight title this summer, it could once again put Nunes and the TUF alumnus on a collision course.

“Look, great for business, I’ve been trying to coax her into coming back this entire time.” Peña said. “It’s absolutely beautiful for everyone, and I knew she wasn’t going to be able to stay away. She was just doing that retirement for attention. It’s just ridiculous.”