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Dana White hints at Julianna Pena being next opponent for Amanda Nunes

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Julianna Pena could be next in line to face Amanda Nunes for her next title defense at bantamweight.

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Julianna Pena after her win at UFC 257.
Julianna Pena after her win at UFC 257.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Julianna Peña may be getting her wish of meeting UFC champion Amanda Nunes granted after all.

Peña has asked for a fight with Nunes since returning to the Octagon and earning a third-round submission over Sara McMann at UFC 257 in January. She explained why she believed she should have been next for Nunes during her post-fight appearances, but was met with somewhat of a lukewarm reaction by the champion.

Nunes went on to meet a ranked contender at featherweight in Megan Anderson, who she defeated by way of first-round submission at UFC 259 last Saturday. With there now being no clear contender left for Nunes at 145 pounds, a return to 135 pounds is likely and Peña is more than happy to welcome her back to the division.

Peña once again called for Nunes in a series of tweets after revealing that her upcoming fight in May with former champion Holly Holm is off due to the latter suffering an injury while in training camp.

“Holly fell out she’s injured,” wrote Peña in one tweet. “Amanda fight me! Come defend your belt at 135 that you haven’t defended since 2019!”

Alongside her social media campaign, Peña also reached out to the UFC brass about getting the fight with Nunes soon and they seem to be open to it. UFC President Dana White told media members during his post-fight press conference that Peña had been texting them ever since the Nunes-Anderson fight ended and that she could be next for Nunes.

“Julianna Peña has been texting all of us all night,” said White. “She’s been busy tonight. Yeah, we could do that [fight].”

Nunes shared her thoughts about a fight with Peña during her post-fight press conference and was alright with eventually meeting the “Venezuelan Vixen”, but believed she still needs more fights before getting a championship opportunity.

“So, Holly is off. She can fight Germaine [de Randamie],” said Nunes. “I feel like she has to get in the mix, but we’ll see. I'm going to go back down and I’m going to see my diet because now I’m pretty heavy, so yeah. I feel like I’m a champion and I’m never going to turn down fights. I’m going to be facing whoever Dana White wants me to face.”

Peña and de Randamie have already met before at UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana, where Peña was submitted in the third round by a guillotine choke. A No. 1 contender fight between those two does make sense, but White is adamant about getting Nunes a quick turnaround. Because Nunes has previously defeated de Randamie, it looks like Peña may get the shot.