Julianna Pena slams Amanda Nunes after UFC 297 retirement comments: “How dare she?”

By Josh Evanoff - January 22, 2024

Julianna Pena is unhappy with Amanda Nunes’ comments at UFC 297 over the weekend.

Julianna Pena, Amanda Nunes

‘The Lioness’ was in attendance in Canada, to watch the new women’s bantamweight champion crowned. In the co-main event, Raquel Pennington defeated Mayra Bueno Silva by unanimous decision. In the process, picking up where Amanda Nunes left off. Last summer, ‘The Lioness’ famously vacated the title, retiring following a win over Irene Aldana.

One name that was very, very unhappy about Amanda Nunes’ retirement was Julianna Pena. ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ famously faced the Brazilian twice, going 1-1 against the legendary former champion. Pena was even scheduled to face Nunes last summer but was forced out due to injury. Which, led to Aldana stepping in on short notice.

Lost in the headlines after UFC 297 was that Amanda Nunes’ retirement could be over. Speaking to Megan Olivi at the event, the former champion admitted that she could be coaxed back into fighting, as she’s still young and healthy. Those comments clearly got on the nerves of Julianna Pena.

The former champion tore into her rival on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani earlier today. There, Julianna Pena slammed Amanda Nunes and her “fake retirement”. The Venezuelan previously made similar comments about the Brazilian last year but was bashed by many for it. With that in mind, Pena fired shots at the Brazilian, as well as her fans.


Julianna Pena, Amanda Nunes

Image Credit: @UFC/Instagram

Julianna Pena slams Amanda Nunes following UFC 297 retirement comments

“Here’s the thing that really chaps my ass.” Julianna Pena stated on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, taking aim at Amanda Nunes. “I was at her last fight, I was booing because she was ‘going into retirement’. Don’t go into retirement, we have the biggest fight in women’s history, a trilogy that’s never been done before. What’re you doing saying you’re going to retire? What a joke. It warrants a boo because she was over there telling Megan Olivi that she’s coming out of retirement.”

She continued, “So I was right, and it was ‘Mystic Pena’ once again. Like, they were going to get mad at me ‘How could you boo her, how dare you?’ but how dare she? How dare she say she’s retiring, and then one women’s [title] fight later now she’s saying she’s coming back. Get out of here.”

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

While Julianna Pena firmly believes that Amanda Nunes is returning to fighting, that’s far from confirmed as of now. As far as the Venezuelan is concerned, she’s currently expected to face Raquel Pennington in the summer.

What do you make of these comments from Julianna Pena? Do you believe that Amanda Nunes will ever fight again? If so, who do you hope to see ‘The Lioness’ face?


Amanda Nunes Julianna Pena UFC