COVID-19 Knocks Amanda Nunes Out of UFC 265 Co-Headliner

By Jay Pettry Jul 29, 2021

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The assault on Ultimate Fighting Championship co-main events continues, as an upcoming pay-per-view card has just lost a major bout.

ESPN broke the news on Thursday that Amanda Nunes (21-4) had contracted COVID-19, according to UFC exec Hunter Campbell. Due to her positive test, her UFC 265 championship tilt on Aug. 7 with Julianna Pena (10-4) is off. The promotion will look to rebook the matchup following Nunes’ recovery, and her timetable for return is currently unknown. Per MMA Junkie, Nunes, her wife Nina Nunes and their infant daughter all have COVID-19.

Nunes was planning on making her return to bantamweight after a pair of successful trips to featherweight to defend that title twice. In June 2020, Nunes battered Felicia Spencer to record a lopsided decision verdict, and she came back in March to tap out Megan Anderson in just over two minutes. “The Lioness” currently sports an incredible 12-fight win streak including eight stoppages with seven of those coming in the first round. She has defeated every woman to ever hold the 135- and 145-pound titles in UFC women’s divisional history.

Pena will need to wait a while longer to contend for a belt for the first time. The Washington native won her last fight in January, when she tapped out Sara McMann late into the third round. Pena, who won the inaugural women’s season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has alternated wins and losses in her last five appearances. Her wins over Cat Zingano and McMann bookend defeats to current 125-pound queen Valentina Shevchenko and ex-featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie, with a decision win over inaugural 125-pound champion Nicco Montano between them.

UFC 265 carries on inside the Toyota Center in Houston with one title fight, an interim heavyweight championship showdown between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. Other key matches on the main card include a bantamweight scrap between Jose Aldo and Pedro Munhoz, a welterweight thriller between Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque, and a 135-pound brawl pitting Casey Kenney against Yadong Song.

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