Holly Holm Reveals Kidney Condition Forced Exit from Julianna Pena Bout

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 9, 2021

Holly Holm has confirmed her withdrawal from proposed May 8 bout against Julianna Pena.

In a video on Instagram, the former bantamweight queen revealed that she was diagnosed with a kidney condition called hydronephrosis. According to kidney.org, “hydronephrosis is the swelling of a kidney due to a build-up of urine. It happens when urine cannot drain out from the kidney to the bladder from a blockage or obstruction. Hydronephrosis can occur in one or both kidneys.”

Holm said that she expects to make a relatively quick recovery and hopes to have the Pena fight rebooked by the summer.

“Last Wednesday I had super abdominal pains, and I went to urgent care. It’s been something kind of reoccurring but hasn’t driven me to urgent care until last Wednesday,” Holm said. “Lo and behold I have hydronephrosis, which is where the kidney does not drain to the bladder correctly.

“So they admitted me that night to get a little procedure done, to get a stent put in there. But I do need to get it fixed permanently. The good thing is it’s a very fast recovery. They say four to six weeks, so it can’t be too long. The sooner I can get in, the sooner I can get out, the sooner I can be training and hopefully we can get this fight postponed a few weeks….I am doing fine. Thank you so much for the messages.”

Holm enjoyed a productive 2020, posting unanimous decision victories over Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana. Pena, who has won six of her eight Octagon appearances, called out Amanda Nunes shortly after learning of Holm’s exit. The promotion has not made an official announcement regarding Holm vs. Pena as of this writing.

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