Two-division UFC women’s champion Amanda Nunes has been ruled out of her latest title defence after testing positive for COVID-19.
Nunes was all set to put her UFC women’s bantamweight title on the line against Julianna Pena at UFC 265 on August 7, but after she, her wife Nina and their daughter Raegan all tested positive, “The Lioness” has been forced off the fight card.
The news was confirmed to ESPN by UFC’s chief business officer Hunter Campbell, who also stated that the bout would be rescheduled once Nunes tested negative and was fully recovered and ready to fight.
The bout was scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas in the co-main event slot. The scheduled main event, a battle for the vacant interim heavyweight title between Houston’s Derrick Lewis and French contender Cyril Gane, remains intact and will headline the event.
The bout between Nunes and Pena will likely be rescheduled, pending negative test results from Nunes.
“The Lioness” has been the most dominant force in women’s MMA over the past decade, and currently holds both the UFC’s bantamweight and featherweight world titles.
Her status as two-division champion was complicated – in a happy way – with the news that she and her wife (and fellow UFC fighter) Nina were set to become parents for the first time.
It meant that, although Nunes had defended the featherweight belt twice in her last two appearances, her last defence of the 135-pound bantamweight crown was back in 2019, when she outpointed Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245 in LAs Vegas.
With the Nunes-Pena bout ruled out, the UFC 265 lineup looks like this:
- Derrick Lewis vs. Cyril Gane – for vacant interim heavyweight title
- Jose Aldo vs. Pedro Munhoz
- Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque
- Casey Kenney vs. Song Yadong
- Angela Hill vs. Tecia Torres
- Rafael Fiziev vs. Bobby Green
- Ed Herman vs. Alonzo Menifield
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Jessica Penne
- Anderson Dos Santos vs. Miles Johns
- Manel Kape vs. Ode Osbourne
- Melissa Gatto vs. Victoria Leonardo
- Vince Morales vs. Drako Rodriguez
- Johnny Munoz vs. Jamey Simmons