Amanda Nunes out of UFC 265, Positive for COVID-19

Amanda Nunes UFC 259 post-fight
Amanda Nunes Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

UFC 265 has lost it’s co-main event, as Amanda Nunes has tested positive for COVID-19 and will no longer face Julianna Peña at the PPV event.

UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell broke the news to ESPN on Thursday. The fight has been officially pulled from the card.

Nunes (21-4) was to defend the bantamweight belt for the first time since defeating Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245 in Dec 2019. Since then she has defended the featherweight belt twice, defeating Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson respectively.

Campbell told ESPN that the UFC is planning to reschedule the fight for a later date once Nunes is cleared, but did not give details on when that would happen. The UFC has booked up events through October, and November’s UFC 268 is quickly filling up as well.

Peña (10-4) was looking to challenge for her first UFC title coming off a submission win over Sara McMann at UFC 257 in January.

Losing this fight leaves UFC 265 with just one title fight, as Derrick Lewis will face Ciryl Gane for the interim heavyweight belt.

A couple of fights on the main card would make sense to bump up to the co-main slot. A bantamweight bout between former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Pedro Munhoz is available as is a welterweight fight between Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque. The UFC has not made an official announcement on what the card order will be.

Amanda Nunes took to Instagram to give a very brief statement.


With the world still in the middle of a global pandemic the UFC continues to err on the side of caution by removing fighters and their teams when they test positive for COVID-19.

This has not been the only title fight affected by the coronavirus. UFC 260 was to feature the men’s featherweight title fight with Brian Ortega challenging Alexander Volkanovski. That bout was cancelled when Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19. The fight was then moved to UFC 266.

UFC 265 takes place August 7, 2021 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.


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