Amanda Nunes Says Aldana Was Original Opponent For UFC 289

Amanda Nunes UFC 259
Amanda Nunes Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The only current UFC champ-champ Amanda Nunes spoke out on her change in opponent at UFC 289 where she was originally set to face Julianna Peña in the main event, but an injury has forced the promotion to bring in Irene Aldana instead.

Speaking with UFC commentator and ESPN MMA contributor Jon Anik, Nunes revealed that her opponent at UFC 289 was supposed to be Mexican stand out Aldana all along. Until former champion Peña stepped in and took the fight.

“(Aldana) Actually was the original opponent. Me and the UFC was talking about it you know. They want Aldana next and everything was lined up to be Aldana,” Nunes said.

“I don’t know if Julianna cry about it, whatever happened, she ended up (getting) one more opportunity. But now we are here.”

Peña was supposed to get the trilogy fight in Vancouver, but had to withdraw due to injury. That opened the door for the original matchup with Aldana to headline UFC 289.

“So I was ready for (either). My job is defend the belt. Get ready, step in the cage, and get my belt home with me,” she said.

Nunes is excited to train for someone new, and a different type of opponent than her last two fights.

“At the end of the day I like to fight a good opponent, a respectable opponent like Aldana,” she said.

“It’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait for this.”

Nunes was ready for new opponents after taking the title back from Peña in their rematch at UFC 277 last July. She welcomes the Aldana matchup.

“I never fought her before. So Julianna had two opportunities. Obviously the first one was a bad night for me, I proved in the second one it was a bad night. Now I feel like we have to move on,” she said.

Watch the entire interview with Nunes and Anik below.


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