It looks like the targeted Amanda Nunes fight against Irene Aldana for the women's bantamweight title at UFC 285 will not be going ahead anymore. According to Combate journalist Raphael Marinho, the UFC has failed to reach an agreement with the Brazilian champion.
In the latest update by Combate, Marinho also reported that while Julianna Pena has been insistent on getting her trilogy fight against Nunes, 'The Lioness' is unwilling to give the 'The Venezuelan Vixen' another shot at the title.
The journalist further reported that the UFC also tried to book a fight between Aldana and Pena for a title shot against Amanda Nunes. However, the American is unwilling to fight unless there's gold to win. While Nunes remains adamant on her terms, the organization is looking for alternate opponents for Irene Aldana.
Amanda Nunes last fought against Julianna Pena at UFC 277, securing a unanimous decision victory to reclaim the women's bantamweight championship. The win was significant as she became a simultaneous two-division champion for the second time in her career.
UFC 285 will take place on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will feature Jon Jones making his long-awaited return to the octagon for a title fight against Ciryl Gane. Valentina Shevchenko will also defend her women's flyweight championship against Alexa Grasso.
Former women's bantamweight champion Julianna Pena calls for third Amanda Nunes fight
Julianna Pena won the bantamweight strap when she defeated Amanda Nunes in their first encounter at UFC 269 with a shocking second-round submission. However, Nunes successfully reclaimed her title at UFC 277 with a decisive victory over Pena and became the bantamweight champion for the second time.
It seems 'The Venezuelan Vixen' is eager to face the Brazilian again. Prior to the aforementioned report by Combate, Pena made her case during an interview with Brian Roberts for Forbes earlier this month. Pena recalled her first encounter with Nunes and claimed that 'The Lioness' was afraid of losing the belt to her:
"She rolled into that first post-fight press conference in a wheelchair, then had the nerve to say she was 'playing with her food,' but the truth is she's just scared to lose her belt... I was hitting her so hard [in the rematch], her eyes were rolling back, but the fans didn't see that... We're 1 and 1. This is unfinished business."