Morning Report: Amanda Nunes expected Irene Aldana next over Julianna Pena trilogy: ‘I thought it was gonna be her’


Amanda Nunes is set to run things back once again with Julianna Pena.

The UFC will make its long-awaited return to Canada this coming summer on June 10 in Vancouver. Currently set to headline the event will be the bantamweight title trilogy between the champion and former champion, Amanda Nunes, and Julianna Pena.

At the end of 2021, Pena did the unthinkable, stopping the consensus female greatest of all time Nunes in round two via a rear-naked choke submission. The rematch, however, played out in a much different fashion, seeing Nunes dominate “The Venezuelan Vixen” over the course of their allotted five rounds to a unanimous decision victory. The performance was enough for the promotion to grant Pena another crack at Nunes over top contenders such as Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana, coming to the surprise of fans as well as Nunes herself.

“I always say I leave it to what UFC decides,” Nunes told ESPN. “I’m ready, I’ve been training, I’m healthy. So, whatever UFC wants to do, I’m ready. I love to do this, I love to fight. I’m here to defend my belt, and Julianna wants it again, I don’t have any problems with defending my belt against her.

“I did [think it would be Aldana]. I thought it was gonna be her. Everything changed to Julianna and I was okay with it, too. No matter what, whatever UFC showed me the opponent, I’m gonna be happy to defend my belt.”

Aldana was previously linked to a potential title shot earlier than UFC 289, but discussions were premature as nothing came to fruition. The Mexican striking sensation has since been tied to a rematch with Pennington, which was targeted for UFC San Antonio late last month, but never came to be and isn’t yet officially booked. Pennington defeated Aldana in their first encounter via a split decision in July 2019.

Despite the surprise of a trilogy, Nunes isn’t upset with Pena being put in front of her for a third time. “The Lionness” just looks forward to dominating like she did her last time out and getting back to defending her belts at a more active clip.

“Obviously, it’s five rounds, I look [forward] to that,” Nunes said. “It’s gonna be domination. If I have the opportunity to finish her, I will this time finish her. Whatever happens, I’m gonna be the one who has their hand raised at the end of the night.”

Takeaways. Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira needs its epic conclusion, plus Masvidal’s 20-year road and more

Loss. Alex Pereira releases first statement following UFC 287 knockout loss to Israel Adesanya

Unique. Israel Adesanya explains ‘petty’ UFC 287 celebration aimed at Alex Pereira’s son

Future. Dana White expects ‘monster’ Alex Pereira to move to light heavyweight after UFC 287

Illegal. Gilbert Burns accuses Jorge Masvidal of greasing at UFC 287: ‘He was so slippery’

Record. Dana White on Jorge Masvidal’s retirement: ‘That flying knee changed his life

Lineup. UFC 288 main card revealed featuring Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo championship headliner

Next. Rob Font welcomes Deiveson Figueiredo fight in Puerto Rico

UFC 287 Post-Fight Show.

UFC 287 Post-Fight Pressers.

Instant classic.

Free fight.

Full fights.


PFL 2, 2023 Highlights.

Volk loses it.

Sterling on Rosas.

Paddy pizza.

New man.


Sick matchup.




Instant classic.

No doubt.

No training.


The journey.




Fair enough.

Amanda Nunes (22-5) vs. Julianna Pena (12-5); UFC 289, June 10

Hakeem Dawodu (13-3-1) vs. Luis Almeida (14-1); UFC 289, June 10

Aiemann Zahabi (9-2) vs. Aoriqileng (24-9); UFC 289, June 10

Bo Nickal (4-0) vs. Tresean Gore (4-2); UFC 290, July 8

BVB is so insane live, you guys. Saw them earlier this year and I’m dying for more. Fingers crossed they’re back soon.

Happy Monday! What a weekend. Thanks for reading!

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 68% of 526 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Will Francis Ngannou fight in 2023?

Thursday: 71% of 477 total votes answered “Yes” when asked, “Do you expect Colby Covington to make an appearance at UFC 287?

Wednesday: 85% of 617 total votes answered “Gilbert Burns” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Burns defeated Jorge Masvidal via a unanimous decision at UFC 287.

Tuesday: 57% of 668 total votes answered “Alex Pereira” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Israel Adesanya defeated Alex Pereira via second-round knockout (punches) at UFC 287.

Monday: 83% of 451 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Are you interested in an Anthony Pettis vs. Vitor Belfort boxing match?

Today’s exit poll:


Which fight do you prefer for Nunes next?

  • 34%

    Julianna Pena (3)

    (64 votes)

186 votes total

Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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