Julianna Pena is not happy with Amanda Nunes’ decision to retire following her victory at UFC 289. Pena, who defeated Nunes by submission in the second round, took to Twitter to express her disappointment.
I scared you so bad into retirement. Personally, Congratulations. Professionally, wtf was that? #UFC289
— Julianna Peña (@VenezuelanVixen) June 11, 2023
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Pena initially wrote before her tone shifted. “I scared you so bad into retirement,” Pena followed up. “Personally, congratulations. Professionally, wtf was that?” Pena has been taking subtle jabs at Nunes all fight week long like at the UFC press conference earlier in the week.
Nunes announced her retirement after the fight, saying that she was “tired of fighting.”
“I’ve been fighting for 12 years, and I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish,” Nunes said. “I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.”
Nunes also did take a jab at Pena after her win in an interview with Megan Olivi, “If it was Julianna I wouldn’t have retired tonight.” As she indicated she wanted to retire by beating someone new and not beating someone she has already beaten before.
Nunes: "If it was Julianna I wouldn't have retired tonight"
— The People's MMA 🦈 (@ThePeoplesMMA) June 11, 2023
Pena’s reaction to Nunes’ retirement is understandable. She had been training for this fight for months, and she was expecting a rematch until she injured her ribs during fight camp and lost her chance at a title fight. Now, the bantamweight title is vacant and Pena will never get the chance to settle the score against her arch-nemesis.
However, Nunes’ decision is also understandable. She has been the dominant force in women’s MMA for years, and she has nothing left to prove. It is still unclear what the future holds for Pena. She is currently the No.1 ranked UFC women’s bantamweight contender, but there is no clear challenger behind for her the title.
It is possible the UFC will set up an undisputed title fight between the No. 1 contender and former champion Julianna Pena and the No. 2 ranked contender and the person who weighed in as the backup for UFC 289 Raquel Pennington. There are a lot of moving parts before the UFC can just make another title fight but they will have to go back to the drawing board after UFC 289 and see what to make of it.
However, Nunes’ retirement is a major blow to women’s MMA. She was the dominant force in the division for years, and she will be missed. She will go down as arguably the greatest women’s MMA fighter in the history of not just the UFC but of this sport in general. Nunes was not only a great fight but a “Great human being” as Dana White said in the post-fight press conference.
It is a shame to see her go but her life is just not about fighting anymore. She is a gym owner and has a beautiful family that is welcoming their second child later this year. Nunes will be taking both the women’s bantamweight and featherweight belts with her into retirement with her hall-of-fame career. With her retirement, she subsequently diminished the women’s featherweight division along with it. Kudos to Amanda Nunes for all that she has accomplished in her career and happy retirement.