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Amanda Nunes Tests Positive for COVID-19; UFC 265 Fight vs. Julianna Pena Canceled

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The scheduled bout between UFC women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena at UFC 265 is off after Nunes tested positive for COVID-19.

UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell broke the news to ESPN's Mike Coppinger and said the plan is to reschedule the fight when Nunes is healthy.

Derrick Lewis vs. Cyril Gane for the interim UFC heavyweight title will headline the Aug. 7 event in Houston, per Coppinger.

The 33-year-old Nunes holds both the UFC women's bantamweight and featherweight titles. She won the bantamweight belt in 2016 and has successfully defended it five times since then.

Nunes' two most recent fights were featherweight title defenses, including a submission win over Megan Anderson at UFC 259 in March.

The native of Brazil owns a 21-4 professional record and is in the midst of a 12-fight winning streak. During that run, she has beaten many of the biggest names in the history of women's MMA, including Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko and Holly Holm.

Pena, 31, is 10-4 in her pro career and has alternated wins and losses over her past four fights.

She looked good in her latest outing, however, beating Sara McMann by third-round submission at UFC 257 in January.

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Pena has never held a title or had a title opportunity in the UFC, but she did win the bantamweight tournament on The Ultimate Fighter 18 in 2013.

The Spokane, Washington, native lost to Shevchenko in 2017 and Germaine de Randamie last year, but the win over McMann was enough to finally get her into the title conversation.

Provided the fight is rescheduled as planned, Nunes figures to be a heavy favorite over the less accomplished Pena.

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