UFC President Dana White announced Tuesday that Nunes’ originally scheduled opponent Julianna Peña has been forced out of their upcoming bantamweight championship trilogy bout scheduled for June 10 in Vancouver, Canada, due to injury. Stepping in to replace Peña is top contender Irene Aldana.
According to White, Peña broke her ribs and is unable to compete. This was to be the third meeting between Nunes and Peña, with Peña winning in a shocking upset via submission at UFC 269 to become champion and Nunes avenging that loss and regaining her title at UFC 277 with a dominant five-round performance.
Prior to her loss to Peña, Nunes successfully defended the bantamweight title five consecutive times. She is also the UFC’s reigning featherweight champion.
Aldana was previously scheduled for a rematch against Raquel Pennington on May 20 that likely would have decided a new No. 1 contender, but instead she moves right into a championship opportunity. The Mexican standout has won two straight fights and four of her past five, though she has not actually fought at 135 pounds in either of her past two contests.
This past September, Aldana won a scheduled 140-pound catchweight fight against Macy Chiasson with a spectacular upkick to the body knockout, and prior to that she scored a first-round TKO of Yana Santos after missing weight by over three pounds.
It is not yet known if Pennington will receive a new opponent for May 20.