DALLAS — One of the most anticipated rematches in women’s MMA history is now official.
Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes both successfully made weight Friday morning ahead of their UFC women’s bantamweight title fight. Peña weighed in at 134.5 pounds, and Nunes was 135. On Saturday, Peña will defend the belt against Nunes, the woman she beat for it, in the main event of UFC 277 at American Airlines Center.
Peña made things interesting, weighing in with just three minutes left in the two-hour weigh-in window. She was the final fighter to the scale but came in a half pound under the bantamweight title fight limit.
Nunes is considered the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time, and her loss to Peña last December at UFC 269 was one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history. ESPN has Nunes ranked No. 2 and Peña ranked No. 4 on its pound-for-pound women’s MMA list.
Peña (11-4) has won two straight, including the second-round submission win over Nunes in December. The fighter from Washington, who trains out of Chicago, has won seven of her past nine fights overall. Peña, 32, was the first female Ultimate Fighter tournament winner in 2013.
Nunes (21-5) was on a 12-fight winning streak before her loss to Peña. The Brazilian slugger, who trains out of South Florida, is still the UFC women’s featherweight champion. Nunes, 34, is the first UFC fighter to defend two titles in separate weight classes concurrently and owns wins over the likes of Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko. She has seven title defenses across two divisions, the most for a woman in UFC history.
Both co-main event competitors also made weight. Former UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (124.5 pounds) and Kai Kara-France (124.5) will compete for the interim flyweight title Saturday night. The winner will be queued up to fight champ Deiveson Figueiredo in the future. ESPN has Moreno ranked No. 2 and Kara-France at No. 3 in the world at flyweight.
Moreno (19-6-2), a 28-year-old Mexican fighter, had a seven-fight unbeaten streak snapped by Figueiredo in a title fight at UFC 270 in January. Kara-France (24-9, 1 NC), a 29-year-old from New Zealand, has won three in a row and is trying to become the third member of his team to win a UFC title, following middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski.
Joselyne Edwards missed weight by 1.5 pounds, coming in at 137.5 for a scheduled bantamweight bout against Ji Yeon Kim. The bout will go on with Edwards forfeiting 20% of her purse. Orion Cosce weighed in at 172.5 pounds, 1.5 over the welterweight nontitle limit. He’ll also be fined 20%, and his scheduled bout with Blood Diamond will go on as scheduled.