Albuquerque MMA fighter Holly Holm has withdrawn from her scheduled May 8 fight against Julianna Peña due to injury, it was reported late Saturday night.
It was Peña (10-4) who broke the news on Twitter during the pay-per-view telecast of UFC 259 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I’ve just been informed that Holly Holm is injured and has pulled from our scheduled bout May 8,” Peña wrote. “I wish her a full recovery.”
Holm (14-5) was to have provided analysis on a Friday pay-per-view boxing card in Flint, Michigan featuring Claressa Shields, Holm’s sometime training partner at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, but canceled. Lenny Fresquez, Holm’s longtime Albuquerque promoter, said she’d decided to have a nagging physical problem addressed. He declined to disclose the nature of the problem.
He said at the time he didn’t believe the issue would affect Holm’s availability for the May 8 fight, but apparently it has.
A phone message left for Fresquez on Sunday was not returned.
Peña used the opportunity to stump for a bantamweight title shot against champion Amanda Nunes, who on Saturday defended her UFC featherweight title with a victory by first-round submission (arm bar) over Megan Anderson.
After Saturday’s card, UFC President Dana White said he was amenable to matching Peña against Nunes. However, Nunes said that — with Holm unavailable — she’d prefer to see Peña fight a rematch against Germaine De Randamie, who defeated Peña by third-round submission (guillotine choke) on Oct. 3.
It’s not clear how kindly disposed White would be toward a Peña-De Randamie rematch, since it has been reported that De Randamie turned down a rematch with Holm — whom she defeated by unanimous decision four years ago.
That led to the Peña-Holm matchup that now has dissolved.