MMA fighter Julianna Pena loses ‘big chunk’ of her forehead, needs plastic surgery

Amanda Nunes, top, works against Julianna Pena in a mixed martial arts women’s bantamweight title bout at UFC 277 on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Dallas. (Richard Rodriguez/AP)

Boxer Julianna Peña lost more than her bantamweight title to Amanda Nuñes in Dallas on Saturday.

The 32-year-old also lost part of her forehead, according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White.

“Julianna’s got a big chunk missing from her forehead,” White told website MMA Fighting. “She’s going to see a plastic surgeon right now.”

An audience of 19,442 watched her downfall at the American Airlines Centre in Dallas on Saturday.

Pena had only just captured the title from Nunes in December 2021 in Las Vegas, claiming the title in one of the biggest upsets ever in the history of the UFC. Saturday was her first title defense in the 135-pound division.

After Nunes knocked her down in the third round, she pinned Pena to the mat, pounding her head along open cuts at the hairline. Blood was splattered everywhere, and the story didn’t change during the fourth and fifth rounds.

Knocked down three times over five rounds, she capitulated to Nunes and was whisked off to the hospital for a plastic surgery consult. Her return, and career, are in doubt.

“Take some time to heal, and then I don’t know,” White told MMA. “She got pretty banged up tonight. It was like five or six knockdowns in the first two rounds. She was hurt. She needs to take some time off. Relax, spend some time with her daughter, and then we’ll go from there.”