UFC president Dana White has said that Amanda Nunes’ shocking loss to Julianna Pena has cost her a “mega-million-dollar” bout against Kayla Harrison.
In what many have dubbed one of the greatest upsets of all time in the elite promotion, the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ handed the two-weight champion her first defeat in seven years via a second-round rear-naked choke after the pair had traded stand-up blows.
Watching in the stands at UFC 269 in Las Vegas was PFL lightweight queen Harrison, who is being lined up for a switch to the UFC and a potential lucrative superfight against ‘The Lioness’.
But while Nunes has only been relieved of her bantamweight strap and still has the featherweight one in tow that Harrison was tipped to challenge her for, White has thrown that possibility out of the window.
“These are those things, man, for Kayla Harrison, the Amanda Nunes fight was huge,” he said at his post-event press conference.
Dana White's expression when asked about Kayla Harrison coming into the UFC after Nune's loss tonight.. but let's remember Nune's is STILL the 145 champ. She didn't lose the belt that Harrison would be chasing..#UFC269 pic.twitter.com/Q3CzClJ88y
— M U N C H NEWS (@MUNCHmma) December 12, 2021
“If they would have faced off it would have been a massive, mega-million-dollar fight…
“If Amanda Nunes had won tonight, the Kayla Harrison fight would be one of the biggest fights you would have ever seen,” added White, suggesting that the contest was now more off the cards than on.
As some unlucky punter reportedly lost a whopping $318,000 backing Nunes, Harrison also knew what was at stake by letting out a long “f*ck!” at the T-Mobile Arena in the mad seconds that followed Pena’s victory.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 12, 2021
BIG ASS BET one bettor is backing Amanda Nunes moneyline with $318K.
Potential Payout? $349,800
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) December 12, 2021
Dana White: For a Kayla Harrison, the Amanda Nunes fight was huge. If they would have faced off, it would have been a multi-million dollar fight. It would have been one of the biggest fights you’ve ever seen. #UFC269
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 12, 2021
Harrison is still in talks to join the UFC in 2022, but also negotiating with her are the PFL, who wish to keep their biggest female draw, as well as Bellator, where she could take on Cris Cyborg.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 12, 2021
Even if it has had the shine taken off it though, the Harrison-Nunes showdown isn’t completely dead in the water.
But while that might have been the first order of business next spring or summer, a rematch with Pena has to be next up, White suggested.