Holly Holm says kidney swelling forced her out of Julianna Pena fight

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Holly Holm has confirmed the news that she has been ruled out of her upcoming bout with Julianna Pena due to swelling in the kidneys.

Holm (14-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC), who was scheduled to meet Pena at UFC Fight Night on May 8, has been diagnosed with hydronephrosis – a swelling in the kidneys that occurs when urine fails to properly drain from the kidney to the bladder. Pena revealed Holm’s withdrawal via social media during UFC 259.

Holm says she’s been experiencing sharp, recurring pain in her abdomen, which eventually prompted her to go to the hospital last Wednesday. The former UFC bantamweight champion is now expecting to undergo a procedure that will sideline her for about four to six weeks and is hoping that her fight with Pena (10-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) gets rebooked later this summer.

Speaking on her official Instagram account on Monday, Holm explained why she won’t be fighting Pena on May 8.


“Much love to everyone reaching out with care and concern. Turns out I have hydronephrosis. In my case, it’s something they say I was born with but just hadn’t had any problems until now. I’m doing great and will be fine. A little bump in the road but thankfully it’s fixable. I hope to only have to postpone a few weeks from the original date of May 8 to fight. Excited to get back in there and put it all on the line for you guys!!!”

Julianna Pena won’t wait for Holly Holm, wants Nunes next

Minutes before the UFC 259 co-main event between women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and 145-pound title challenger Megan Anderson, Pena (10-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) announced on Twitter her scheduled May 15 fight vs. Holly Holm is canceled.

Since Pena announced Holm’s withdrawal, she has been campaigning for a crack at dual-champion Amanda Nunes’ bantamweight title. Nunes is coming off a quick finish over Megan Anderson at UFC 259 for her second featherweight title defense and Dana White said he’s looking to have Nunes make a quick turnaround and defend her 135-pound strap. White sounded open to the idea of Pena getting the shot, but with Holm saying she won’t be sidelined for long, her fight with Pena may end up getting rebooked.

Nunes trolled Pena in response to that promo, and this past Saturday, she appeared no more eager to give the veteran the opportunity.

Holly is off, she can fight Germaine [de Randamie],” Nunes said at the post-fight press conference for UFC 259. “I feel like she has to get in the mix, but we’ll see. I’m going to go back down, I’m going to see my diet because now I’m pretty heavy, so yeah. I’m a champion. I’m never going to turn down fights. I’m going to be facing whoever Dana White wants me to face.”

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