Julianna Peña downplays injury after Dana White said she had a 'big chunk missing from her forehead'

After Dana White told reporters that she met with a surgeon following Saturday's bantamweight championship defeat to Amanda Nunes at UFC 277, Julianna Peña downplayed the injury that she said was fixed with "a few stitches."

Nunes scored a resounding unanimous decision in five rounds to reclaim the belt that Peña took from her at UFC 269 in December. In the later rounds, Nunes repeatedly attacked Peña's forehead with elbows and fists. The attacks opened a gash in Peña's forehead that UFC president Dana White said left "a big chunk missing."

“Julianna’s got a big chunk missing from her forehead,” White told reporters after the fight, per MMA Junkie. “She’s going to see a plastic surgeon right now."

Peña: 'Just a cat scratch'

(Warning: Graphic image of injury is posted below)

On Sunday, Peña wrote on Instagram that the injury was "just a cat scratch that required a few stitches" and didn't require surgery.

"Tougher than a two dollar steak," Peña wrote. "Thanks for the love everyone! Just a cat scratch that required a few stitches, no chunks missing, no surgery necessary. Love you all!"

Nunes dominates to reclaim belt

Peña defeated Nunes via submission at UFC 269 to claim the bantamweight championship in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Nunes responded on Saturday by dominating every round of the rematch that judges scored 50-45, 50-44, 50-43 in her favor.

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After her previous submission loss, Nunes declined on Saturday to follow Peña to the ground following knockdowns in the fight's early rounds. But she shifted her strategy late and took the fight to the mat, where she delivered the blows that opened up the gash in Peña's forehead.

Amanda Nunes, top, goes to strike Julianna Pena during a mixed martial arts women's bantamweight title bout at UFC 277 on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Amanda Nunes repeatedly attacked Julianna Peña's forehead with elbows and fists in Saturday's bantamweight title fight. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Peña didn't relent and managed to challenge Nunes with multiple submission attempts. But Nunes escaped them all and was never threatened otherwise during the fight. She told reporters after her win that she believes she could have finished Peña, but wanted to fight to go the distance to demonstrate her dominance.

“I could have finished her, but I wanted to go five rounds with her tonight to prove I was better than her,” Nunes said. “I could have gone six, seven rounds.”