On December 30, in the main event of UFC 207, Ronda Rousey will return to action for the first time since she chowed down on a Holly Holm head-kick in November of 2015. The former bantamweight champion will make this comeback opposite Amanda Nunes, the woman who now wears the division’s belt.
News of Rousey’s long-awaited comeback drove the MMA community into a frenzy of excitement. Whether you love her or hate her, at least she’s fighting again.
Not everyone, however, was pleased when news of Rousey’s comeback fight broke. There was perhaps no one more disappointed by the news than streaking bantamweight contender Julianna Peña.
Under normal circumstances, Peña’s UFC 200 win over Cat Zingano, which extender her streak to four, would have earned her a shot at the bantamweight title. The ever-present possibility of Rousey’s return, however, has always made the bantamweight title picture a bit murky. If she did come back, she’d almost certainly jump the contendership line and receive an immediate title shot.
To Peña’s disappointment, that’s exactly what’s happened. And so, her title shot will have to wait until Nunes and Rousey have settled their score.
Unfortunately for Peña, however, this could take even longer than expected, as Nunes recently told MMAJunkie.com that, if she wins at UFC 207, she’d be keen on giving Rousey an immediate rematch.
“Of course she has the right to fight for the belt,” Nunes said of Rousey’s immediate title shot. “She only lost once, and took some time off to rest. If you look at it on the internet, everyone is waiting for Ronda Rousey to return. Today, the UFC has women’s MMA because Rousey managed to change Dana White’s mind and put it in the UFC.”
“I think she has the right to fight for the belt – not only once, but twice,” Nunes continued. “I’ll beat her and give her a rematch right after that if she wants.”
This admission from Nunes does not bode well for Peña. Yet the champ is not particularly sympathetic to the contender’s situation.
“There’s Julianna Peña, who needs to stop talking and fight – because people want to see big fights,” Nunes said of Peña’s title-shot-or-bust attitude. “That’s why they scheduled this fight with me and Ronda, because it’s a great fight. Julianna needs to make her name, to lift up her name in order for people to start asking for that fight.”
Do you think Julianna Peña deserved the next bantamweight title shot over the returning Ronda Rousey? Sound off, PENN Nation!