Julianna Pena believes ‘nobody’ is excited for UFC 297 title fight between Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington

By Josh Evanoff - January 17, 2024

Julianna Pena believes that Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva are fighting for the chance to face her at UFC 297.

Julianna Pena posing

‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ has been out of action since her rematch with Amanda Nunes in July 2022. That night saw Julianna Pena absolutely battered, and lose her UFC bantamweight gold. The following year, ‘The Lioness’ retired following a win over Irene Aldana. In the process, leaving the women’s bantamweight division without a champion.

Many assumed that Julianna Pena would be a part of the vacant title fight to crown a new champion. However, due to injury, she missed out on that opportunity. This Saturday night at UFC 297 in Canada, Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington will instead fight to establish the new queen at 135 pounds. Both women enter the contest riding lengthy undefeated streaks.

However, Julianna Pena feels that the two contenders aren’t pulling their weight in terms of promotion. On The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani earlier today, she previewed the title fight between Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington. There, Pena slammed the contest, stating that it might as well be for an interim championship.

While Dana White hasn’t confirmed that Julianna Pena will receive a title shot upon her return, she’s pretty sure she will. The former champion was previously slated to face Amanda Nunes in the legend’s last fight in July. Pena is confident that her title shot is still guaranteed, and that she will face the winner of Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Raquel Pennington in 2024.


Mayra Bueno Silva UFC

(via ZUffa LLC)

Julianna Pena mocks UFC 297 title bout between Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington

“I am here to announce some breaking news! This Saturday night, ‘Cheetera’ will be fighting a block of wood at UFC in Toronto, Canada! They will be fighting for the opportunity to fight yours truly for the vacant belt, there’s is obviously the interim.” Julianna Pena jokingly stated on The MMA Hour earlier today. “They get the chance to face me, the grand prize of fighting for the real belt whenever we’re back. I was wondering if you were like, keeping close to the vest or if you told anybody.”

She continued, “Because, absolutely nobody knows about this title fight happening Saturday night! Were you holding out on us? Literally Dana White and the UFC begged me to come on your show, he’s a big fan by the way, and he wanted me to tell you there’s a fight! There’s a title fight for the interim bantamweight championship this Saturday. That’s why I’m here, I’m just letting everybody know that these girls are going to be fighting on Saturday.”

“Of course,” Julianna Pena concluded, speaking about Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Raquel Pennington. “I’m keeping a watchful eye.”

What do you make of these comments from Julianna Pena? Do you agree? Who do you have in the UFC 297 co-main event between Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington?