Julianna Peña has not been quiet about her right to a title shot. ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ has won four UFC fights in a row, Peña seems poised for a shot at Amanda Nunes’ belt, however with the specter of Ronda Rousey’s possible return to the woman’s bantamweight division, Peña’s path to the belt becomes a bit more complicated.
Peña sounded off on the landscape of the woman’s 135 pound weight class and her case for a chance at UFC gold while on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour:
“I don’t know where that came from. I never called out Valentina. I’m not trying to go backwards, I just want fights that will propel me forwards.”
“I wanna fight for the belt. I wanna fight the best girls in the world. I want to wake up everyday and hit the pads and mitts with Amanda’s or Ronda’s face on them.”
“(I want) a fight Amanda or Ronda, nothing else really interests me. I’m waiting for the UFC to give me a call to fight either of those two girls. Those are the only fights that make sense for me, especially with me and Amanda both winning at UFC 200. It just makes the most logical sense. The only thing going on in my head, and what I was told, was that I would be fighting a for a title. And with the UFC going to Madison Square Garden (in November), it just works perfect with my timeline. I’m on idle, I’m still waiting, if they need me to step in at UFC 205 against Amanda or Ronda, let’s do it. I’m ready.”
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“I’ve heard (Ronda) is never coming back, like ever. But I guarantee you if she does come back, the only fight she would come back for would be Amanda. I think that’s bologna. I’ve been around from the very beginning (when the UFC introduced woman’s bantamweight division) I’ve been grinding and working my way up. I’m the only girl that’s consistently winning.
“Some of these girls are 1-1 (in the UFC) and I’m on a (four fight win streak) and the UFC is offering me to fight this girl. That matchup wouldn’t make any sense to me, and coming off of a loss, not just a loss but like a definitive loss, not to mention you got knocked the F out, then you get a title fight coming off of that? It doesn’t make sense. If this were a tournament-style format, I’d be the only one left standing.”
Peña last defeated Cat Zingano by unanimous decision at UFC 200. Before that, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ scored two first round TKOs, one of which earned her a performance of the night award.
Do you feel Julianna Peña has earned a title shot? Or should Ronda receive an immediate title shot if she returns? Sound off, PENN Nation!