In a few short weeks, in the main event of the UFC’s latest Fox broadcast, The Ultimate Fighter 18 winner Julianna Pena will battle fellow bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko. The winner of this fight is more than likely to get the next shot at reigning bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes.
While Pena is obviously eager for her long-awaited crack at UFC gold, she explained on a recent episode of Brian Stann’s radio show Toe-2-Toe on SiriusXM Rush that she wishes the bantamweight crown was still owned by former champion Ronda Rousey. Apparently, Pena has wanted to fight Rousey since her days on The Ultimate Fighter 18– a season Rousey coached. The top-ranked bantamweight also feels that Rousey has been avoiding her.
“It just sucks that Ronda’s been dodging me this whole time. When I was on The Ultimate Fighter and Dana allowed women to fight in the UFC, she was fighting one girl while I fought four girls in seven weeks. The reason why they don’t count those fights as real is because it would be illegal. It would be absolutely illegal to allow that many fights in that short amount of time.”
“The thing that drives me crazy is that I took out her whole team. She should’ve wanted to fight me in vengeance for her team right after I beat every member on her team. I dismantled all of them. It drives me crazy that it wasn’t me that was able to do it and it drives me crazy that she’s been dodging me this whole time and that I wasn’t the one to be able to dethrone her. To show everyone that this girl’s been spoiled. She’s been handpicking her fights from day one. She’s been getting everything handed to her because her name is Ronda Rousey and she’s been brought up to be this glorious god that was untouchable and it just drives me crazy that I wasn’t able to be the one to dethrone her from the beginning.”
As much as Pena would still enjoy the chance to fight Rousey, she conceded that it’s unlikely to happen, as Rousey’s future is currently veiled in mystery.
“Hats off to Holly Holm and hats off to Amanda Nunes for getting the job done. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to be me and I don’t know if it ever will be because I don’t know if she’s ever gonna come back or not.”
How do you think a Julianna Pena vs. Ronda Rousey fight would go? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article was first posted on BJPenn.com on 11/1/17.