Julianna Peña has taken aim at Valentina Shevchenko ahead of UFC 277.
Valentina Shevchenko (23-3 MMA) last fought Taila Santos (19-2 MMA) at UFC 275 on June 12th of this year. Shevchenko won via split decision.
Peña (11-4 MMA) dethroned former UFC dual champion Amanda Nunes (21-5 MMA) capturing the 135-pound title last December at UFC 269. The two are back at it this coming Saturday, July 30th at UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Although Peña wasn’t looking to rematch with Nunes, she explained to ‘Yahoo Sports’ that her division is the most stacked and took aim at former foe Valentina Shevchenko to make her point (h/t MMAJunkie):
“For the most part, the (145-pound) division – which has two people in it, honestly I really can’t name more than two – is just girls in the 35 that don’t want to cut weight so then they just move up to 45. Then they had to create a whole other division at 125 because Valentina couldn’t beat Amanda two times, so then they went and cut weight and created a division for her to move down to 125. The real fights, the best fights are at 135.”
It should be noted that the women’s flyweight division was introduced in 2017, and Shevchenko has ruled it, with seven title defenses. However, Peña believes the tougher challenges are at bantamweight.
Continuing Julianna Peña added:
“Now that I’ve become the champion, I’ve opened up the door to a whole list of girls that are gunning for a shot at me. That is what I wanted. That is what I called for, and I’m in this division to fight the best of the best, so I’ve got a lot of work to be done at 135 before I start being lazy and not wanting to make the weight class anymore.”
Do you agree with Peña’s comments? Who do you predict will win this coming Saturday – Peña or Nunes?
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