Julianna Peña has a mouthful to say to those who think she got her bantamweight title shot by trash talking.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Peña doesn’t appreciate the notion that it was her rhetoric and not her résumé that earned her a title shot against Amanda Nunes at UFC 265. Sure, she is only ranked #6 in the women’s bantamweight division, but Peña argues that this number doesn’t accurately represent what she has achieved in this sport.
The first female winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Julianna Peña has since gone on to compile a cumulative UFC record of 6-2, with the two losses coming to former world champions, Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie. After losing to de Randamie, Peña was thought to be back at square one by many observers. One rear-naked choke submission later, and she finds herself lined up to challenge “The Lioness.”
So what, aside from her recent victory over Sara McMann, prompted this swift ascension? According to the next women’s bantamweight title challenger, it definitely wasn’t her verbiage.
“A lot of people say, ‘Well, she got the title fight from talking shit. I’m like, ‘No, I didn’t get the title shot from talking shit. I’m speaking my truth,” Peña said on The Perimeter with Adam Morrison. “I’m telling you what happened. I was 7-0 when you (Amanda Nunes) didn’t want to fight me. You beat Miesha Tate that night, and I beat Cat Zingano, who freakin’ literally made you curl up in the fetal position and the ref had to pull you off. You quit. I didn’t quit. I beat her. And she stomped a mudhole in you.
“So it’s like, I’m not trying to talk shit. I’m just saying facts of what I saw, and what I have done, and my experience. I came back from knee injury. I came back from having a baby. I’ve still been able to win at the highest level. I’ve dropped fights to Valentina and to Germaine, but with that being said, you were struggling with those girls when you fought them. I was dominating both of them before I, myself, got caught for being a freakin’ dumbass.”
UFC 265 takes place August 7, 2021, and is likely to occur in Houston, Texas. The targeted main event for the card is Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis. The bout between Amanda Nunes returning back down to bantamweight to defend her title against Julianna Peña is currently expected to serve as the co-main event.
Do you think Julianna Peña deserves this bantamweight title shot against Amanda Nunes?