Having won gold on MMA’s biggest stage in memorable fashion last December, Peña is set to return to her roots ahead of her first title defense later this year. Opposite Amanda Nunes, whom she dethroned at UFC 269, “The Venezuelan Vixen” will feature as a coach on this year’s edition of TUF, a reality show she won back in 2013.
At the culmination of the series, which premieres tomorrow night (May 3), Peña and Nunes will meet inside the Octagon for the second time.
As well as prepping for her rematch with the consensus female MMA GOAT, Peña will have had the challenge of developing and preparing her team for their own pursuit of a place in the UFC.
Given her vocal nature and confidence on the mic, it’ll perhaps come as no surprise that Peña’s boisterous personality shines through when she’s working with her pupils, something she’s warned viewers to expect when she’s present in her fighters’ corner.
Peña: “You’re Gonna Hear Me”
During a media scrum prior to the filming of TUF 30, Peña discussed her coaching stint, and how much she expects her competitive nature to transition to the different role.
After claiming that she’s a sought-after mind when it comes to being in the corner of local fighters, “The Venezuelan Vixen” suggested that’s down to two things: intelligence and volume.
With that in mind, the champion gave an early indication of the “annoying” presence fans can expect from her when watching Team Peña in action this season.
“When it comes to fighting, and I’ll just throw this forewarning out there, where I’m from, people would like, beg me to be their corner,” said Peña. “And I think it’s because they respect me as a fighter, but I also think it’s because I’m very loud. I have a very loud voice. It carries.
“So they would ask me to be in their corner because they know that if they get in a pinch, not only do I know what I’m talking about, I’m very loud and they’re gonna be able to hear me.
“So I’m just throwing it out there, please, caution to the wind, I’m probably gonna be the most annoying corner on Earth. However, if these fighters are fighting the way they should, and if they’re doing what they should be doing, you won’t hear a peep outta me.”
In an ideal world, Peña says her fighters would do everything perfectly and her advice won’t be needed. But given the developmental nature of TUF, it seems safe to say that we can expect some “squawking” from the bantamweight queen throughout this year’s edition.
“I want to make sure that they’re the best fighters that they can possibly be, and so I’m gonna get them ready for these fights in the short amount of time that we have. I’m gonna hope that I’m not squawking like a bird in their corner and they’re just gonna do their thing, and that they know what they’re doing. But, of course, with that being said, you’re gonna hear me,” concluded Peña.
Are you excited for this year’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter, coached by Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes?