In recent times, a number of prominent names in mixed martial arts have turned to exclusive content pages, whether through modeling aspirations or a simple income boost to go along with their fighting careers.
While women’s strawweight Kay Hansen, who exited the UFC following her latest loss at UFC 273, sells explicit images on the OnlyFans platform, former mixed martial artist-turned-bare-knuckle boxer and professional wrestler Paige VanZant offers similar content on her own exclusive site.
But Peña, who reached the top in the UFC with a championship-winning victory over Amanda Nunes last December, does things differently and, as she recently described it, in a “classy way.”
During an appearance on Barstool Chicago’s RebuildEd podcast, Peña discussed some of her physical insecurities, which she said has meant that she’ll never consider fighting in the same smaller gear as some other fighters.
But the bantamweight queen believes that’s benefitted her in the long run by forcing her to market herself in a manner that’s meant she doesn’t need to post explicit images to get people invested in her career.
While she made sure to clarify that she wasn’t looking down on those who do choose to enhance their social media presence in that way, Peña admitted that she wouldn’t want to set that example for her daughter.
“I think that it’s (physical insecurities) helped me in a way, because it’s easy to take your clothes off and sell something on Instagram, and be this sexy model, but I’m trying to do it in the classy way, where it’s like, I don’t have to take my clothes off to get people invested in what I do,” said Peña. “So, it’s almost like, a thing that’s benefited me in another way as well, because I’ve got a daughter and I want to set a great example for her. I don’t want her to, years from now, be on Instagram and see her mom being half-naked.
“I’m not trying to knock anybody for doing that, you know, get your paper boo-boo, do what you gotta do. But for me, it’s put me in a situation where I have to market myself in a different way that’s not about taking my clothes off and trying to be a ‘sex sells’ kind of person,” concluded Peña.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” will be looking to put a different form of ‘class’ on show at UFC 277 when she returns to the Octagon for the first defense of her title, which will come against a Nunes who is in search of redemption.
Another victory over the “Lioness” will certainly increase her notoriety even further, potentially opening more doors for when her time in the Octagon comes to an end. Peña has somewhat left the door open to a professional wrestling transition in the past, so perhaps she’ll eventually join VanZant in-between the ropes.
Although judging by her latest remarks, we can’t see her agreeing to a modern edition of the defunct ‘bra and panties match’…
What do you make of Julianna Peña’s comments?