mma / News

Julianna Pena Walks Back Claim that Ronda Rousey’s The Worst Fighter in the UFC

October 14, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Julianna Pena spoke with MMAjunkie about her initial reaction to Ronda Rousey getting a title shot against Amanda Nunes in her first fight back at UFC 207. Some highlights are below:

On saying she’d consider leaving after Rousey received the title shot: “I’m under contract with the UFC, so of course I won’t be competing elsewhere. But what I was trying to say is that my record and the quality of wins since graduating ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ I feel, equates to a championship title in any other promotion. I’m just looking for my shot, and I believe I’ve earned it.”

On claiming Rousey was the “worst fighter on the roster”: “Ronda is clearly not the worst fighter on the roster. What I was trying to convey is that she really is in the worst position on the roster because she’s coming off a devastating knockout to ‘Harmless Holly’ and hasn’t competed in 11 months. Meanwhile, the belt has switched hands multiple times and the landscape has changed dramatically while she’s been away. I respect her abilities as a fighter and what she’s done for the division, but she was knocked off her perch that was given to her, and I feel like she should have to earn her way back to the top. While she’s been on vacation, the rest of us have been fighting, like me.”

On a title shot for her: “I just feel like I’ve earned it. I’m looking for my shot. No other girl has had to fight eight times in order to get close to a title shot, so I guess I’m the only one that has to go that route. I’m going to do that, and it’s just going to be much sweeter in the end. I will await the winner and hope … I’m going to do what makes the best sense for me and try to set myself up the best I can as a fighter. I want to fight high-level competition. I want to fight girls that haven’t lost. I want to fight the best in the world. I want to fight girls with some records, not girls that are 1-1. Whatever the best decision that we can come up with is what we’ll do. But until then, I’m just waiting in the wings until we can come up with something better.”

On who will win between Nunes and Rousey: “I think Amanda is probably going to knock her out (the way Holm did), but we’ll see how that goes.”