Julianna Pena isn’t done chasing another fight with Amanda Nunes.
Originally booked to fight Nunes at UFC 289, the former UFC women’s Bantamweight Champion withdrew from the rare trilogy bout due to an injury. The show went on without Pena, as Irene Aldana stepped in to face the two-time champ. Nunes would defeat the new challenger and then announced her retirement from MMA afterwards.
Tied 1-1 with Nunes (and coming off a loss at UFC 277), you might imagine how Pena felt about it.
“The thing that really chaps my ass, okay, when I was there at her last fight, I was booing because she was going into retirement,” Pena said on The MMA Hour. “I was like, don’t go into retirement. We have literally the biggest fight in women’s history, trilogy, never been done before. What are you doing saying that you’re gonna retire? What a joke.
“So, I was booing her for that and it warrants a boo because she’s over there telling Megan Olivi that she’s coming back outta retirement. So, I was right and it’s just mystic Pena once again.”
Nunes did seemingly leave the door open for a UFC return in a recent interview.
“I’m still young, fresh. We never know,” Nunes told ESPN MMA. “We have a lot of things to do. I’ve got to figure out a bunch of things at home still, what I’m going to do and see what happens… I don’t know, we never know. I’m a fighter and this is my job. I love this so much and I don’t know. I’m still healthy and powerful, smart, think like a champion. I still feel like a champion, so we’ll see.”
While the comeback isn’t confirmed yet, Pena is confident that we’ll see ‘The Lioness’ in the Octagon once more.
“How dare she say that she’s retiring,” Pena added. “Then, one women’s fight later, now she’s saying she’s coming back. Get outta here. Like, look great for business. I’ve been trying to coax her into coming back this entire time. So, it’s absolutely beautiful for everyone.
“I knew that she wasn’t gonna be able to stay away, so I was like, just, she’s doing that retirement for attention, you know? It’s just ridiculous.”
That’s not the only ‘ridiculous’ thing Pena noticed over the weekend. Stepping away from her rival, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ didn’t like what she saw in the rather lackluster UFC 297 co-headliner between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva. Nunes’ vacant title was on the line in said bout.
“I think I saw a photo of ‘Sheetara’ and she’s literally like laying on her back with like both her hands up [behind her head]. Are you tanning or are you fighting?” Pena said of Bueno Silva. “This isn’t Miami, what are you doing? It was a snooze fest. I was not impressed with their performance as my friend Georges St. Pierre likes to say.”
“I definitely thought that it was gonna be a little bit better. I think that it was unfortunate that both girls had each other dead to rights and they still couldn’t finish one another. So, that was pretty annoying. Otherwise I would say that no, I warned you guys and had Frank play the breaking news that it was gonna be a complete snooze fest, [between] one cheater and a block of wood and that’s what everybody got. So, Mystic Pena strikes again.”
Julianna Pena also said she is next in line for newly crowned UFC Champion Raquel Pennington.