In what seems to be a growing trend recently, former TUF winner Julianna Pena has threatened to quit the UFC after hearing that Ronda Rousey would be getting an immediate bantamweight title shot against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on December 30th in Las Vegas.
“It’s bullsh-t,” an irate Pena told MMAfighting.com when asked about the big fight announcement. “That spoiled brat has gotten everything handed to her, and she’s getting everything handed to her again. It’s bullsh-t. I have no idea. Never in the history have I ever heard of somebody have a no-controversy brutal knockout, then quit the sport, and then comeback and get a title shot right away.
“The girl is mentally weak and Amanda Nunes is going to f–king knock her out and expose her ass. She’s literally the worst fighter on the roster, and I can’t stomach the fact that I’m not getting the title shot. I don’t know how they conduct business over there, but they’re going to do what they want no matter what, so there is not really much I could do. Back to the drawing board I guess.”
Pena is currently ranked No.5 in the weight class after recording a four-fight winning streak since winning TUF 18 in 2013, and has been loudly calling for a title shot of late.
With that in mind, it seems she’s taken the UFC’s decision to overlook her personally, to the extent that she’s now claiming that she might just jump ship from the sport’s leading organization.
“Maybe I’ll go fight for Combate [Americas] or something because it sounds like they want to pay me serious money and actually give me a belt right off the bat just like they did with Ronda in the UFC. They just handed Ronda a belt, and Combate will hand me a belt, so I don’t know, we’ll see how that goes.
“It’s definitely something that I would consider, you know. It’s starting to become a fake toy belt [the UFC belt]. I fight for money, I’m a prize fighter. So if somebody else wants to give me more money, I’ll gladly sit down at the negotiating table and see what’s going on and what’s being offered.”
Pena is following in the footsteps of former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who blew a gasket upon learning that current 145lb kingpin would again be delaying returning to defend his title in favor of fighting lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November.
‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ would be wise to tread carefully though, as she’s not an established star in the UFC yet, and so the promotion may just call her bluff if she continues down this path.
On the other hand, Rousey is an enormous star (the biggest in the UFC if Dana White is to be believed) and the UFC president has made it clear long before yesterday’s announcement that when ‘Rowdy’ returned she would be headed into an immediate title shot.
Still, the UFC’s preferential treatment of their biggest stars is clearly building resentment, as can clearly be seen by the recent outbursts by the likes of Aldo, Khabib Nurmagomedov and now Pena, and it will be interesting to see how they respond to that going forward.