ABU DHABI – Julianna Pena won’t take back her post-fight comments on UFC dual champion Amanda Nunes.
The UFC women’s bantamweight had a few things to say about the champ-champ following her submission win over Sara McMann on Saturday night at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. Pena (10-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) asked for a title shot and said Nunes was “ducking” a fight with her during her post-fight interview in octagon.
Speaking with reporters back stage, Pena added more context to her comments in the cage accusing Nunes of avoiding a fight with her.
“She says I’m not a contender, but also a girl with .500 record, with three wins and two losses, is more of a contender than I am?” Pena said. “I don’t get it. She told me she would fight me and now she’s saying I’m not a contender. To me, it just sounds like she doesn’t want to fight me. I’m not injured and I’m ready to step in on short notice if that’s what needs to happen, but that’s the only fight that makes sense to me.”
Nunes defends her featherweight title March 6 at UFC 259 against former Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson (11-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
Pena, who’s been fighting in the UFC since 2013, is 2-2 in her past four fights. However, even though she’s not in her best career run, Pena thinks the defeats should hold an asterisk next to them.
“First off, when she fought Miesha Tate at UFC 200, I had just beaten Cat Zingano and Cat Zingano had just stopped Amanda Nunes and Amanda said she would fight me,” Pena said. “Then she went and fought Ronda Rousey. I was going to wait and bench myself, but then I got strong-holed into fighting Valentina (Shevchenko).
“I put Valentina in positions that she didn’t want to be in and I made the mistake about getting over excited and punching myself into a submission. And same thing with world champion Germaine de Randamie. I put her in positions she didn’t want to be in and I screwed myself by not pulling her off the fence more and thinking I was caught in a regular guillotine. I was shoulder pressuring her and I was like, ‘Thanks. I passed to the right side. I’m shoulder pressuring, so thank you.’ And then I was gurgling and I was like, ‘Man, I’m shoulder pressuring, maybe I need to shoulder pressure more,’ and then I was gurgling and I was out. So anyways, I’m putting girls in positions they don’t want to be in and I’m the one that’s making the mistakes.”
Pena thinks she sold be next in line to challenge Nunes for her bantamweight title. She’s unsure what will come next, but she wants a championship fight.
“The plan is for me to fight for the belt. That’s always been the plan,” Pena said. “I don’t know. I’m going to talk to the bosses. But for the most part, Amanda is the only fight that makes sense for me.”