UFC women’s bantamweight contender Julianna Pena is eyeing to replace Ronda Rousey as the face of women’s MMA. Pena also gave a message for current champ Amanda Nunes, advising her to stay in the bantamweight division.
Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko will be headlining UFC on Fox 23 on Saturday at Pepsi Center. The winner of the bout is expected to be given the opportunity to fight for the title. Pena and Shevchenko have been calling out Amanda Nunes since she won the belt at UFC 200.
Julianna Pena eyes to become the new face of women’s MMA
After winning against Cat Zingano, Pena asked UFC president Dana White about a possible title fight. Unfortunately, White already promised to give the fight to Ronda Rousey. With “Rowdy” having her second defeat, Pena believes that someone should take over as the new face of women’s MMA.
“At one time, Gina Carano was the face of women’s MMA and when she moved out, Ronda came in,” Pena said. “And now that Ronda is on the way out, a new face has to come forward and carry the torch and I’m willing to do that.”
Rousey has every right to be called the face of women’s MMA since she’s the reason why women can compete in UFC. However, after losing to Nunes, Rousey’s future in the world of MMA has become uncertain. Pena plans to use her upcoming bout as stepping stone to eventually achieve her goal of becoming the new queen of MMA.
Pena advised Amanda Nunes to stay in bantamweight division
Amanda Nunes openly expressed her intention to move to the featherweight division for her second belt. Nunes wants to make history and become the first female MMA fighter to hold two belts simultaneously. However, for Julianna Pena, it’s too early for Nunes to move to another division.
“I think there’s a lot of competition left at 135 pounds that she should maybe consider before trying to run to another division,” she said. “God willing, I get past this fight, I’m unbeaten in the UFC, and if I was the champion, I’d want to clean out my own division before going to a different division.”
At UFC 200, Pena defeated Cat Zingano, who beat Amanda Nunes via TKO before the start of her champion road. Pena believes that Nunes needs to take down strong challengers before leaving the division. However, as of now, it seems like Nunes is seriously considering moving to featherweight and fight the winner of Holm-de Randamie bout.
Photo courtesy: @venezuelanvixen/Instagram