Julianna Peña Explains History With Ronda Rousey, Hopes To Draw Her Back From Retirement

Recently minted undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, Julianna Pena has detailed how background with inaugural division titleholder, Ronda Rousey during her days on The Ultimate Fighter 18 – and insists that while the latter is now-retired, she would welcome a potential title defense against her in the future if she were to snap her time away from the sport.

Co-headlining UFC 269 back in December, Pena managed to secure the undisputed bantamweight title with a monumental upset submission win over two-weight champion, the dominant Amanda Nunes – stopping the Brazilian with a second round rear-naked choke to snap her six-year undefeated streak.

Widely expected to rematch Nunes immediately given the Bahia native’s dominant streak and run through her respective division, Pena has welcomed an immediate re-run with the former two-weight gold holder, however, maintained it would be interesting for her to fight the above mentioned, Rousey if the 34-year-old were to snap her six-year retirement. 

“It would be amazing to pull Ronda Rousey back out of retirement,” Julianna Pena told The New York Post. “It would be great to have her come back to UFC and fight again.” 

Detailing her relationship with the Californian, Pena, who was coached by Rousey’s arch-rival and former bantamweight champion, Miesha Tate during The Ultimate Fighter 18 – claimed that the inaugural bantamweight best wasn’t so nice to her during their time filming the season, and even maintained that should they fight in the future, she would handily defeat her. 

“We’re not friends,” Julianna Pena said. “We don’t speak. She really had a tough time getting along with me on The Ultimate Fighter. She didn’t like me at all because I was friends with Miesha Tate. She wasn’t the nicest. I don’t know that she’ll recall this because she ended up getting taken out by her entire team. But when we won The Ultimate Fighter and got out of the house, she told me that, ‘You’re gonna give me a tougher fight than Miesha Tate did, but when that day comes, I’m still gonna kick your ass.’” (Transcribed by MMA Island)

Calling time on her professional mixed martial arts career back in December 2016 following UFC 207, Rousey, a former UFC and Strikeforce bantamweight champion ended her run with a pair of high-profile knockout losses to both Holly Holm, and common-foe, Nunes.


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Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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