Julianna Peña Details Plans After Becoming New UFC Bantamweight Champion
Julianna Peña knows what she wants to do next.
In addition to a rematch with Amanda Nunes, which the former champ already accepted, Peña also wants to go at it again with two other top contenders.
“I would like to go down and rematch Valentina Shevchenko,” Peña said after her win Saturday. “I would love to get that rematch against Germaine de Randamie. I would love a rematch, if that’s what she wants, against Amanda. Right now, I just want to soak it all in.”
Nunes has not lost in seven years and owned 135- and 145-pound titles ahead of Saturday night’s event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“We can rematch at 135 pounds if she wants to do that, but whatever the company decides,” Peña responded. “It would be great to be a two-division champion, even to go down to 125 and face Valentina down there. Right now, I just want to soak in the moment of being a champion.”
Peña believed she earned a break after a year-long training camp.
She was supposed to fight Nunes at UFC 265 in August, but the then-champ was forced out due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Peña had always been ambitious in her MMA journey, but she felt that she wasn’t treated seriously as a competitor at moments. And it couldn’t have been more evident than in the build-up to her bout with Nunes, where she was a 7-1 outsider on the prediction lines.
“I definitely think people have been sleeping on me, and they haven’t been putting any respect on my name, giving me as much credit as I feel I deserve,” Peña said.
“Whenever the commentators talk about Amanda Nunes, they’ll say everyone else’s name but mine, and they can’t even spell my name right; they don’t ever put the tilde over the ‘n.’ There’s little things where I’m like, ‘Man, can I get some respect?’ But with that being said, I wasn’t surprised. … For everyone else that was sleeping, wake up, and I’m here.”