Julianna Pena Gearing Up for a Summertime UFC Title Fight with New Champ Raquel Pennington

Julianna Pena

Julianna Pena is already angling for a summertime scrap with the new women’s bantamweight world champion.

On Saturday (January 20), Raquel Pennington claimed her first UFC title after more than a decade competing inside the Octagon. She scored a decisive unanimous decision victory over Mayra Bueno Silva in the UFC 297 co-main event to capture the 135-pound crown, setting the stage for a showdown with fellow veteran and one-time titleholder Julianna Pena.

‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ joined Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour to share her thoughts on Pennington’s win in The Great White North. As expected, Pena has nothing particularly positive to say about the performances of both ‘Rocky’ and Bueno Silva.

“It was a snooze fest,” Peña said. “I was not impressed. I was not impressed with their performances, as my friend Georges St-Pierre likes to say. It was all around just a complete disappointment, but it doesn’t matter because the breaking news is we will be fighting for the real belt this summer, coming at you to a theatre near you.”

As for when he could see Pena make her return to the Octagon for a long-awaited clash with Pennington, the former bantamweight champ suggested that a date in either June or July is the likeliest scenario.

“Maybe the first week of June,” Pena revealed. “Maybe the third week of July. I’m not sure exactly, but I would say one of those two dates. I asked for International Fight Week. They said that the date wasn’t available. However, they did say that if anything changes they would let me know. I think the location would be a really big factor for me. They won’t give me the location of June or July yet, but I do know that both locations will be in the United States.

Pena admitted to being happy for her former Ultimate Fighter foe following the events of UFC 297, but that won’t stop her from trying to make Pennington’s title reign as short as possible and sending ‘Rocky’ into retirement.

“I really am happy for her and her career and everything like that,” Pena added. “But it’s going to be short-lived. It’s not going to be being this champion for seven years. That’s not the case, unfortunately. She’s already talking about retiring and going into her retirement being a family man. Let me do the honors and kick you into retirement, Raquel.”

Julianna Pena knows a thing or two about abbreviated title runs, handing the bantamweight strap back to Amanda Nunes seven months after shocking the world with a second-round submission of ‘The Lioness’ at UFC 269.

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