The UFC women’s bantamweight division has been a hot topic over the past 24 hours. After rumors of Ronda Rousey’s comeback were finally substantiated by Dana White, the chatter has all focused on the 135-pound title. Amanda Nunes will welcome ‘Rowdy’ back to the octagon at UFC 207 on December 30. Following yesterday’s announcement came a wave of reactions, obviously some were a lot more negative than others. Particularly offended by Rousey’s title shot was her Brazilian rival Cris Cyborg.
Unleashing a damning response to Nunes vs. Rousey, Cyborg condemned the UFC and ‘Rowdy.’ Coming during a time where Cyborg is essentially floating without a division, her upset is somewhat understandable, especially considering Rousey once called her ‘Wanderlei Silva in a dress.’ That wasn’t the only cage that got rattled, as number five-ranked contender Julianna Peña feels outraged by Rousey’s return fight.
Peña is Pissed
Winner of the Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate, and currently undefeated (4-0) in the UFC, Julianna Peña is not a happy woman right now. After hearing about Rousey getting an immediate title shot after being KO’d and ‘quitting’ MMA, ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ went on the warpath. Speaking with MMAFighting.com, Peña gave her furious response to the UFC 207 main event:
“It’s bullshit. That spoiled brat has gotten everything handed to her, and she’s getting everything handed to her again. It’s bullshit.”
“Never in the history have I ever heard of somebody have a no-controversy brutal knockout, then quit the sport, and then comeback and get a title shot right away. The girl is mentally weak and Amanda Nunes is going to f**king knock her out and expose her ass. She’s literally the worst fighter on the roster, and I can’t stomach the fact that I’m not getting the title shot. I don’t know how they conduct business over there, but they’re going to do what they want no matter what, so there is not really much I could do. Back to the drawing board I guess.”
She knows I would whoop her f**king ass
“I don’t understand. I think Alexis [Davis] went and got two split decisions, and she got a title shot. Bethe Correia took out Ronda Rousey’s camp – Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke – and Ronda was all up in arms about it and wanted to get revenge for them. But I beat her whole entire team. I took out her whole entire team on The Ultimate Fighter, and I didn’t get a title shot then. You know, these other girls are getting these title shots coming off of losses. There are girls that just say her name and she calls them out and then they get title shots. I’m honestly so confused and all I can say is that it’s bullshit.”
“I definitely think she’s trying to avoid a fight with me, 110 percent,” Peña said. “That girl is running from me. I won her whole show and she sees me to continue win, and she’s yet to say my name ever. She’s definitely avoiding me and if she comes back and wins this one, she’ll probably retire and never fight again. She’s going to do everything possible to avoid me for the rest of her career. She doesn’t want anything to do with me and I don’t blame her. She knows I would whoop her ‘f**king ass.”
After learning Conor McGregor would receive a lightweight title shot, interim champion at featherweight Jose Aldo demanded a release from his contract. Aside from ‘Scarface’ being the former undisputed boss and currently holding the junior title, the similarities between his and Julianna’s situation are obvious. One more thing they have in common-Peña is considering leaving the UFC, claiming she could get paid better elsewhere:
“Maybe I’ll go fight for Combate [Americas] or something because it sounds like they want to pay me serious money and actually give me a belt right off the bat just like they did with Ronda in the UFC,” Peña said. “They just handed Ronda a belt and Combate will hand me a belt, so I don’t know, we’ll see how that goes.
“It’s definitely something that I would consider, you know. It’s starting to become a fake toy belt [the UFC belt]. I fight for money, I’m a prize fighter. So if somebody else wants to give me more money, I’ll gladly sit down at the negotiating table and see what’s going on and what’s being offered.”
The Fight Business Hurts
Learning from recent events, it’s clear now that the fight business leaves plenty of casualties. Not in the form of combat injuries, but in the outcomes of the decision making process. The UFC is a business, and to protect their monetary assets fighters will get burned. Will the promotion continue to alienate their top ranked contenders in the hunt for big paydays? Perhaps a more pertinent question would be why wouldn’t they?