When Miesha Tate defeated Holly Holm to become the UFC female bantamweight champion, no one was happier than Julianna Pena.
Pena, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, is a friend of Tate’s and has trained with her in the past. Despite that relationship, Pena (7-2) has no problems trading blows with the champion inside the Octagon.
“We’ve discussed it several times and we discussed it primarily right after I won The Ultimate Fighter. And because we’re friends, the deal was, the only conditions that we would fight each other, would be if she has the belt or if I have the belt,” said Pena, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “And now that she has the belt, I know that she’s aware that, that was the agreement that we had decided on. And so I think it’s now just a matter of who they decide who her next fight is. Whether she’s gonna wait for Ronda (Rousey), or if she’s going to say she’s going to take a fight against somebody else.
“And if they wanna put me in that title shot, I would love that. I would love nothing more than that. But if they want me to fight one more and then fight for the title, then I’ll do that too. That’s the impression that I’m under, is that they want me to fight one more time before I get my shot at the title. And it doesn’t make any sense to me, but again, like I said, I’m biased.”
Pena scored three consecutive victories inside the Octagon, stopping Jessica Rakoczy and Milana Dudieva. Last October she topped Jessica Eye via decision, but has been on the sidelines since due to legal troubles.
“It’s still under wraps, it’s just something that I would rather put behind me,” she said. “What I will say, is that the matter was resolved and it’s all taken care of now. So I didn’t have to go to court, you know, I had a really great lawyer to take care of things for me and it’s over and done with.”