Juliana Pena will be headlining her first UFC event when she takes on Valentina Shevchenko at UFC On Fox 23. Pena, who has wanted to fight former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey for awhile now, believes the sport has passed Rousey by.
“This sport has a real good way of humbling fighters. If you take a year off from the sport, it’s gonna evolve and pass you by,” said Peña to Bloody Elbow. “If you’re not regularly training you’re going to get passed by and I think she was a victim of that.”
Whether Pena is right or wrong about MMA passing by Rousey, she still does have a lot of respect for the former women’s bantamweight champion.
“She’s a pioneer in this sport,” said Peña. “She opened the doors for all of us women to get into MMA and my hat is off to her. I wish her all the best and whether she comes back or doesn’t come back, she’s rich and she’s happy. I hope that she finds happiness in her life and she realizes that just because you lost one fight; it does not define you as a human being.”
UFC On Fox 23 takes place on Saturday, January 28 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado with Juliana Pena and Valentina Shevchenko headlining.