Juliana Pena is preparing to headline UFC on Fox 23 against Valentina Shevchenko, in her first main event fight in the UFC. Pena, while preparing for Shevchenko, still has her sights set on former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey.
“It just sucks that Ronda’s been dodging me this whole time. When I was on The Ultimate Fighter and Dana allowed women to fight in the UFC, she was fighting one girl while I fought four girls in seven weeks. The reason why they don’t count those fights as real is because it would be illegal. It would be absolutely illegal to allow that many fights in that short amount of time. The thing that drives me crazy is that I took out her whole team. She should’ve wanted to fight me in vengeance for her team right after I beat every member on her team. I dismantled all of them. It drives me crazy that it wasn’t me that was able to do it and it drives me crazy that she’s been dodging me this whole time and that I wasn’t the one to be able to dethrone her. To show everyone that this girl’s been spoiled. She’s been handpicking her fights from day one. She’s been getting everything handed to her because her name is Ronda Rousey and she’s been brought up to be this glorious god that was untouchable and it just drives me crazy that I wasn’t able to be the one to dethrone her from the beginning. But hats off to Holly Holm and hats off to Amanda Nunes for getting the job done. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to be me and I don’t know if it ever will be because I don’t know if she’s ever gonna come back or not,” Pena said on Toe 2 Toe.
A victory over Shevchenko in a few weeks may put Pena in line for a title shot against UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Pena has been calling for a title shot for months, and knew she'd eventually face Nunes.
“I predicted from the very beginning that Amanda was gonna knock Ronda Rousey out and it turned out that I was right. I think that I hit the nail on the head. So congratulations to Amanda Nunes but I also know that the opponent I’m about to face has already faced her and gave her a hell of a war too so she’s not untouchable and every dog has its day. The lion climbing the hill is a lot more hungrier than a lion that sits on top of the hill, and I’m definitely a lion in my own right. I was born on Aug. 19th at 11:11 AM and I was bound for greatness. I am true Leo lion and I spit fire morning, noon, and night, and I’m not gonna stop until I get what’s rightfully mine,” said Pena.
UFC On Fox 23 takes place on Saturday, January 28 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado with Juliana Pena and Valentina Shevchenko headlining.