Julianna Pena is ‘not afraid’ of Cyborg and is ‘a bigger bully’ than Rousey can imagine

It's been a rough year for the fighters of TUF 18. Holdsworth has been out indefinitely with concussion symptoms, Pena out with a knee…

By: Zane Simon | 9 years ago
Julianna Pena is ‘not afraid’ of Cyborg and is ‘a bigger bully’ than Rousey can imagine
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

It’s been a rough year for the fighters of TUF 18. Holdsworth has been out indefinitely with concussion symptoms, Pena out with a knee injury. Most of the fighters that made it off the show into the UFC have been released, or drastically underperformed. Even Davy Grant has been battling constant injuries. But, the end to those woes appears to be in sight for at least one fighter, as Julianna Pena gears up for her MMA return at UFC Fight Night Fairfax on April 4th. Pena is set to take on Russian bantamweight Milana Dudieva, but that’s not all that’s on her mind, as she expressed in a recent interview with Submission Radio:

“Well first off, let me be the first to tell you that I’m the biggest Ronda Rousey fan that there is and I think that she’s an incredible athlete.”

“Where I would hold the advantage is that I would not be mentally broken before the fight ever started, which I feel is sometimes to me – in my opinion – what seems to be the case with these other women that are facing her. They already look dead upon arrival when they’re in the cage with her and I refuse to be shaken.”

” I’ve been bullied my whole life and I just feel like she’s been a bully, and I feel like in the sense that I’m the bully and I’m a bigger bully than she can imagine, and I think that I would also have the advantage in the sense that I’m not afraid wherever the fight goes”

“I feel like I have great scrambles, great wrestling, great Jiu Jitsu. I have great striking, great Muay Thai. Wherever the fight goes – and this goes for any opponent that I face in the future – wherever the fight goes with any opponent that I face, I’m comfortable and I am confident in my skill set, and I’m gonna give ’em hell or die trying no matter who I fight.”

She also took some shots at Rousey’s potential ducking of a matchup with Invicta featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, saying she wouldn’t be afraid to move up for the bout:

“One thing that I can say is that I’m not afraid of Cris Cyborg and I’ll fight her at 150 pounds, 145 pounds, 125 pounds, whatever pounds you guys want to make, I’ll fight her.”

It wasn’t all talk of potential “big” fights, however, as Pena also made it clear that she’s prepared for Milana Dudieva, saying “I never underestimate opponents, and in one sense you could say that I love her, but I want it and I want to win, and I want to win more than her; and as much as I love her in spirit, I’m going to do everything in my power to make it very difficult for her and it’s going to be a tough gritty fight, but it’s one that I’m expecting and its one that I’m embracing, and I just can’t wait to go and get another win, and to refresh everybody’s memory that I haven’t died and that I’m still around and that I’m still here.” With even runner up Jessica Rakoczy having spent the last year and a half on the sidelines, seeing any of the former TUF 18 finalists in the cage again is a much needed reminder of a season that has largely fallen out of the public eye.

UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas takes place April 4th at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. The card is headlined by a bout between former featherweight title contenders Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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