As expected, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Peña hasn’t let some recent criticism go past without a retort.
Peña, who is widely regarded as one of the more outspoken and villainous fighters on the female roster, made headlines last month owing to her reaction to rival Amanda Nunes’ retirement.
The “Lioness” hung up her gloves as a two-division champion following a successful defense of her 135-pound title opposite Irene Aldana in the UFC 289 main event. “The Venezuelan Vixen,” who was originally slated to face Nunes, was cageside for the event in Vancouver.
And after seeing a potential trilogy fight with Nunes slip away, Peña was filmed heckling the Brazilian post-fight and criticizing her on social media.
That reaction rubbed quite a few up the wrong way, including flyweight contender Maycee Barber, who branded Peña’s conduct “cringey.” Barber also subsequently downplayed the former champ’s credentials, insisting that Peña’s not as dominant as she thinks.
Peña Tells Flyweight Barber: ‘Drink A Protein Shake & Come Up To 135’
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the #1-ranked women’s bantamweight was asked for her thoughts on Barber’s critical remarks in the aftermath of the June 10 pay-per-view event.
Peña encouraged “The Future” to bulk up to 135 pounds and share the Octagon with her if she has an issue with the way she conducts herself.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” also took aim at Barber’s career, pointing out her failed ambition to become the youngest-ever UFC champ and her shock defeat to the now-retired Roxanne Modafferi in 2020.
“Listen, you got a problem with me running my mouth, Maycee? Drink a protein shake and come up to 135, and you can come get some smoke too, okay?” Peña said. “At the end of the day, this girl’s never fought for a world title. She is supposed to be the youngest champion ever, that didn’t play out that well either. You know, she’s losing to Roxanne Modafferi.
“I think that for her to talk crap after she has never been in the situation that I am is hilarious,” Peña continued. “When she gets her big girl pants on and does what I’ve done, then maybe she can talk some smack. Until then, like I said, drink a protein shake and get in line, sweetheart.”
Barber isn’t the only one who spoke out against Peña’s reaction to Nunes’ retirement. In addition to a host of fans criticizing “The Venezuelan Vixen,” in-form bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington also gave a less than positive take on the former champ’s trash talk.
I scared you so bad into retirement. Personally, Congratulations. Professionally, wtf was that? #UFC289
— Julianna Peña (@VenezuelanVixen) June 11, 2023
Unlike “The Future,” however, it seems that Pennington will get the chance to make Peña pay for her outspoken ways inside the Octagon.
Following Nunes’ decision to depart the sport, it was quickly suggested that the former titleholder and the #2-ranked contender will collide for the vacant bantamweight belt later this year.
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