Kayla Harrison has responded after UFC star Julianna Peña said she had been “fighting the B-leagues”.
Peña caused shockwaves around the world of MMA last weekend, stunning Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to take the women’s bantamweight title.
The result ruined plans for a high profile bout between Nunes and Kayla Harrison, who is tipped to sign for UFC in the near future.
“For a Kayla Harrison, the Amanda Nunes fight was huge,” UFC President Dana White said after Nunes lost to Peña.
“If they would have faced off, it would have been a massive, mega-million dollar fight.
“Let me tell you, if Amanda Nunes had won tonight, the Kayla Harrison fight would have been one of the biggest fights that you would have ever seen.”
Instead, Nunes and Peña will meet again in a rematch. Both fighters have agreed to come up against each other for a second time, but it is not clear when that will happen.
Harrison, a two-time Olympic judo gold medallist and two-time PFL champion, is currently a free agent.
If the 31-year-old was to sign with UFC, she would fight in the featherweight division.
Peña, who has repeatedly claimed she would not move up a weight class, did not seem tempted to do just that in order to to fight Harrison.
“I think she’s the lesser of the training partners for her and Amanda Nunes,” Peña said. “If that’s the case and I just took out Amanda, I don’t know what kind of position that would put her in.
“But she’s been fighting the B-leagues. I’ve been fighting in the UFC, I’ve been fighting at the top of the division.
“I’m fighting in the biggest league of this sport so I’m not paying too much attention to what she’s doing down there.”
Harrison has responded to Peña’s comments, writing on Twitter: “Lawwwwwd. Don’t be doin this now Juliana!”
She followed this up during an interview with TMZ Sports, claiming she could beat Peña ‘with one arm’.
“I know Julianna must be on Cloud Nine right now and I would just caution her to be careful. You don’t say stuff like that to people like me unless you mean it,” Harrison said.
“She went out here and she executed a great game plan and she did what she had to do, but I’m not the lesser of anything or anyone or anybody. When I come to fight, you’re gonna know you’re in a fight and be careful what you say.”
Harrison continued: “I think it’s just dumb too, you know? She fights at 135. I fight at, right now, 155, so unless you’re willing to back it up, then don’t say stuff like that.
“Don’t open that can of worms. Don’t go there. Honestly, I’d probably have to chop off my arm to make 135. I think that it would only take one arm to beat her.”
Peña was full of confidence in the run-up to the fight against Nunes, and seems to have been buoyed by her victory against the UFC legend.
“I told you. Don’t ever doubt me again,” Peña said after her victory. “Willpower, strength and determination, it will take you places.
“I definitely expected a win and I’m just so grateful. The world is my oyster and you literally have the ability to do anything that you want in this life, and I just proved that tonight.”