Julianna Pena calls Ronda Rousey 'kind of a joke' in MMA after UFC departure

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena didn’t hold back when describing Ronda Rousey as “kind of a joke” in the mixed martial arts community.

Many years ago on the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Julianna Pena fought all the way through the bracket and wound up winning the tournament. In doing so, she earned herself a UFC contract.

While on the show she was under the tutelage of Miesha Tate, with the opposition coach being Ronda Rousey.

At that time Ronda was widely considered to be one of the biggest stars in the sport with Pena being a relative newcomer.

Upon fast-forwarding to the present day, things look pretty different.

Rousey has made the transition over to pro wrestling with WWE whereas Pena shocked the world at UFC 269 by defeating Amanda Nunes to win the bantamweight title – previously held by Rousey.

Now, in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Pena has unloaded on ‘Rowdy’ and her current reputation within MMA.

“Ronda is so old news, right?” Pena said. “I think that what’s incredible about her is that she opened up the door and was destroying people in 10 seconds, and became a star because she was demolishing people in the first round, and that’s great — but she got knocked out twice and never came back. So how legit is she?

Pena went on to suggest that she believes it “truly bothers” Rousey that she went out on two KO defeats, before saying she’d help welcome her back with open arms if she ever did decide to return.

“That’s what I’m saying, she’s kind of a joke in the MMA world now, because she’s a — what is the word? — sellout. Like, a little bit of a sellout there. 

“I mean, I guess I understand, right? It’s like, pro wrestling is fake, you get paid millions of dollars, I get it. But for me, for real s***, for like the ‘you’re the real, real deal,’ I would say that that’s in the UFC. And if she ever wants any of that real smoke, I’m ready.”

What’s next for Julianna Pena?

After recently completing filming for The Ultimate Fighter, where she’ll be returning as a coach, Pena is expected to defend the 135-pound strap against Nunes later this year.

Rousey, meanwhile, was beaten by Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38 last weekend.

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Jens Pulver

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