The UFC women’s bantamweight title picture is a bit of a hot mess to sift through at the moment. After the Rousey years of the title staying in one location, we’ve seen championship glory bestowed upon Holly Holm, Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes in a tidy timespan and developments like Holm losing two fights in a row hasn’t exactly helped with marquee value. It’s clearly a division full of great fighters, but one that’s had no shortage of questionable title shots at all points of its existence. So let’s get to Julianna Peña talking sh*t about the state of the bantamweight picture, shall we?
Peña, who is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Cat Zingano at UFC 200, has a strong case at 4-0 for a title shot and the 26-year-old Ultimate Fighter champ wasn’t shy about it on this week’s The MMA Hour. She expressed her frustration to Ariel Helwani about feeling overlooked. Bring on the comparisons to Holly Holm and Bethe Correia getting title fights.
“It is annoying,” Peña told Ariel Helwani. “It’s annoying and it’s embarrassing. I feel like I shouldn’t have to do this song and dance and shout off of the rooftops like a wild, screaming banshee being like, ‘gimme my title shot!’ Holly [Holm] beat the oldest lady in the division, Marion Reneau. She beat like two old ladies, then she fought to a draw, which was like a coin flip as to who won the fight, [Raquel] Pennington or Holly, and she gets a title shot out of thin air. Bethe Correia beat Shayna Baszler, who didn’t get past me on The Ultimate Fighter and she gets a title shot just by waving her hands, you know.”
Miesha Tate’s credentials for a title shot were also questioned with Peña noting that Tate scored a title shot after beating Jessica Eye, but she wasn’t given the same opportunity when she did the same thing. Peña has a case. She’s been undefeated in UFC competition and bounced back after a long 2014 layoff as a result of a knee injury. Mind you, groin-kicking headlines from a late 2015 arrest doesn’t look great on a résumé unless you’re aiming to launch a Jackass revival or something.