Julianna Pena claims Ronda Rousey has destroyed her legacy by UFC exit. ‘She is kind of a joke now in the MMA industry.


Ronda Rousey may be a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, but UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Pena isn’t impressed by the legacy “Rowdy” left behind in MMA.

Fresh off spending a weekend in Dallas for WrestleMania, where she watched Rousey fall short in a pro wrestling match against WWE star Charlotte Flair, Pena took aim at the former UFC titleholder on The MMA Hour and issued an open challenge for Rousey to try to pen a better final chapter in MMA than the 0-2 slump that ended her UFC career in 2016.

“Ronda is so old news, right?” Pena said on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. She is amazing because she opened the door to destruction and destroyed people in 10 second. That’s what made her a superstar, but then she lost two rounds and didn’t come back. How legit can she be?

“She was forced to attend pro wrestling. And I get that and I think that that’s great. But as a fighter and somebody who is competitive, I know that — deep down — it probably truly bothers her, the fact that she went away off of two knockout losses and never came back to make her name good. If she really does find it bothersome and it is causing her discomfort at the end, and she doesn’t come back to the saddle, she should be invited to return.

Rousey memorably left the MMA world in 2016 following back-to-back knockout losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, the latter of which lasted just 48 seconds. Rousey had risen to be one of the biggest stars in combat sports prior to those career-ending setbacks, having kicked off her MMA run with a 12-0 record that included 11 first-round stoppages and multiple headlining spots on major UFC pay-per-views. Rousey’s success as Strikeforce champion 2012 was also the reason UFC president Dana White finally opened the doors to women’s divisions.

Rousey’s departure from MMA was a harrowing one, to be sure. Pena feels that the truth of this fact should continue to gnaw at Rousey.

“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,” Pena said of Rousey. It was a sale here and there. I mean, I guess I understand, right? Pro wrestling is fake. You get paid millions. But for me, for real s***, for like the ‘you’re the real, real deal,’ I would say that that’s in the UFC. If she wants to smoke any real marijuana, I am .”

The likelihood of Rousey ever returning to MMA is slim. Pena is also busy working in WWE and will be fighting for her UFC title in this rematch with Nunes. Pena and Nunes are also dueling coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter 30, which is set to begin airing in May.

So even though Rousey doesn’t take Pena up, Pena still regards herself as a fan. She was the one who put women athletes on the UFC map.

“I thought she had a great [WrestleMania] match,” Pena said. “I thought she was very good, yes. And this is just from girl to girl as a fan — I’m a fan and I think that she’s great and I’m happy for her, and I think that it’s awesome what she’s doing in the WWE — but as a fan, she either needs to be more comfortable in her own skin or needs to figure out a different attire, because every move that she does, there becomes a wardrobe fix. Do you see what I’m referring to?

“Wear something that you’re comfortable with. Wear something that you love and that you’re not going to have to constantly be yanking at your clothes the entire match. You didn’t see Charlotte Flair one time touch anything that she was wearing, it was just all about the match. But Ronda’s constantly pulling. So wear something that you’re comfortable in so that you don’t have to do that, because it just takes away a little bit.”