Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Julianna Peña, has fired back at Maycee Barber following the latter's recent criticisms. Peña, also known as 'The Venezuelan Vixen,' expressed her frustration with Barber's comments and questioned her credibility as a contender.
In the aftermath of UFC 289, Julianna Peña was forced to withdraw from her highly anticipated trilogy bout with Amanda Nunes due to injury. Instead, Irene Aldana stepped in on short notice but suffered a defeat against 'The Lioness,' who subsequently announced her retirement, leaving Peña disappointed.
During Nunes' retirement speech, Peña was caught shouting in the background and later revealed that she was tempted to storm the cage. Although Peña and Barber do not compete in the same weight class, the young prospect seized the opportunity to criticize the former champion ahead of her return at UFC Jacksonville.
Responding to Maycee Barber's remarks on The MMA Hour, Peña's message was straightforward:
"Listen, Maycee, you got a problem with me running my mouth? Drink a protein shake. Come up to 135, and you can come get some smoke too."
Peña dismissed Barber's credibility by pointing out that the young fighter has never fought for a world title. She also referred to Barber's aspirations of becoming the youngest champion ever, which did not pan out as expected. Highlighting Barber's loss to Roxanne Modafferi, Peña questioned the basis for her trash talk, as she hasn't achieved the same level of success as herself.
The former champion's message to Maycee Barber was clear: prove yourself in the octagon and achieve similar accomplishments before engaging in verbal sparring. Peña's impressive career in the UFC and her hard-earned championship title gives her the right to speak her mind.
As the rivalry between the two fighters continues to simmer, fans eagerly await the possibility of a future showdown between Julianna Peña and Maycee Barber. Until then, it remains to be seen whether Barber will accept Peña's challenge to move up to the 135-pound division or if she will focus on proving herself in her current weight class.