Julianna Peña hasn’t forgotten what Ronda Rousey said to her.
Eight years before Peña stunned the world in defeating Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight title, she was a competitor on “The Ultimate Fighter,” ultimately winning the tournament and earning a UFC contract in the process.
The show was billed as Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. Peña was on the latter, led by Miesha Tate, with whom she’d become close friends and training partners.
This meant a rivalry with Rousey, who to this day Peña does not have a chummy relationship.
“We’re not friends,” Peña told The Post. “We don’t speak.
“She really had a tough time getting along with me on The Ultimate Fighter. She didn’t like me at all because I was friends with Miesha Tate Tate. She wasn’t the nicest.”
Right now, Peña is focused on the task at hand, which will be an eventual rematch with Nunes. In December, Peña defeated Nunes with a rear-naked choke submission maneuver. Both Peña and UFC boss Dana White have agreed that Nunes deserves a rematch. The date of their next fight is not yet known.
Peña, asked who would be her dream fight should she beat Nunes for a second time, did not hesitate.
“It would be amazing to pull Ronda Rousey back out of retirement,” Peña said. “It would be great to have her come back to UFC and fight again.”
Back in 2013, when Rousey was on top of the fight game and decimating everyone in her path, Peña recalled a moment from “The Ultimate Fighter” when Rousey’s arrogance still sticks with her to this day.
“I don’t know that she’ll recall this because she ended up getting taken out by her entire team,” Peña said. “But when we won ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and got out of the house, she told me that, ‘You’re gonna give me a tougher fight than Miesha Tate Tate, but when that day comes I’m still gonna kick your ass.’”
“I kind of said to her, ‘We’ll see.’”
A major issue with this dream fight for Peña is that Rousey has now been retired from UFC for over five years.
Rousey’s last two fights were convincing, physically taxing losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, and she has shown no inkling of returning to the Octagon since.
In the interim, Rousey has done a stint in WWE, and gave birth to baby daughter La’akea Makalapuaokalanipō Browne this past September.
If Rousey ever does consider a comeback to MMA, there’s a champion in Julianna Peña relishing the opportunity to make her back up her old words.