Julianna Pena shocked many people on episode 2 of The Ultimate Fighter 18 on Wednesday when she was able to submit veteran Shayna Baszler, who many had considered the favorite to win the show. After the fight, Baszler’s coach, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, had a meltdown and shed plenty of tears before jawing off at Miesha Tate.
Pena took part in a Q&A with MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti after the show aired, and she made it clear that she is no fan of the UFC champ.
Here are some of the best exchanges from the Q&A:
Al-Shatti: Ronda seemed to be instigating even early on, barging in on Team Tate’s practice. Was there more to it than that?
Pena: There were things she was doing to piss off our team. To me, it was just very amateur hour. It was like, God, you’re such a little girl. Damn, you’re so dumb. It wasn’t even like we were scared of her. Oh, that’s such a great effect. You’re kicking in the door. It’s just stupid. Somebody trying so hard to get that attention. You’re not cool. It backfired and made you look stupid.
Al-Shatti: Ronda got incredibly emotional afterward. Was that just for the cameras or did you guys see that too?
Pena: No, I didn’t see that. But I definitely saw the dynamics change between her and Miesha after that. Obviously they’ve had their tiffs in the past, but for the most part, they were cordial with one another. Me and Miesha both agreed, ‘Hmmm, Ronda’s being nice. This is kinda weird.’ And then, bang! Right after that fight against Shayna, it flipped a switch. After that Ronda was a nightmare. She just couldn’t stand the fact that I took out her No. 1 pick. And yeah, it made her cry. That’s great. I made Ronda Rousey cry and I love it.
Al-Shatti: When Ronda got angry and chastised Miesha for smiling after your win, you were right there. Was Miesha doing anything disrespectful or ridiculous, or was Ronda just being dramatic?
Pena: Absolutely not. That was Ronda being a big baby. She was so upset that I won, she was trying to look for anything to use as an excuse to talk crap to Miesha. And she found it. Miesha was obviously happy for me. Miesha has competed against Shanya herself and has known Shayna for a while. Shayna is her friend. So for Ronda to be like, ‘You were laughing at my girl’s pain! That’s the reason why I’m going to destroy you!’ It was like, again, it’s just so dumb. Grow up. Miesha knows Shanya. They’re friends. She’s not smiling at her pain. She’s happy for me. Only Ronda would twist those type of emotions into something that would make it bad. Because that’s the way she thinks
Rousey had hoped to get an edge in the competition by taking out Pena, who was Tate’s first overall pick and her good friend, but the plan backfired and Baszler was the victim of an upset.
By all indications, Rousey will continue to go after Team Tate verbally and in the octagon.
It’s shaping up to be a great season, so we can’t wait to see next week’s episode.