Julianna Pena's Comments About Amanda Nunes Being A 'Mother' Leaves Fans Divided
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Julianna Pena has left fans split with her post-fight comments about Amanda Nunes being a mother.
Pena produced one of the biggest upsets in UFC history by dethroning the GOAT to clinch the women's bantamweight title.
The bout itself made headlines all around the world, but it's Pena's comments once her hand was raised which seem to have landed her in hot water with some MMA viewers.
Speaking during her post-fight press conference, Pena claimed the UFC needs to create a "Baddest Mum On The Planet" belt for her and that she should be considered the first mother to win a UFC championship - not Nunes.
"I'm not trying to take anything away from Amanda Nunes, she's a wonderful mother, but I gave birth to my daughter," Pena said.
"I feel like for giving birth I am the first mum champ. That, to me, is also a little feather in the cap."
I asked Julianna Peña if @ufc should create a Baddest Mom On The Planet belt for her.
"I'm not trying to take anything away from Amanda Nunes, she's a wonderful mother, but I gave birth to my daughter. I feel like for giving birth I am the first mom champ." #UFC269 @LVSportsBiz pic.twitter.com/L5FaeOtDG3
- The Sportsnista (@TheSportsnista) December 12, 2021
Nunes - who is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time - is a mother herself, although her partner delivered their child.
As for Pena, she gave birth to her daughter back in 2018.
After making the comments, Pena instantly found herself in the firing line of angry MMA fans.
"What a disgusting thought to put out into the world. My aunt is the mum of two adopted children. M. U. M. Amanda Nunes is a mum and was champ. She was the first "mum champ" in UFC history. Julianna Pena is the second. Both mums. Period," New York Post reporter Scott Fontana wrote.
"It is a remarkable and worthy achievement to be able to say Julianna Peña is the first woman to have given birth and subsequently won a UFC championship. It's also demeaning to discount some mums just because they didn't/couldn't give birth. There's a better way to say this."
Respected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani threw his support behind the new champ, tweeting: "Julianna Pena is the first woman to give birth to a child and then become UFC champ. Pretty darn cool."
But Helwani was also slammed for his remarks.
FTR, I'm not trying to diminish anyone. Cmon. Just noting, given my immense respect for what women go through during and post-pregnancy, that this is a first and very much worth commending. That's it. I know there are many ways to be a mom and they all deserve love + respect. :pray:
- Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 12, 2021
One person replied: "You don't have to give birth to a child to be a mother."
While another added: "Nah diminishing other womens' experience of motherhood isn't impressive, it's pompous and s****y."
As one bloke concluded: "They're both moms, wtf does it matter? This is just insulting a GOAT."
Pena went on to offer former dual-division champion Nunes an immediate rematch, but was overcome with emotion during her initial octagon interview with commentator Joe Rogan.
"I'm not surprised, motherf**kers," Peaa said.
"I told you. Don't ever doubt me again.
"You know, no one has ever given me any respect. "They're always just sleeping me. And I said, 'That's fine, I like flying under the radar.' Everybody's sleeping and I just woke them up. I was just trying to let them know. I told you, I told you I was going to do it, and I did it."