UFC women's bantamweight champion Julianna Pena feels her one-dimensional strategy let her down against flyweight titleholder Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on Fox 23.
Pena and Shevchenko squared off in a 135-pound weight class main event fight at the Pepsi Center, currently known as Ball Arena, in Denver, Colorado, on January 28, 2017.
'Bullet' defeated 'The Venezuelan Vixen' via submission via armbar in the second round.
Speaking on episode 118 of The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Pena claimed that she underestimated Shevchenko and paid the price for it.
"I hadn't lost in the UFC at that point. It was a big gigantic lesson in underestimating your opponent. You know I thought Valentina is a 17-time Muay Thai champion. If I take this thing to the ground, it is over. I was winning that fight but I got overzealous. I wanted to punch a hole through her face. Then I ended up getting caught on top, her on her back in an armbar. And I was like out of all the ways, I absolutely didn't think that was the case... So that one was something that I was beating myself up for so long because I was absolutely certain that I would stomp a mudhole in her. And I was up until I wasn't. So that's one I took very very difficult," said Pena.
Listen to Julianna Pena in conversation with UFC commentator, stand-up comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan below:
Julianna Pena defeated Amanda Nunes to claim the UFC women's bantamweight belt at UFC 269 last month
Julianna Pena shocked the world by ending Amanda Nunes' 12-bout winning streak in the UFC and claiming the women's bantamweight championship.
Pena beat Nunes via submission using a rear-naked choke in the co-main event of UFC 269 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. She won the encounter at a time of 3:26 in the second round.
The 'Lioness', who is still the UFC women's featherweight titleholder, is now expected to get an immediate rematch with 'The Venezuelan Vixen' later this year.
Julianna Pena has also expressed a lot of interest in fighting Valentina Shevchenko for a second time sometime in the future. It is unclear if UFC president Dana White will book that fight anytime soon.
White feels Pena vs. Nunes 2 will be the biggest clash in the history of women's MMA.