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Julianna Pena on Ronda Rousey: “She Didn’t Really Rub Me the Right Way”

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Julianna Pena on Ronda Rousey: “She Didn’t Really Rub Me the Right Way”
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Julianna Pena on Ronda Rousey: “She Didn’t Really Rub Me the Right Way”

Much has been said about UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s appearance as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 18. Some believe her public persona has been affected negatively as a result.

Prior to the series airing, Rousey herself voiced concerns about how she may be perceived.

“I haven't seen any of the footage yet, but I'm aware that I'm going to look nuts,” said Rousey in an interview with Bleacher Report before the show debuted on Fox Sports 1 on Sept. 4.

UFC president Dana White believed Rousey was being overcritical of herself, but TUF 18 finalist Julianna Pena thinks Rousey was portrayed exactly the way that she is.

“I think she came off as the way that she is, which I respect. Ronda played Ronda 110-percent of the time, and that’s what I respect about her,” said Pena during a recent media conference call.

Outside of The Ultimate Fighter house, Pena trains with Rousey’s rival Miesha Tate. She was Team Tate’s first female pick during the season’s team selections. Pena believes her relationship with Tate affected how Rousey interacted with her on the show.

“As far as me personally, she had got into some spats with me, and she had some choice words to say to me to my face. She didn’t really rub me the right way,” said Pena. “I felt like they were pinpointing me because I was guilty by association, so I didn’t necessarily like that.”

While Pena may not like Rousey personally, she still respects the champion as a fighter and an athlete.

“I respect her as a fighter, and I think she’s a great athlete. I think that she came across as exactly how she is.”

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