The moment Ronda Rousey hit the canvas against Holly Holm, we all knew a lot was destined to change.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” was now the female champion at 135 pounds, and that meant title opportunities were suddenly available for several of the fighters who fell short in their attempts to unseat Rousey from her throne in fights past.
And while Julianna Pena never had the chance to face Rousey, she’s excited for what’s to come with Holm atop the division. She said during a fan Q&A in Seoul:
“I’m very proud of Holly. I feel like she executed her gameplan to a tee. With that being said, I’m also happy for her reconstructing the division and opening it back up to the rest of the [bantamweights] out there. It means that it’s going to be more of a round-robin type of division. We’re going to see a lot more competitive matches.”
Miesha Tate, who lost in two one-sided matches against Rousey, is suddenly a contender once more. Cat Zingano, who lost to Rousey in 14 seconds, is suddenly a contender once more. Even fighters like Alexis Davis, Sara McMann and Sarah Kaufman could fight for the title again if they play their cards right.
In order for all that to happen, however, Holm likely needs to be victorious in an expected rematch. Holm said she’d like to fight Rousey again sooner rather than later, but would not be completely against Rousey’s original wish of waiting until UFC 200 on July 9 to reappear inside the Octagon.