Julianna Pena got some advice from Mike Tyson while she was the UFC’s bantamweight champion.
Pena stunned the MMA world at UFC 269 when she scored a submission win over Amanda Nunes to become the new bantamweight champion. After the win, the two had a rematch at UFC 277 and Pena revealed for her first title defense, former boxing heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson walked out with her.
Not only did Tyson walk out with Pena, but she also says the former heavyweight champ gave her plenty of advice while she was the champion. The most notable advice was about making money and balancing going to events while also staying in the gym training.
‘I wish I would have spent more time at home’
“One of the things that Mike told me,” Pena said on The MMA Hour (h/t MMANews). “When I was talking to him, (I said), ‘Mike, they want me to do this, they want me to do that. They’re gonna pay me for this, pay me for that.’ I said, ‘I don’t wanna do any of that. I just wanna stay and train.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I used to be stupid too… It’s all about making the money! Make your money!’
“At that point, it’s like, yes, I need to make money, but I wanna stay and train… It was a plethora of all these events where I had to go here, here, here, here,” Pena continued. “Every weekened I’m gone, every week I’m flying somewhere… In one sense, you’ve gotta go make your money… But in the other sense, all I care about is winning. It just sucks how much time it took away from the actual training aspect of the fight. I wish I would have spent more time at home.”
Ultimately, Julianna Pena ended up losing a one-sided decision to Amanda Nunes in the rematch at UFC 277 to lose her belt. Yet, the two are running it back in the main event of UFC 289 on June 10 in Vancouver for the bantamweight title.
Although Pena is no longer the champ, she says she learned a lot from her talks with Mike Tyson.