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Julianna Pena On Becoming A Mother, Fighting Future

Julianna Pena wants to make one thing perfectly clear: becoming a mother does not mean her fighting career is over.

Pena, who confirmed she is pregnant recently, explained on “UFC Tonight” that she plans to take time off but will return to MMA.

Pena on if she’ll come back after having her baby: “Definitely. People are saying I’m retired. But that’s definitely not the case for me. I’ll take eight months to a year to come back. It’s selfish to be in a fight camp. You’re a crazy person already. I want to get that bonding experience with that kid for that first year before I come back.”

Pena on the other women who have had kids and fought again: “Those women are inspirations to me. Davis, McMann, Waterson. They’re moms and they fight ferociously. It’s going to be such an amazing comeback for me, to show other women who are watching because I’m a mother now. It’ll be very important to be a role model for women that you can be brave and show them they can do things they don’t think they can do.”

Pena on who she’ll fight when she comes back: “I think I got a little too far ahead of myself before my last fight. I’ll take whichever fight I can when I come back. I’d love to rematch Valentina Shevchenko.”

Pena on if she’d fight at 135 or go to 125: “I still have a lot to prove at 135. I’m not trying to move down to be the bigger fighter. I’m afraid of no one in the 135 division. And who knows if I’ll be able to make 135 after the baby?”