Mayra Bueno Silva’s next fight is for UFC gold, but that doesn’t mean she’s letting one of her most hated rivals off the hook.
When fans next see Bueno Silva compete, she’ll be taking on Raquel Pennington in the co-main event of UFC 297 on Jan. 20 with a vacant bantamweight title on the line. Bueno Silva, No. 1 at 135 pounds in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, looked like she might miss out on the opportunity after recently testing positive for a banned substance and seeing a recent submission win over Holly Holm overturned, but in the end her and Pennington were called upon to crown a new champion.
One name passed over in the decision is former champion Julianna Peña, who publicly lambasted the vacant title fight and called Bueno Silva a cheater. Bueno Silva previously told MMA Fighting that she plans to “humiliate” Peña should they fight, and during an appearance Wednesday on The MMA Hour, her choice of words was even harsher.
“Hey, Julianna,” Bueno Silva said, “I will kill you.”
“When you talk about mental health, you show you’re not good people,” Bueno Silva continued. “Everyone knows I had problems with anxiety because of my mental health. When you use this to promote yourself, it’s not a good person.”
Bueno Silva maintains that she has used ADHD medication for years, and until her recent suspension — which lasted 4.5 months — there had never been any issue with the UFC or USADA. She expressed gratitude to the UFC for helping her with the case.
Asked why she has so much animosity towards Peña, Bueno Silva explained that it’s the brash attitude of “The Venezuelan Vixen” that gets on her nerves.
“Look, the girl thinks she’s the champion but she’s not the champion,” Bueno Silva said. “Can someone please tell her she lost the last fight [against Amanda Nunes]? When she had an opportunity, she ran away from Amanda. Now she ran again. You know the toy, the chicken you squeeze and the chicken, ‘squawk squawk,’ Julianna is like that. Julianna only talks bulls***. She’s not a great fighter. She runs from every opportunity. She’s a noisy chicken.”
Peña was scheduled to meet former two-division champion Amanda Nunes in a trilogy bout at UFC 289, but was forced out of that contest due to an injury. She holds a memorable upset win over Nunes at UFC 269, but lost a one-sided decision to Nunes in their immediate rematch at UFC 277.
As for the vacant title fight in January, Peña was reportedly unavailable for that date due to another injury. Bueno Silva expects to defeat Pennington and then have her first title defense against Peña.
“I will take this belt, I will finish Raquel, I knock out Raquel, and then I’ll show Julianna who is a cheater,” Bueno Silva said. “I’ll punch her too much. I don’t know if she wants to fight. She wants to talk. She doesn’t want to fight, because she ran from Amanda and now she ran again.”
Silva began her journey into mixed martial arts simply to lose weight and now finds herself on the cusp of becoming recognized as the best in the world in her division. She’s eager to reflect on her accomplishments later down the road, but only after her and Peña have settled the score.
“I will think about my life when I finish Julianna Peña,” Bueno Silva said. “This thing starts when I finish Julianna Peña, because my focus is on Raquel, but my belt is really my belt when I finish Julianna Peña.”