UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Peña recently drew some criticism for comments she made concerning COVID during an appearance on Joe Rogan‘s podcast.
“I’m a massive conspiracy theorist on this whole thing and I have been since the very beginning,” Peña said during the interview with Rogan. “I’m like, this is just a money grab. This is they’re trying to kill us, you know? And this is ridiculous.”
Peña walked back those comments during The Ultimate Fighter 30 Media Day. Peña coaches the upcoming season opposite former titleholder and who she took the title from, Amanda Nunes.
“I can’t speak for Joe, I can only speak for myself and I took a little heat on that as well,” Peña said. “And what I mean to say is, once again, my words were a little bit misconstrued. I am tired, I am exhausted. We are going on this pandemic two years, going on three years now, I just want things to go back to normal. I realize that they probably won’t but I didn’t mean to come across as insensitive, especially for the fact that I had COVID. Everybody that I know had COVID. I lost my aunt in Venezuela, I lost many people that were near and dear to me.
“It absolutely is real. I’m just angry and frustrated and exhausted over the whole situation because I just am wanting things to go back to normal. And so if I offended anybody by my comments on COVID, please I would like to apologize. That was not by any means what I meant to say. I just meant to say that I’m frustrated with the way that the world is right now.”
Rogan’s podcast has made national headlines in recently weeks due to guests he’s had on discussing COVID-19 treatments and after a video montage surfaced showing Rogan repeatedly using a racial slur during past episodes of his podcast. Spotify made rule changed to deal with “misinformation” and “dangerous content, and Rogan apologized for his past use of the N-word. Peña defended Rogan.
“But they’re trying to cancel him because of what his feelings are on the whole matter,” Peña said. “They’re trying to dig up everything that they can. They’re trying to find any negative thing that they can to try to cancel him because of his original message.
“I can’t speak for Joe, I don’t know how his thoughts are, me being still learning in the process, I think that he was trying to divert away from that when I was on the thing and I just kept getting right back to it and hammering it. My sister’s like, ‘You can’t read a room? This guy’s literally trying to tell you let’s quit talking about this.’ I’m like God. Idiot. So now I feel like I can’t say how I really feel about anything because they’re just gonna find a way to make a headline. So now I’m just like, keep it PG, Julianna. Just keep it PG.”
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