Julianna Pena

The Venezuelan Vixen


New champ stuns world at UFC 269
December 11, 2021
Pena shocked the world Saturday, defeating Amanda Nunes via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:22 of Round 2 to win the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship at UFC 269 in Las Vegas.
It's one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport. Pena -- who entered as no less than a +600 underdog (Nunes was at least a -1000 favorite) called her shot and delivered. She said she was going to drag the champion into a fire fight and did just that. The result was all the more remarkable considering Pena was dominated in Round 1. Yet, when the clock finally flipped to Round 2, Pena unloaded with volume, and Nunes didn't handle the pressure well. Amanda appeared to quickly gas out, and Pena, who has never been known as much of a striker, recognized her opening and floored the gas pedal. Julianna was eventually able to get Nunes to the mat and choke her out, although the stoppage was more the result of Amanda being exhausted than anything else. Nunes is obviously going to get an immediate rematch, and it's far more likely than not that Pena won't be able to beat the former pound-for-pound queen a second-straight time, but that's honestly irrelevant at this point. This victory seemingly gives new life and a breath of fresh air to a division that has needed it for quite some time. Furthermore, Pena will take home an extra $50,000 for her efforts here after being awarded one of six Performance of the Night bonuses.
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Nunes bout rebooked
August 30, 2021
Pena will go for the bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 on Dec. 11, MMAFighting.com reports.
Pena was supposed to originally go for the belt in early August at UFC 265, but Nunes had to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Pena earned her chance to go for the bantamweight title after a third-round submission of Sara McMann at UFC 257 in January. Nunes will be going for an incredible 13th straight victory.
Title shot off
July 29, 2021
Pena will no longer fight at UFC 265 on Aug. 7 after her opponent Amanda Nunes tested positive for COVID-19, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
There is a tentative plan in place to reschedule this title bout in December, but an official date should be announced over the coming weeks. Pena likely will not fight again until then. She last was in the Octagon in January when she submitted Sara McMann.
Getting title shot
April 15, 2021
Pena will square off against Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight division belt on Aug. 7, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
Pena was believed to be set to fight Holly Holm for her next bantamweight bout, but it never came to fruition and instead she will get her shot at the title despite losing two of her last four bouts. Pena's shot comes following the submission of Sara McMann (rear-naked choke) at UFC 257, but her competition level skyrockets in her next fight. Nunes hasn't lost since 2015 and should enter the fight a heavy favorite over Pena.
Won't face Holm
March 6, 2021
Pena won't face Holly Holm in a bantamweight bout at UFC Fight Night on May 8 as previously scheduled, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
The pairing was announced a couple weeks ago, but the bout apparently never officially came to fruition. It's unclear if Pena will receive a different opponent for the May 8 card or if a new matchup will land on another date.
Slated to fight Holly Holm
February 19, 2021
Pena has agreed to fight Holly Holm in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Fight Night on May 8, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
Pena defeated Sara McMann via submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC 257 in January and is now 2-1 over her past three appearances. She'll take on a top contender in the division in May. Holm has won her past two fights via unanimous decision, most recently defeating Irene Aldana at UFC Fight Night in early October. The two fighters are even in reach, but Holm has a slight edge in height.