Julianna Pena

The Venezuelan Vixen


Title reign ends quickly
July 30, 2022
Pena lost her UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Amanda Nunes via unanimous decision (45-50, 44-50, 43-50) at UFC 277 in Dallas.
Most people would have guessed this would have been the result in the rematch the second Pena stunned Nunes for the title last December. Overall, Julianna was hopelessly outclassed in virtually every aspect of the fight, yet her insane toughness and durability allowed her to nearly pull off a couple miracle submissions in Round 4 in a bout she otherwise had zero chance of winning. Nunes constantly switched stances early on and Pena had no answer. She was knocked down three times in Round 2 alone but kept coming. She was taken down countless times late in the fight when she exhausted, but kept battling. It's extremely rare, even in this sport, to see a display of heart and toughness like Pena showed here. Casual observers will remark that Julianna's victory in the first fight was nothing more than a fluke, and maybe the end result was, but she's a world-class fighter who may have very well earned more respect from fans and peers from this performance than her victory.
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Rematch with Nunes set for UFC 277
May 24, 2022
Pena (11-4-0) is scheduled to face Amanda Nunes (21-5-0) in a bantamweight title fight that will serve as the headliner for UFC 277 on July 30 in Dallas, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
The two agreed to a rematch more than seven months after Pena pulled off a stunning upset of Nunes at UFC 269 on Dec. 11 to claim the welterweight belt. After the fight, Nunes acknowledged she was tending to multiple knee injuries leading up to the matchup, but the seven-month hiatus from competition should have her back to optimal health as she aims to recapture the belt from Pena. The UFC 277 event will feature two title fights, as Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will also battle for the interim flyweight bout in the co-main event.
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.
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.