Julianna Pena
The Venezuelan Vixen


Returns from long layoff with win
July 13, 2019
Pena defeated Nicco Montano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Sacramento.
Fighting for the first time since January 2017 due to the birth of her daughter, Pena was baffled by Montano in Round 1 before eventually finding her range and dominating the rest of the way. Pena was totally gassed and ripe for the picking in the early going, but Montano was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Pena was on quite a run (4-1) prior to her sabbatical, and she is young enough (30 years old next month) to get back to that level, but 2.5 years is a long time to be away from the sport, and there is a mountain of women ahead of Pena in the rankings due to her inactivity. She had a long road ahead of her.
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Taking on Montano
June 26, 2019
Pena is scheduled to fight Nicco Montano at UFC Sacramento on July 13.
Montano was originally expected to fight Sara McCann, but the former Olympian withdrew due to injury and Pena took her place. We haven't seen Pena since her submission loss to Valentina Shevchenko in 2017, which marked the 29-year-old's first loss in five career UFC fights. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Montano also hasn't fought since 2017, largely due to injuries, but is 1-0 in the UFC.
Sets goal to return in 2019
December 7, 2018
Pena is eyeing a 2019 resume date to her fighting career, Jose Young of MMA Fighting reports.
It's been nearly two years since Pena last took to the Octagon since putting her career on pause when she discovered she was pregnant. After welcoming her child to the world in January, The Venezuelan Vixen is currently in the midst of measuring when she'll be physically ready to resume her career, but her current goal is sometime in early 2019. Prior to stepping away, the former "Ultimate Fighter" winner had an overall record of 9-3-0 but lost her most recent bout against Valentina Shevchenko in January of 2017.
Puts fighting career on hold for first child
October 17, 2017
Pena has put her career on hold since finding out she was pregnant but she plans to return to fighting after giving birth to her first child, Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com reports.
Pena hasn't seen action since January but didn't explain why until appearing on The MMA Hour. After discovering that she was pregnant, Pena decided to pause her fighting career to focus on her first baby with her fiancé Louis. While she wants to return to the cage about eight months after giving birth, the timetable for her return is unpredictable. Each pregnancy and recovery time is different and Pena wants to make sure her baby gets the attention she deserves. Julianna and Louis plan to name their little girl Isabella.
Hopes to compete on TUF
May 11, 2017
Pena wants to return to TUF as a flyweight next season to compete for the title, Damon Martin of Fox Sportsreports.
Pena (9-3 overall) is currently a bantamweight looking to drop ten pounds to join the UFC's newly-created flyweight division. She joined the promotion in 2013 and won a title belt in TUF 18 Finale. This decision comes after a loss (submission-armbar) to Valentina Shevchenko in a main event fight at UFC Fight Night (UFC on Fox 23) in January.
Suffers first UFC loss at hands of Valentina Shevchenko
January 28, 2017
Pena lost to Valentina Shevchenko via submission (armbar) at 4:29 of Round 2 at UFC on FOX 23 on Saturday in Denver.
It was Pena's first loss since joining the UFC roster. She did good work from the clinch in Round 1, but she spent the vast majority of the first frame getting controlled on the mat. The former Ultimate Fighter winner was faring better in Round 2, but she was unable to defend an armbar from Shevchenko that seemingly came out of nowhere. Pena is a big, physical bantamweight, but she was a facing a bigger, stronger opponent in Shevchenko. The good news is that Pena hasn't shown any ill effects from the massive knee injury that cost her nearly a year and a half worth of action from November 2013 to April 2015. Because the UFC women's 135-pound division is lacking top-end talent, Pena is going to get another chance to impact the title picture.