The UFC has announced that a women’s bantamweight scrap featuring Holly Holm vs Julianna Pena is in the works, as first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamato. The fight has been added to UFC Fight Night 192, which is set for May 8th and is now the second official fight announced on the card.
Holly Holm vs Julianna Pena Added To UFC Fight Night 192
Holly Holm (14-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is back in the octagon after winning her last fight at Fight Island in October, where she defeated Irene Aldana by unanimous decision in her main event bout. Holm is searching for another title shot after she was TKO’d by double champ Amanda Nunes in the bantamweight title fight back at UFC 239 in July 2019.
It’s been sour luck for Holm in her last three losses, as each one had the title up for grabs. Before the Nunes fight, she was competing in the featherweight division. In her featherweight debut, the inaugural championship belt was to be won as she came up against Germaine de Randamie. The five-round main event at UFC 208 was judged by a unanimous decision awarded to De Randamie.
Holm’s first featherweight fight was in February 2017, and she was back again in June of the same year. This time around, Holm wasn’t messing about. She faced Brazilian Bethe Correia and, in the third round, a beautiful leg kick from Holm wobbled Correia to her knees. She only needed one left hook to finish her before referee Marc Goddard put a stop to the fight.
In December 2017, the American got her second shot at the featherweight belt, this time against the Brazilian Cris Cyborg. It was a dominant performance by Cyborg as she overcame Holm via unanimous decision and Holm lost out on yet another championship belt.
Pena was introduced to the UFC when she won The Ultimate Fighter 18 back in 2013 by knocking out Jessica Rakoczy inside the first round. The Venezuelan Vixen went on a three-fight win streak after that, defeating the likes of Milana Dudieva, Jessica Eye, and Cat Zingano.
After impressive victories, Pena was awarded the main event fight against current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Pena put up a real challenge against Shevchenko as not many normally do. Inside the second round, Pena took Valentina down and was in a good mount position as round two was coming to a close. Then, after some ridiculous movement from Shevchenko to work her way out of the mount, she landed an armbar on Pena, winning the fight in superstar fashion.
Pena announced she was pregnant after the bout and took a hiatus from the sport. Two-and-a-half-years later, she returned with a unanimous decision win over Nicco Montaño. Six months later a submission loss to De Randamie meant Pena had to work her way back up.
With De Randamie beating both Holm and Pena, many thought with Holly being number two in the rankings and on a two-fight win streak, it would be right to see Holm and De Randamie face off again in the octagon.
It is not clear where the Holly Holm vs Julianna Pena fight will land on the card, but it will definitely be one to watch! The UFC has yet to announce the full line-up for this event, but the reported bouts on the card are listed below:
- Flyweight: Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev
- Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs Julianna Pena
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