Julianna Peña

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Julianna Peña
2nd MLG company commander helps America’s heroes 140116-M-XX123-001 (cropped).jpg
Born Julianna Peña
(1989-08-19) August 19, 1989 (age 29)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Other names The Venezuelan Vixen,
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Division Bantamweight
Reach 69 in (175 cm)[1]
Style Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Chicago, Illinois
Team SikJitsu, Luiz Claudio Combat Team (LCCT)
Years active 2009-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 11
Wins 8
By knockout 3
By submission 3
By decision 2
Losses 3
By knockout 1
By submission 1
By decision 1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Blue Belt in Brazilian JiuJitsu

Julianna Peña (born August 19, 1989) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She is the first woman to win The Ultimate Fighter. Julianna is the younger sister of former KREM 2 reporter and morning/noon meteorologist Grace Peña.[2] Peña is of Mexican and Venezuelan descent.[3] As of September 3, 2018, she is #3 in the official UFC bantamweight rankings.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Julianna graduated in 2007 from Mt. Spokane High School.[5] She then attended Spokane Community College.[6]

Peña made her professional MMA debut in May 2009. She won four consecutive fights but suffered her first defeat in April 2012 to future fellow The Ultimate Fighter 18 cast member Sarah Moras in a 140-pound catchweight bout.[7] The fight took place just two months and one week after Peña was involved in an accident with a drunk driver while walking in downtown Spokane in which she was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken nose.[8][9] Ten months later she returned to professional competition in a fight in the flyweight division, a move down from the bantamweight division, losing by unanimous decision.

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In August 2013, it was announced that Peña was one of the fighters selected to be on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate.[10]

Peña faced Gina Mazany in the elimination fight to get into the house. She controlled the fight from early on, winning a clear unanimous decision victory after two rounds.[11][12]

During the first tournament fight in the house, Peña faced veteran and top-ten ranked Shayna Baszler. Ronda Rousey selected this match up between the two first female picks. The highly ranked and more experienced Baszler was widely considered the favorite. After a back and forth first round in which Peña landed effective boxing combinations and escaped several of Baszler's submission attempts, Peña came out hard in the second round, connecting with powerful knee strikes that staggered Baszler. The fight went to the ground, where Peña was able to achieve back mount and won via rear naked choke for perhaps the biggest upset victory of the season.[13]

In the semifinals, Peña faced off against Sarah Moras. The two fought previously in a professional bout in 2012, with Peña losing after suffering an injury due to an armbar which forced the doctor to stop the bout between the second and third rounds. Peña won the fight via guillotine choke in the second round to avenge the loss.[14]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Peña faced Jessica Rakoczy in the finals on November 30, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale. She won the bout via TKO in the final seconds of the first round.[15]


Peña was expected to face Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 on March 15, 2014.[16] However, Peña pulled out of the bout after suffering an injury to her right knee. She suffered the injury while grappling in training, ultimately damaging, among other aspects, her ACL, MCL, LCL and meniscus. Despite the severity of the injury, doctors have assured Peña that her right knee will return to full strength following surgery and rehabilitation.[17] The injury kept Peña out of action for the rest of 2014.[18]

UFC return[edit]

Peña returned to face Milana Dudieva on April 4, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 63 She won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Peña her first Performance of the Night bonus award.[19]

Peña next faced Jessica Eye on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192.[20] She won the fight by unanimous decision.

Peña faced former title challenger Cat Zingano at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016. She won the fight by unanimous decision.

Peña faced Valentina Shevchenko in a possible title eliminator in the main event at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña on January 28, 2017. She lost the fight via armbar submission in the second round.[21]


On Sunday, December 20, 2015 Peña was arrested in Spokane, Washington. Charged with 2 counts of Assault, "An alleged victim and two witnesses told officers that Peña and Josh Gow, her training partner on the Sikjitsu fight team, attempted to enter Zola's bar after being involved in a street fight. Witnesses said Gow's face was covered in blood from the brawl and the two wanted to use the bathroom to get Gow cleaned up. Bar employees told Peña and Gow that the establishment was closed and they could not come in, which prompted Peña to become "irate," according to one witness. Witnesses said that Peña kicked a bar employee in the groin and then, while outside the business, kicked the owner in the groin twice. Gow did not get physical with anyone, witnesses said, and was described as being clearly drunk. The two attempted to enter Zola's again, witnesses said, but were locked out. Gow then rubbed his bloody face on the bar's front window, according to witnesses."

Peña stated to the Spokane Police Department Sgt. Eric Kannberg, ″that they had been involved in a fight with 3 people on the street, Gow had suffered a facial injury and she wanted to take him to Zola's to clean up because she knew the owner. Peña said that employees at Zola's didn't let them in because Gow was bleeding, according to Kannberg. Peña indicated that they had then left, Kannberg said. He wrote that he asked Peña if anything happened and she said no.

UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler has stated, "that the promotion is "aware of the situation" and "in the process of gathering more info."

A December court hearing for Peña was moved to January 19 in the Spokane County District Court. A judge later granted a stipulation order of continuance in her case such that if Peña had no other incidents for a year, the case would be dismissed.[22]

Film and television[edit]

Peña was featured in the award-winning mixed martial arts documentary Fight Life, the film is directed by James Z. Feng and was released in 2013.[23]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 8–3 Valentina Shevchenko Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña January 28, 2017 2 4:29 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 8–2 Cat Zingano Decision (unanimous) UFC 200 July 9, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–2 Jessica Eye Decision (unanimous) UFC 192 October 3, 2015 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Eye was deducted one point in round 2 due to an illegal knee.
Win 6–2 Milana Dudieva TKO (punches and elbows) UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas April 4, 2015 1 3:59 Fairfax, Virginia, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 5–2 Jessica Rakoczy TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale November 30, 2013 1 4:59 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 18 Bantamweight tournament.
Loss 4–2 DeAnna Bennett Decision (unanimous) Showdown Fights 10 February 8, 2013 3 5:00 Orem, Utah, United States Flyweight bout.
Loss 4–1 Sarah Moras TKO (doctor stoppage) Conquest of the Cage 11 April 19, 2012 2 5:00 Airway Heights, Washington, United States
Win 4–0 Rachael Swatez Submission (guillotine choke) Conquest of the Cage 10 December 15, 2011 2 0:17 Airway Heights, Washington, United States
Win 3–0 Stephanie Webber Submission (armbar) CageSport 8 December 5, 2009 2 2:54 Tacoma, Washington, United States
Win 2–0 Robyn Dunne TKO (punches) IFC - Caged Combat August 15, 2009 1 N/A Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
Win 1–0 Raylene Harvey Submission (rear-naked choke) EF - ExciteFight May 9, 2009 1 2:58 Spokane, Washington, United States

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3–0 Sarah Moras Submission (guillotine choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate November 13, 2013 (air date) 2 3:31 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 18 semi-final.
Win 2–0 Shayna Baszler Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate September 11, 2013 (air date) 2 3:07 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 18 preliminary round.
Win 1–0 Gina Mazany Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate September 4, 2013 (air date) 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 18 elimination round.

Championships and awards[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • 2013 Comeback of the Year

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 192 Cormier vs. Gustafsson". UFC.com. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140502052044/http://www.krem.com/news/local/Local-contestant-makes-waves-on-The-Ultimate-Fighter-224292491.html. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ peopleenespanol.com. People Magazine http://peopleenespanol.com/article/chicaboss-why-ufc-fighter-julianna-pena-marches-beat-her-own-drum/. Retrieved 15 October 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  5. ^ "J. Pena High School Alum".
  6. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/julianna-pe%C3%B1a-636b23a0?trk=prof-samename-picture
  7. ^ "Sarah Moras faces Julianna Peña at Conquest of the Cage 11 | Women's MMA Today". Wmmatoday.wordpress.com. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  8. ^ Howard, Cory (2014-02-03). "Suspected Drunk Driver Hits Tree; Tree Falls On Woman In Downtow - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather". Khq.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  9. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20131203042845/http://www.ufc.com/tuf/fighter/Julianna-Pena. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "'Ultimate Fighter' Season 18 cast revealed, including LaRosa, Baszler, Modafferi". mmajunkie.com. 2013-08-15. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  11. ^ "TUF 18 Elimination Bout: Pena vs. Mazany | UFC &reg - Media". Ufc.com. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  12. ^ Whitman, Mike (2013-09-04). "'TUF 18' Recap: Episode 1". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  13. ^ Steven Rondina (2013-09-11). "TUF 18 Episode Two Results and Recap: Shocking End to Baszler vs. Pena". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  14. ^ "Episode No. 11 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate'". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  15. ^ Brian Knapp (2013-11-30). "Nate Diaz Flurry Dispatches Gray Maynard in 'The Ultimate Fighter 18' Finale Headliner". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  16. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-01-06). "Jimy Hettes-Dennis Bermudez, Julianna Pena-Jessica Andrade booked for UFC 171". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  17. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2014-01-29). "Julianna Pena out of UFC 171 after suffering devastating knee injury". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  18. ^ Kyle Symes (2014-01-30). "Dana White: TUF 18 Winner Julianna Pena out Two Years, Should Leave Gym". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  19. ^ Staff (2015-04-04). "UFC Fight Night 63 bonuses: Four get $50,000 for 'Performance of the Night' efforts". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  20. ^ "Jessica Eye meets 'TUF 18' winner Julianna Pena at UFC 192 in Houston". mmajunkie.com. 2015-08-04.
  21. ^ "UFC on FOX 23 results: Valentina Shevchenko taps Julianna Pena for first submission win in nearly 11 years". MMAjunkie. 2017-01-29. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  22. ^ Marc Raimondi. "UFC's Julianna Pena agrees to counseling following assault arrest, will have fight booked shortly". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  23. ^ "FIGHT LIFE - MMA Documentary by James Z. Feng". Fightlife.tv. Retrieved 2015-03-10.

External links====External links[edit]