Julianna Nicole Peña[2] (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. As December 16, 2019, she is #4 in the UFC women's bantamweight rankings.[3]

Julianna Peña
2nd MLG company commander helps America’s heroes 140116-M-XX123-001 (cropped).jpg
BornJulianna Nicole Peña
(1989-08-19) August 19, 1989 (age 30)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Other namesThe Venezuelan Vixen
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Reach69 in (175 cm)[1]
StyleKickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofChicago, Illinois
TeamSikJitsu, Luiz Claudio Combat Team (LCCT)
Years active2009–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission3
By decision3
By knockout1
By submission1
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Blue Belt in Brazilian JiuJitsu

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Julianna graduated in 2007 from Mt. Spokane High School.[4] She then attended Spokane Community College.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8] 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 FighterEdit

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.[9]

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.[10][11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

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 and became TUF 18 women’s bantamweight champion.[14]


Peña was expected to face Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 on March 15, 2014.[15] 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.[16] The injury kept Peña out of action for the rest of 2014.[17]

UFC returnEdit

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.[18]

Peña next faced Jessica Eye on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192.[19] She won the fight by unanimous decision.[20]

Peña faced former title challenger Cat Zingano at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016.[21] She won the fight by unanimous decision.[22]

Peña faced Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on Fox 23 on January 28, 2017.[23] She lost the fight via armbar submission in the second round.[24]

On October 14, 2017 Peña announced that she was pregnant and would be taking an indefinite hiatus from the sport.[25] On July 13, 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 13, nearly two and a half years from her last bout, she returned and faced former UFC Women's Flyweight Championship Nicco Montaño, replacing an injured Sara McMann.[26] She won the fight via unanimous decision.[27]

Peña is expected to face Aspen Ladd on March 28, 2020 at UFC on ESPN 8.[28]


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.[29]

Film and televisionEdit

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.[30]

Peña is an announcer, along with Max Bretos, for Combate Americas' English language broadcast on DAZN.[31]

Personal lifeEdit

Julianna is the younger sister of former KREM 2 reporter and morning/noon meteorologist Grace Peña.[32] Peña is of Mexican and Venezuelan descent.[33]

In January 2018, Peña gave birth to her first child, a daughter.[34]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
12 matches 9 wins 3 losses
By knockout 3 1
By submission 3 1
By decision 3 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 9–3 Nicco Montaño Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: de Randamie vs. Ladd July 13, 2019 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States
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
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) September 11, 2013 (air date) 2 3:07 TUF 18 preliminary round.
Win 1–0 Gina Mazany Decision (unanimous) September 4, 2013 (air date) 2 5:00 TUF 18 elimination round.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 192 Cormier vs. Gustafsson". UFC.com. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "State Of Nevada" (PDF). Boxing.nv.gov. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  3. ^ "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  4. ^ "J. Pena High School Alum".
  5. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/julianna-pe%C3%B1a-636b23a0?trk=prof-samename-picture
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ "'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.
  10. ^ "TUF 18 Elimination Bout: Pena vs. Mazany | UFC &reg - Media". Ufc.com. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  11. ^ Whitman, Mike (2013-09-04). "'TUF 18' Recap: Episode 1". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  12. ^ Steven Rondina (2013-09-11). "TUF 18 Episode Two Results and Recap: Shocking End to Baszler vs. Pena". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  13. ^ "Episode No. 11 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate'". MMAjunkie. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  14. ^ "TUF 18 Finale Results: Julianna Peña TKOs Jessica Rakoczy to Become First Female Ultimate Fighter". MMAWeekly.com. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  15. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-01-06). "Jimy Hettes-Dennis Bermudez, Julianna Pena-Jessica Andrade booked for UFC 171". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  16. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2014-01-29). "Julianna Pena out of UFC 171 after suffering devastating knee injury". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  17. ^ Kyle Symes (2014-01-30). "Dana White: TUF 18 Winner Julianna Pena out Two Years, Should Leave Gym". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Jessica Eye meets 'TUF 18' winner Julianna Pena at UFC 192 in Houston". mmajunkie.com. 2015-08-04.
  20. ^ "UFC 192 results: Julianna Pena outworks Jessica Eye in hard-fought ground battle". MMAjunkie. 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  21. ^ Cole, Ross (2016-04-08). "Cat Zingano Vs Julianna Pena Confirmed For UFC 200". MMA Insight. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  22. ^ "UFC 200 results: Julianna Pena outgrapples former title challenger Cat Zingano for decision win". MMAjunkie. 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  23. ^ "Julianna Pena vs. Valentina Shevchenko to headline "UFC on Fox" card at Denver". The Denver Post. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "UFC contender Julianna Pena announces pregnancy, putting career on hold". MMAjunkie.com. 2017-10-14. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  26. ^ Damon Martin (2018-06-19). "With Sara McMann out, Nicco Montano expected to face Julianna Pena at UFC Sacramento". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  27. ^ "UFC Sacramento: Julianna Pena grinds out decision victory over Nicco Montano". FanSided. 2019-07-13. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  28. ^ Anderson, Jay (2020-01-13). "Aspen Ladd vs. Juliana Pena Announced for UFC Columbus". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  29. ^ Marc Raimondi (2016-04-04). "UFC's Julianna Pena agrees to counseling following assault arrest, will have fight booked shortly". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  30. ^ "FIGHT LIFE - MMA Documentary by James Z. Feng". Fightlife.tv. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  31. ^ Buffington, Penny (2018-09-13). "Gilbert Melendez and Julianna Pena Join Combate Americas". MMA Fight Radio. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  32. ^ 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)
  33. ^ 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)
  34. ^ Jose Youngs (December 7, 2018). "Julianna Peña eyes 2019 return to UFC: 'I can't wait to get back in the division and join them'". mmafighting.com.
  35. ^ "TUF 18 Finale Results: Julianna Peña TKOs Jessica Rakoczy to Become First Female Ultimate Fighter". MMAWeekly.com. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Sherdog.com. "Julianna". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-12-12.

External linksEdit