In a fight that will decide the next women’s 135lb title challenger, Holly Holm and Julianna Pena are set to face off at a UFC Fight Night card.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the fight is being booked for May 8th. The venue has not yet been announced, although it will likely take place at either the UFC’s Apex arena in Vegas or at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. With Holm ranked at 2nd, and Pena at 5th, the winner may well be looking at a title shot against Amanda Nunes in the near future.
Holly Holm (@HollyHolm) vs. Julianna Peña (@VenezuelanVixen) have agreed to meet in May. Currently the Nos. 2 and 5 ranked UFC bantamweights. https://t.co/hYLLFmbg5D
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 20, 2021
Both fighters are coming off impressive victories. At UFC 257, Pena impressively submitted former Olympic wrestler Sara McMann. She immediately called out the current champion Nunes. However, with Nunes currently defending her 145lb title at UFC 258, Pena will have to settle for Holm instead.
After her #UFC257 win, @VenezuelanVixen called out bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes and @dc_mma said "shoot your shot!" pic.twitter.com/3c6Gs0g4ZT
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 24, 2021
Alternatively, Holm most recently defeated upcoming prospect, Irene Aldana, in a convincing 5 round display of mixed martial arts prowess. The win silenced a large number of naysayers and secured Holm’s position in the top 5 of the division. The fight also served to show the variety in Holm’s game. Deviating away from her usual pure kickboxing technique, she utilised wrestling to increase the pressure on Aldana.
Holly Holm (14-5), and Julianna Pena (10-4) have been mainstays of the women bantamweight division almost since it’s inception. The clash of Holm’s kickboxing against Pena’s elite Jiu-jitsu is likely to create a classic 135lb bout. Also on the card are:
- Donald Cerrone vs Diego Sanchez
- Ryan Benoit vs Zarrukh Adashev