Julianna Peña betting favorite to end year as bantamweight champion ahead of vacant title fight at UFC 297

Julianna Peña confirms she will fight for UFC bantamweight title in return from injury

Not actually featuring in this weekend’s vacant bantamweight champion at UFC 297, former divisional queen, Julianna Peña is emerging as betting favorite to lay claim to the 135 pound come the end of the year – ahead of incoming competitors, Raquel Pennington, and Mayra Bueno Silva.

Peña, a former undisputed bantamweight champion and the current number one ranked divisional contender, has been sidelined through the last year amid an injury suffered ahead of a scheduled June title trilogy fight rubber match with the retired, Amanda Nunes.

And yet to be booked to make her return to the Octagon, Washington native, Peña, has been steadfast in her claim that while Pennington and Bueno Silva meet in a vacant title fight at UFC 297 this weekend in Toronto, the two are just fighting for the right to fight her next.

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And according to betting odds available, The Ultimate Fighter victor, Julianna Peña is the current betting favorite at odds of +250 to hold the bantamweight crown at the end of December of this year, above next closest foe, Mayra Bueno Silva. 

Julianna Peña favorite to end 2024 as champion

Odds on Julianna Peña’s chances of striking and holding gold in the future ahead of UFC 297 are available web-wide – and while punters are sure to splash their cash on the interesting prop bet of the future champion come the end of 2024, they can also take a punt on the best bitcoin casinos at the link provided. 

Sidelined since dropping her title to Nunes back in 2022, the year prior, Peña turned in one of the most surprising and shocking upset victories for the bookmakers – submitting the dominant former two-weight champion with a stunning second round rear-naked choke in their grudge fight. 

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Peña’s win saw the outspoken Washington star become just the fifth bantamweight champion in the history of the UFC, following in the footsteps of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm, as well as the previously mentioned, Nunes.

And with odds of +1,800 available on a stunning comeback title reign for the retired Nunes by the end of 2024, the Bahia native is more likely to hold the championship at the end of the year than the above-mentioned, Holm at +3,500 – and Tacoma native, Tate, who is even drifting out futher at +5,000. 

Holding a prior armbar submission win over Peña, former undisputed flyweight queen, Valentina Shevchenko – who has long-been linked with a bantamweight return following a failed title pursuit against Nunes in the pair’s rematch, is available as short as a +750 betting underdog to hold the title at the end of 2024. 

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Set to make her first outing amid pregnancy in an April return to the Octagon, inaugural featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie, who is the last fighter to beat Julianna Peña other than two-time foe, Nunes – is drawing odds currently of +2,500 to hold gold at the bantamweight limit at the end of the year, ahead of her fight with Brazilian contender, Norma Dumont.