Julianna Pena Steps In For Fight Against Ex-Champion At UFC Sacramento

Julianna Pena Not
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Julianna Pena decided it was best to make her return to action on short notice.  

Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann was supposed to fight former UFC flyweight champion Nicco Montano at the upcoming UFC Sacramento event. Plans changed as McMann pulled out of the fight due to injury.

Now, Pena will fight Montano at this show. It was reported by MMA Fighting that verbal agreements are in place for the new fight. Thus, it won’t be made official until bout agreements have been signed and the UFC makes an official announcement

Pena returns to action after giving birth to her first child last January as she hasn’t fought since 2017. In her latest outing, she lost by submission to Valentina Shevchenko. As a result, it broke her four-fight win streak that including victories over Cat Zingano and Jessica Eye.

On the flip side, Montano returns after a layoff as she hasn’t fought since the end of 2017 when she won the inaugural women’s flyweight title. This was when Montano dealt with a foot injury that kept her out of 2018. She was stripped of her title after she pulled out of a title fight against Shevchenko last September due to a bad weight cut.

The UFC Sacramento event is slated to take place on July 13, 2019, at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. The main card and preliminary portion will air on ESPN+. Here is the updated card:

Main Card (ESPN+/10 p.m. ET)

  • Women’s bantamweight: Germaine De Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd
  • Bantamweight: Urijah Faber vs. Ricky Simon
  • Featherweight: Mirsad Bektic vs. Josh Emmett
  • Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Middleweight: Cezar Ferreira vs. Marvin Vettori
  • Middleweight: Karl Roberson vs. John Phillips

Prelims (ESPN+/5 p.m. ET)

  • Featherweight: Andre Fili vs. Sheymon Moraes
  • Women’s strawweight: Livinha Souza vs. Brianna Van Buren
  • Featherweight: Darren Elkins vs. Ryan Hall
  • Light heavyweight: Mike Rodriguez vs. Gian Villante
  • Women’s bantamweight: Julianna Pena vs. Nicco Montano
  • Bantamweight: Jonathan Martinez vs. Liu Pingyuan
  • Bantamweight: Martin Day vs. Benito Lopez
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