Julianna Pena gave fight fans their first finish earlier tonight (Sat., Jan. 23, 2021) at UFC 257 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Etihad Arena on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., when the “Venezuelan Vixen” stopped veteran contender Sara McMann via third-round submission (rear-naked choke).
McMann was a powerhouse early as the former Olympic wrestler was able to drag Pena to the ground and control the fight with her grappling. Pena turned the tables in the second round by landing a plethora of shots off her back and then eventually scoring more punches when the two women returned to their feet.
The final frame was all Pena as she was able to take McMann to the ground and soften her up with more strikes. McMann tried to defend and escape but Pena was able to take her back and sink in the submission finish.
Check out the highlights above courtesy of UFC/ESPN.
This was a massive win for Pena, who called out current UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes after the fight. “Venezuelan Vixen” just lost to Germaine De Randamie this past October, but she remains one of the only contenders in the division to never fight “Lioness.” Another performance like this and Pena could get her wish towards the end of the year to fight Nunes for the title.
For complete UFC 257 results and coverage click here.