Julianna Pena will not be deterred following a crushing loss to Germaine de Randamie on Saturday at UFC on ESPN 16.
In a crucial fight for the women’s bantamweight division, Pena (9-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) suffered a stunning third-round submission loss to the former champion de Randamie (10-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in their matchup, which took place at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
It was arguably an even fight after two rounds, but then Pena got sloppy in pursuit of a takedown and caught in a guillotine choke. It’s not an attack anyone has come to expect out of de Randamie, but she committed to it, and managed to put Pena all the way out cold.
“The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner is taking the outcome in stride. She released a statement hours after suffering her defeat and said she needs to come back stronger in order to be an example for her young daughter, and hopes to do it soon (via Instagram):
You win some, you learn some. Wasn’t my night! Massive Congratulations to @ironladymma it was an honor to compete against you and thank you for your service of upholding the #thinblueline 🙏🏽 Thank you @danawhite and @ufc for the experience #inabudhabi
I can’t wait to get back to this little love of mine!! I’ve missed her so much! Your kids don’t always follow your advice, a lot of times they follow your example. I’m uninjured and Dont want to take too much time off. I want to show my daughter that just because things didn’t go my way, doesn’t mean I quit or give up on my goals! This is a game of inches and I will hold my head up high and move on to my next challenge! Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my fight journey and sorry I didn’t walk away with the Win. And to those of you just tuning in, get your popcorn ready because I’ll be back soon!
Pena entered the fight with de Randamie with just one loss in her UFC career. That came against Valentina Shevchenko, also by submission.
Although she expressed a desire to get back in the octagon soon, it remains to be seen whom the UFC matches her up against.