Julianna Pena is coming back to fight.
The UFC is working on a bout between Pena and former women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano for July 13 at UFC on ESPN+ 13 in Sacramento. The booking isn’t finalized, since fighters are still awaiting bout contracts, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to MMA Junkie. The person asked to remain anonymous since the UFC has yet to make an announcement.
MMA Fighting was first to report the news Wednesday.
Pena (8-3, 4-1 UFC) will replace former UFC title challenger Sara McMann, who announced her injury and removal from the card earlier Wednesday.
Pena, 29, will compete for the first time since January of 2017. Last year, the Washington-based bantamweight stepped away from MMA to give birth to her first child.
In her last outing, Pena was submitted by now-UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC on FOX 23. Prior to the loss, Pena was unbeaten in her time with the promotion, defeating the likes of Cat Zingano and Jessica Eye.
Like Pena, Montano (4-2, 1-0 UFC) is coming off of a layoff of her own. The 30-year-old fighter won the inaugural women’s 125-pound belt against Roxanne Modafferi following a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” Prior to her first title defense at UFC 228, Montano missed weight and was subsequently stripped of the title.
With the change, the latest UFC on ESPN+ 13 lineup now includes:
- Germaine de Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd
- Urijah Faber vs. Ricky Simon
- Mirsad Bektic vs. Josh Emmett
- Mike Rodriguez vs. Gian Villante
- Livinha Souza vs. opponent TBA
- Darren Elkins vs. Ryan Hall
- Cezar Ferreira vs. Marvin Vettori
- Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose
- Nicco Montano vs. Julianna Pena
- Martin Day vs. Benito Lopez
- Karl Roberson vs. John Phillips
- Andre Fili vs. Sheymon Moraes
- Jonathan Martinez vs. Liu Pingyuan
- Injury scratches Sara McMann from UFC on ESPN+ 13
- ESPY Awards to feature MMA-specific 'Best Fighter' category for first time
- Brendan Loughnane peed blood after DWCS win, denied UFC contract because of takedown
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: With Sara McMann out, Julianna Pena targeted to fight Nicco Montano at UFC on ESPN+ 13