Julianna Peña vs Jéssica Andrade Added To UFC 171 In MarchThe Ultimate Fighter 18 winner Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Peña will make her post-TUF Octagon debut on March 15th at UFC 171: “Hendricks vs Lawler” in Dallas, Texas. The Washington native faces Brazilian rising star Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade in a featured bantamweight bout.

Fox Sports first reported on the planned matchup tonight. Peña became the first female TUF winner on November 30th when she stopped Jessica “The Ragin'” Rakoczy at the TUF 18 Finale. Andrade earned her first Octagon win when she defeated Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton at UFC Fight Night 30.

Peña (5-2-0) was portrayed as a social outcast during TUF 18 and some doubters questioned her ability to advance far in the competition, but Peña proved her castmates and critics wrong by defeating Gina Mazany, Shayna Baszler and Sarah Moras in succession to earn her spot in the historic TUF 18 female final. On the finale card, Peña wasted no time in taking the fight with Rakoczy to the ground and she overwhelmed the former boxing champion with ground and pound en route to a TKO victory with one second remaining in the opening stanza. The win earned Peña a six-figure UFC contract.

Andrade (10-3-0) has maintained an extremely active fighting schedule since making her MMA debut at age 19 in September 2011. She won eight of her first ten fights in Brazil, all by way of knockout or submission, before taking a step up in competition to face hometown favourite Milana Dudieva at ProFC 47 in Russia. Andrade dominated the fight and submitted Dudieva with a second-round guillotine choke to earn a spot on the UFC roster. Her promotional debut ended in a defeat against former title challenger Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche, but Andrade rebounded with a big win over Sexton in October.

The bout between Peña and Andrade represents a solid test for both fighters. Peña looks to continue to climb towards an eventual UFC women’s bantamweight title shot with what would be her biggest official win to date, while Andrade tries for her second straight UFC victory over another quality opponent.

UFC 171: “Hendricks vs Lawler” takes place on March 15th at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. The event is headlined by a UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks and “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.



(Photo Credit: UFC)

  1. This is UFC’s flyweiggt division within their bantamweight division.