Jessica Eye vs. Julianna Pena Set for UFC 192
Many thought #6 bantamweight Jessica Eye (11-3-1) would get a chance to have a go at Bethe Correia her next time in the Octagon, but a late-evening fight announcement yesterday is giving the fans a much better pair-up.
Instead of Correia, Eye and Julianna Pena (6-2) will be touching mitts at UFC 192 in Houston, slated for October 3.
We recently saw Eye lose a tough decision to Miesha Tate in their bantamweight title eliminator at UFC on Fox 16. Before the loss to Tate, Eye was coming off her win over Leslie Smith in a fight best known for Smith’s ear literally separating from her head after a series of blows from Eye.
A member of Team Tate on TUF 18, Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena handily cut through Team Rousey’s roster of Shayna Baszler, Sarah Moras, and Jessica Rakoczy to take the TUF title in 2013 in a surprise victory. Then a horrific knee injury stopped her from fighting for over a year, halting what many thought was a straight trajectory to facing Rousey in the Octagon. The training injury damaged her ACL, MCL, LCL, and meniscus, and it was feared she would never fight at the elite level again.
Pena’s last turn in the cage was an authoritative first-round TKO against Milana Dudieva at UFC Fight Night 63. It was the first time Pena had fought in a year, but the win was good enough to earn her first Performance of the Night bonus.
Some seem surprised by Pena’s leapfrogging to Eye for a contender fight, but it’s Pena’s time. She’s healed, she’s ready, and scuttlebutt is she asked for this fight. She deserves it.
The UFC 192 main event is the Light Heavyweight title defense by Champion Daniel Cormier against Alexander Gustafsson. Watch WomensMMA for updates about when and where the event will be shown.
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