Julianna Pena hasn’t been shy about wanting a title shot. “The Venezuelan Vixen” has gone 4-0 in her professional bouts inside the Octagon. She also defeated all of her opponents on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 18.
Pena will be going toe-to-toe with Valentina Shevchenko at a UFC on FOX event inside the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The event will held on Jan. 28. The winner of that bout will likely move on to face current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight title holder Amanda Nunes.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” told Bloody Elbow that she’ll be dumbfounded if she doesn’t receive a title opportunity with a win next weekend:
“I definitely think I’ve been deserving of a title shot for a long time now and if I don’t get a title shot [after beating Shevchenko] then I’ll be baffled. At the end of the day, my main focus right now, and my sole focus right now, is Valentina Shevchenko and that’s it.”
While Pena felt she deserved a title shot already, she acknowledges the toughness and skill of Shevchenko. She also sees some holes.
“I’ve seen her struggle in positions on the ground. Like, getting submissions and then letting them go and not really being too familiar with the finishes, but I know she’s working on the ground sharpening up her ground skills so I’m anticipating the best Valentina that there ever has been and that she’ll be covering all her bases as far as the wrestling and jiu-jitsu goes, as I have with the stand up.”
Julianna Pena said she was competing against Shevchenko because the fans wanted to see the bout. She hopes those watching can appreciate her efforts.
“I’m actually doing this fight for the fans and doing a fight which they have asked for and have requested for me for a long time now, so I hope that I make them happy and then they can be a little bit grateful for the fact I am putting it all on the line for them.”