Julianna Pena out-grapples Cat Zingano to earn decision win

LAS VEGAS — Julianna Pena took a huge step toward her first shot at a UFC championship after a win over former title contender Cat Zingano.

It was a tough start for Pena after she got put on the ground right away, as Zingano was on the attack as soon as the fight started.

Zingano used strong grappling and superior control to make Pena play defense throughout the opening round, and she looked to do the same as the second round kicked off as well.

Unfortunately, Zingano lost control during a scramble on the mat and she ended up with Pena on her back looking for a rear naked choke.

Pena put the pressure on Zingano on the ground as she constantly held onto her position while fishing for submissions. As the third round started, Pena was still the fresher fighter and wasted no time getting a body lock and a trip to put Zingano down again.

From there it was all Pena as she controlled Zingano for almost the entire five-minute session, until the minutes ticked away to seconds and the final horn sounded.

The judges all returned 29-28 scores in favor of Pena, who moves to 4-0 in the UFC and makes a strong case for a title shot in the very near future.