Julianna Pena beats Jessica Eye, calls out Ronda Rousey
Julianna Pena continued her push toward a title shot with a unanimous decision victory over Jessica Eye on Saturday at UFC 192 in Houston, and immediately took aim at Ronda Rousey following the win.
The former "Ultimate Fighter" winner is one of the top prospects at 135 pounds and showed why she might land a fight with Rousey sooner rather than later, as she displayed a stifling and powerful ground game to beat Eye over three rounds.
Pena was able to wrestle Eye to the ground a couple of times in the first round after the fighters engaged in the clinch for the bigger part of the five minutes in the Octagon.
The second takedown gave Pena her most advantageous position, where she landed in side control and worked inside with short punches and elbows until the round came to an end.
Eye came back big in round two when she caught a kick from Pena and took the fight to the ground, where she advanced position and nearly locked up an arm triangle choke.
Pena eventually reversed positions but in a scramble on the ground Eye tagged her opponent with a knee strike that glanced off Pena’s jaw. The referee paused the action and restarted the fight on the feet, but also took a point away from Eye for the illegal infraction.
As soon as round three started, Pena quickly took Eye to the mat and fought out of a reverse triangle before applying a rear-naked choke. Eye found a way to twist and turn her way out of the hold, but Pena remained in control.
Pena looked for a guillotine choke as well just before the round came to an end, but the final horn sounded before she could put Eye away.
Once the fight was over, the judges all returned the same score: 29-27 across the board with Pena sealing the deal by unanimous decision.
The victory is definitely the biggest of Pena’s career as she picks up her first win over a top-10 opponent and moves to 3-0 in the UFC. Pena wasted no time in taking a shot at the bantamweight champion Rousey, who fights next at UFC 193 in November.
"I’m 6-0 in the UFC and so is Ronda Rousey," Pena said. "Dana White calls her the Mike Tyson of MMA — well I’m Evander Holyfield. I’ll be your huckleberry."