Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena headlines FOX UFC card in Denver
The UFC women’s bantamweight division may have a new No. 1 contender after January 28.
No. 2 ranked Valentina Shevchenko is set to meet No. 3 ranked Julianna Pena in the main event at FOX UFC Fight Night from Denver’s Pepsi Center.
UFC officials confirmed the matchup to FOX Sports on Tuesday.
Shevchenko accepts the fight following a huge win in her last bout when she defeated former champion Holly Holm this past July in Chicago.
The Russian born striker has gone 2-1 thus far in her UFC campaign with her only loss coming to current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes in a hard fought three-round battle.
As for Pena, she looks for her fifth straight win since joining the UFC by way of "The Ultimate Fighter" where she also had to pick up three victories over competitors during the filming of the reality show.
Most recently, Pena defeated former title contender Cat Zingano by unanimous decision at UFC 200 and while she hoped to earn a title shot with that win, she’ll need at least one more to secure her place in line for the championship.
While the UFC has made no official confirmation about the stakes in this fight, it seems likely that the winner of Shevchenko vs. Pena will move onto fight for the title.
Nunes is currently scheduled to meet former champion Ronda Rousey in the main event at UFC 207 and it would make perfect sense for the victor to then face either Shevchenko or Pena in 2017.