Julianna Pena Is In For A Rude Awakening Vs Valentina Shevchenko At UFC on FOX 23

By Zamir Bueno
Jan. 21, 2017

Even though Julianna Pena is seen as a top contender in the Bantamweight division that shouldn't be the case for much longer. Throughout her UFC career, Pena has shown a propensity to throw the left jab followed by the straight right hand in an attempt to get her opponents to focus on blocking the combination. If the opponent decides to stand still and blocks the combination, it gives her a small window of opportunity to get the fight to the ground. During this tiny window, she will attempt to get a body lock followed by an inside trip on the right leg, or she will push her opponents back to the fence and then go for an inside trip. However, this strategy can put her in real danger because the opponent can choose to block the combination and immediately take a few steps back to get out of grappling range. As a result of this, she will be forced to chase her opponent down in an attempt to get a grappling exchange which leaves her susceptible to being countered.

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[Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Peña UFC 200]

Therefore Pena is in for a rude awakening against Valentina Shevchenko because Shevchenko is capable of blocking her combination and immediately take a few steps back to get out of grappling range. As a result, Shevchenko will have multiple openings to counter her with a right hook once Pena starts chasing after her with reckless abandon. Eventually one of these hooks will hurt her because Pena will be so focused on chasing her that she'll forget to block the punches. Due to this, Shevchenko should be able to dominate Pena throughout the fight and take her out of the title picture for the foreseeable future. 

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