Juliana Pena is preparing to battle a fellow top 5 women’s bantamweight fighter in Valentina Shevchenko at UFC On Fox 23, the fight will be the main event of the card. Pena, while still wanting a title shot against UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes, thinks the fans should be a little more gracious for her fighting at UFC On Fox 23.
“I think this fight is a long time coming and this is a fight that the fans have been dying for,” said Peña to Bloody Elbow. “It’s a fight that the fans have been chirping in my ear about nonstop and people have been telling me that I’m scared to take the fight, but it has nothing to do with that and more so the fact that I felt if I wouldn’t have fought, I probably would have been fighting for title anyways right now, if I would have just sat and waited. But that’s not the way the cookie crumbles and unfortunately the fans wanted to see me fight one more time before I fight for the belt, so 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.”
Pena believes that Shevchenko does bring some weaknesses into the octagon, with the main weakness being her ground game.
“I’ve seen her struggle in positions on the ground,” stated Peña. “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.”
UFC On Fox 23 takes place on Saturday, January 28 from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado with Juliana Pena and Valentina Shevchenko headlining.