Due to an injury removing Sara McMann from UFC Fight Night Sacramento, Julianna Pena is now reportedly set to return, taking her place and fighting Nicco Montano on the event's undercard.
McMann announced the injury on Instagram, confirming her withdrawal from the card and leaving the UFC with just under a month to find a suitable replacement.
Welp, I'm pretty bummed to announce that I won't be fighting on the July card in Sacramento ------ MMA training demands so much from the body and it pains me to concede that I just wasn't able to get it properly prepared for the fight. So after learning the hard way (getting injured) I am taking a short time to focus on getting my body healthy and strong enough to withstand the brutal toll that must be paid to be in this sport. Thank you to my team for supporting me 100% and thanks to all of my friends and fans for being a little more patient for my return. ---- #ufc #teamalphamale #buildingastrongerme #onerepatatime #brb
Pena likely wasn't an expected option for the position, not fighting since January 2017 and instead understandably taking time off after the birth of her first child. Prior to that absence, Pena was highly ranked in the UFC's Bantamweight standings, going an impressive 4-1 inside the octagon. Recently, Pena provided an update on her return, seemingly suggesting that she wouldn't be rushing back to the cage. Nonetheless, MMA Fighting is reporting that she'll now indeed be back, returning on July 13th against Montano.
The inaugural UFC Women's Flyweight Champion, Nicco Montano was infamously stripped of her title after health issues prevented her from defending it. Montano has also been inactive, not fighting since winning the belt in December 2017 but she now moves up to Bantamweight, taking on a fellow Ultimate Fighter winner in Sacramento.
UFC Fight Night Sacramento takes place at the Golden 1 Center on July 13th and will air on ESPN+. The full card can be found below:
Germaine de Randamie (8-3) vs. Aspen Ladd (8-0)
Urijah Faber (34-10) vs. Ricky Simon (15-1)
Josh Emmett (14-2) vs. Mirsad Bektic (13-1)
Beneil Dariush (16-4-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (10-1-1)
Cezar Ferreira (13-7) vs. Marvin Vettori (12-4-1)
Karl Robertson (7-2) vs. John Phillips (21-9)
Andre Fili (19-6) vs. Sheymon Moraes (11-3)
Cynthia Calvillo (8-1) vs. Livinha Souza (13-1)
Ryan Hall (7-1) vs. Darren Elkins (24-7)
Julianna Pena (8-3) vs. Nicco Montano (4-2)
Benito Lopez (9-1) vs. Martin Day (8-3)
Gian Villante (17-11) vs. Mike Rodriguez (10-3)