Julianna Pena vs Valentina Shevchenko fight scheduled for UFC on Fox 23

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) booked a women’s bantamweight bout between Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko for UFC on Fox 23, the promotion announced in a press release on Tuesday.

The January 28 event is scheduled to take place at Denver’s Pepsi Center, but it has not been officially announced by the UFC. A main event has yet to be named for the show.

Pena (8-2) is coming off a split decision win over former champion Miesha Tate at UFC 200 in July. The victory marked her fifth straight win inside the Octagon and her seventh straight overall. The 26-year-old “Venezuelan Vixen” broke onto the scene by winning season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter in November 2013.

Shevchenko (13-2) picked up her second straight win under the UFC banner when she defeated former 135-pound title challenger Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015. The 27-year-old “Bullet” made her promotional debut with a split decision loss to current champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 196 in March 2015.

UFC on Fox 23 is set and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has the pleasure of announcing a Women’s Bantamweight fight between Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko. The bout will take place on January 28 at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

Pena and Shevchenko were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 205 in New York City, but an injury to Shevchenko caused her to pull out of that bout.

Pena is the current holder of the UFC women’s bantamweight title. She has won five fights in a row since joining the UFC in 2013 with her latest win coming over Jessica Eye at UFC 192.

Shevchenko also joined the UFC in 2013 after fighting professionally for four years prior. At UFC on Fox 17 she defeated Sarah Kaufman via unanimous decision and earned a title shot against Amanda Nunes at UFC 196.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Thursday announced a bantamweight matchup between former title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and rising contender Julianna Pena for UFC on Fox 23.

The bout will serve as the co-main event of the Jan. 28 show, which takes place at Pepsi Center in Denver and airs on Fox following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. The main event features a women’s bantamweight showdown between Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko.

The 24-year-old Pena has won six straight fights since a failed stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 18.” That includes four straight wins under the UFC banner, including a first-round knockout of Jessica Eye at UFC 192 this past October to push her career record to 7-2.

Following that victory, Pena called for a fight with former champion Ronda Rousey, who will make her return to action against current titleholder Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.

“I feel like I have earned my shot in this division and I think it would be great if I got Ronda,” Pena said post-fight in Houston. “Ronda’s coming back from taking almost a year off from her last fight and I’m ready to go right now. I

Valentina Shevchenko is making her third appearance in the Octagon, as she looks to score her second consecutive win against Julianna Pena at UFC on Fox 23 in Denver on Jan. 28.

The UFC made the fight official Monday.

A former world champion in muay Thai, Shevchenko (12-2) stepped into the Octagon for the first time in December 2015 against Sarah Kaufman at UFC on Fox 17 in Orlando. Shevchenko was victorious via unanimous decision, but fell short against Holly Holm at UFC on Fox 20 in July.

Pena (8-2), meanwhile, is looking to build off a five-fight winning streak inside the Octagon, which includes a dominant submission win over former title contender Cat Zingano at UFC 200.

UFC on Fox 23 takes place at Pepsi Center and marks the promotion’s debut in Denver. The event will be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko.

In the first bout of UFC on Fox 23’s five-fight main card, Julianna Pena (8-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Valentina Shevchenko (13-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will square off in a women’s bantamweight contest with title shot implications.

Pena told MMAjunkie she expects to make quick work of her opponent in the co-headliner, which takes place at Pepsi Center in Denver and airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

“I’m going to figure Valentina out – she’s not that good,” Pena said during this week’s “The Ultimate Fighter 24” Finale media day. “She’ll be just another notch on my belt. I’ll put her away faster than anybody else has put her away.”

Pena has been vocal over a fight with champ Amanda Nunes (13-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC) since winning “TUF 18” in 2013. She was initially slated to fight former champ Holly Holm (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at tonight’s event and had an opportunity to earn a title shot with an impressive victory. But when Holm pulled out of their matchup due to injury –

The 27-year-old Pena is the No. 1 contender at 135 pounds and holds a 7-2 record, including a 4-0 mark in the UFC. She defeated Cat Zingano earlier this month at UFC 200 by unanimous decision and has won four in a row dating back to 2014. The winner of this fight will likely be next in line for champion Amanda Nunes.

Shevchenko, also 27, is coming off a decision win over Holly Holm at UFC on Fox 20 in July. She is 13-2 overall with eight wins by stoppage and was the last woman to fight former champion Ronda Rousey before she took time off following her loss to Nunes at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.

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