clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Julianna Pena to return against Nicco Montano at UFC Sacramento following McMann injury

Julianna Pena will fight for the first time since having a baby, and she’s taking the bout on short notice against a former champion.

UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko v Pena Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It looks like Julianna Pena is back. The TUF winner and former top women’s bantamweight contender is returning after the birth of her first child, and she’s doing it on short notice to boot.

According to MMA Fighting, Pena will likely step in for Sara McMann to fight former women’s flyweight champ Nicco Montano at UFC Sacramento on July 13th. McMann suffered an injury in training while trying to return from having a child herself, according to an Instagram post from the former Olympian medalist in wrestling.

The new bout has verbal agreements in place, but has not been officially announced by the UFC as of yet.

Pena (8-3, 4-1 UFC) returns to the Octagon for the first time since a submission loss to Valentina Shechenko in late 2017. She had won all of her UFC fights before that.

Montano (4-2, 1-0) has had a rough go of it since winning a TUF tournament to crown the women’s first 125-pound champ. She suffered from some long-running injuries that kept her out of the cage for a while, then had a troubling weight cut when she was supposed to defend her belt for the first time against Shevchenko. She was ultimately forced out of the bout, and subsequently stripped of her title. This will be her first bout since 2017 as well.

UFC Sacramento, also known as UFC on ESPN+ 13, goes down in the Golden 1 Center and will be headlined by a matchup between Germaine de Randamie and Aspen Ladd.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow