1/25/2017 – With Ronda Rousey out of the equation Amanda Nunes is in need of a challenger, which is exactly what the contest between Valentina Shevchenko & Julianna Pena will produce.
Julianna Pena was the first female to win The Ultimate Fighter, however her career after the competition has been marred by a serious knee injury which kept her sidelined for the best part of 16 months back in 2014. Regardless of the injury Pena is on a three fight win streak in the UFC most recently defeating Cat Zingano at UFC 200.
Valentina Shevchenko who has a loss against the current champion finds herself in this position due to having defeated former champion Holly Holm. I assume had Holm beaten Shevchenko she would of received a title shot against Nunes & providing she was victorious it would then have set up a huge rematch with Rousey for the title. Holm could not get past Shevchenko and now the number one and two ranked fighters in the division will face off to determine who’s next in line. Shevchenko looking to avenge her previous loss, Pena campaigning for her first title shot.
Potential fight of the night
Donald Cerrone vs Jorge Masvidal
Cerrone has been on a tear since moving up to the welterweight division four wins four finishes, another win would set up a rumored fight with Robbie Lawler. Jorge Masvidal coming off of wins against Jake Ellenberger & Ross Pearson will be looking to halt Cerrone’s run, two fighters who prefer to stand which means the styles should blend nicely to deliver some high level back and forth kickboxing exchanges.
Fighter to watch
It has been quite a while since the UFC heavyweight division has produced a fresh prospect, enter Francis Ngannou who has been generating some buzz and he’s backed it up with four stoppage wins so far in his UFC career. Andrei Arlovski will be his first top ten ranked opponent so its a big step up against an experienced opponent. This fight will be a good test for Ngannou additionally serve as a measuring stick of his progress.