Julianna Pena Wins First Women’s The Ultimate Fighter

Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) brought female fighters on the show for the first time. On Saturday night, the finale featured Jessica Rakoczy and Julianna Pena competing for the first ever women’s TUF title. Pena had a target on her back from the beginning of the show based on her training partner and history with one of the coaches.

Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey served as the coaches on The Ultimate Fighter and Julianna had been a long-time training partner of Tates. Rousey knew this and attempted to sink Tate’s battleship by pitting her against her number one fighter in the first fight of the show. Ronda matched up her number one pick, Shayna Baslzer against Meisha’s girl, Julianna. The plan backfired. Julianna won the fight and set her destiny in motion. She gained confidence by beating the opposing team’s number one fighter, a fighter who many thought would win the entire season.

Fast-forward to Saturday night in Las Vegsas where Julianna stopped Jessica Rakoczy with just one second left in the first round. The win made Julianna the first-ever female TUF champion. She’s a fighter who will make her presence known in and out of the octagon in the months ahead. She likes to speak her mind and like the current champion, Rousey, she creates headlines when she interacts with the media.

When talking about the women’s division in the UFC and the attention its getting Pena tells Thomas Gerbasi from UFC.com that women “take things a little bit more personal and we’re like psycho women trying to protect our baby cub. We’re not going to let anybody get in the way of our dreams and what we have worked so hard for. I think the women display a lot of heart and they make for more interesting fights.”

TUF FINALE – Press Conference

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