Fighter on Fighter: Breaking down UFC 277’s Julianna Pena

Fighter on Fighter: Breaking down UFC 277’s Julianna Pena

Reigning Bantamweight queen, Julianna Pena, seeks to retain her throne opposite divisional great, Amanda Nunes, this Saturday (July 30, 2022) at UFC 277 inside American Airlines Middle in Dallas, Texas.

Pena talked massive ahead of UFC 269, and most inside the combating staff scoffed, myself built-in. The lady guillotined by way of Germaine de Randamie of all other folks was once going to dethrone Nunes? It didn’t sound very probably, then again sure enough, Pena lived up to her promises to the letter. She walked down the champion, willingly engaged in a wild scrap, that pulled out ahead on the power of her guts and toughness.

Can she do it over again? Let’s take a closer check out her skill set:

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE-DIP! Ultimate Preventing Championship (UFC) returns to American Airlines Middle in Dallas, Texas, on Sat., July 30, 2022, for the principle time in nearly 4 years, headlined by way of a thrilling women’s Bantamweight championship rematch between division queenpin, Julianna Peña, check out her first a good fortune identify coverage towards former titleholder and provide women’s Featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes. In UFC 277’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main fit, an interim Flyweight champion will be crowned when former titleholder, Brandon Moreno, runs it once more with Kai Kara-France.

Don’t move over a single 2d of EPIC face-punching movement!


Look, Pena could have boxed up Nunes in the second round, then again that was once all grit and self trust. Technically, her standup skills are however decidedly average for her division.

Pena is able to get away with mediocre kickboxing at this kind of most sensible stage in her division for plenty of reasons. At first, she’s higher than most of her foes and a superior athlete as smartly. Secondly, the primary serve as of her striking is to land herself inside the clinch, so she rarely spends that so much time purchasing and promoting blows. Since there aren’t many knockout artists inside the women’s Bantamweight division, it forever turns right into a amount game, and Pena has the cardio to play.

All that discussed, Pena did make some smart adjustments towards Nunes. For one, Pena made it clear that addressing the low kick was once a priority. Her coverage wasn’t spectacular or anything, then again Pena did check out some kicks and pull her leg once more. When that wasn’t an selection, Pena at least stepped forward and fired once more.

Mitigating — even partially — the low kick had a large have an effect on on the fight. Without her calf kick, Nunes didn’t really have a technique to Pena’s jab. It wasn’t a spectacular jab, then again Pena did a delightful process of holding her head off the center line (GIF). In addition to, she smartly would use her left arm to frame after jabbing, which helped steer clear of taking an overhand round the most productive.

The calf kick and overhand are Nunes’ absolute best weapons, so credit score ranking to Pena for managing them smartly.

In short, Pena’s offense is beautiful predictable. After throwing out a stiff — now not inside the wonderful means — jab or hook, Pena will briefly flurry into a mix of hooks and crosses. The ones punches needless to say hurt once they land, then again they are moreover moderately predictable. Additionally, Pena’s head remains however and her chin raises, which is a defensive nightmare. If you happen to occur to don’t believe me, the following link puts that pair of problems on entire display (GIF).


Frequently, Pena is most effective punching long enough to land herself inside the clinch, where she ratings a majority of her takedowns. She is needless to say ready to taking a shot proper right into a single- or double-leg towards the fence, then again even then, it begins inside the clinch. When forced to shoot from the outside, she tends to over-extend on her shot, this means that there is little power or energy in the back of it.

Once inside the clinch, Pena is hyper aggressive along side her cross backward and forward makes an strive. Every so often, she’s able to simply safe a good underhook and/or body lock to pressure her foe to the mat, then again that’s a lot much less now not strange towards additional skilled wrestlers. When faced with a women she can not so merely out-muscle, Pena will check out each and every the inside and outside cross backward and forward. When she appears to be to each method — for what it’s worth, she generally finds additional excellent fortune hooking outside the leg and the use of down with the underhook on the opposite aspect — Pena completely commits her body weight to the takedown.

That leads to a lot of excellent fortune in throwing her foe to the mat, however it moreover tends to get her reversed. Many women from Jessica Eye to Nunes have came upon excellent fortune by way of taking a look ahead to Pena to attempt a cross backward and forward and then countering while she’s off-balance, leaving her misplaced to do anything then again pull guard.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Pena’s jiu-jitsu is one of the refined facet of her game. She would most likely possess some powerful submissions, then again her talent to explanation why and win scrambles is forever what has allowed her to defeat powerful warring parties.

As mentioned, Pena ends on her once more shockingly forever for a fighter who tends to dominate from best possible position. From her once more, Pena does an excellent process of securing an underhook and using it scramble proper right into a sweep or clinch. In opposition to Nunes, she spent a majority of the principle round on her once more, then again she didn’t take so much damage because of her talent to carry onto the kimura or threaten the one leg from phase guard.

From best possible position, Pena is an excessively powerful positional grappler who works to actively batter her foe while advancing position. Each time however inside the guard, Pena does her absolute best to stand over her foe, holding her hips very heavy and trapping her opponent. Doing this, she’s generally able to advance to phase guard in short, where she’s going to posture to strike and get pleasure from any openings her opponent gives.

After feeling Pena’s weight and punches, it’s now not strange for her opponent to turn and give up the once more. As her foe turns away, Pena keeps her weight heavy and latches onto the seat belt grip. Once there, Pena may well be very so much in keep watch over and will threaten with the rear naked choke.

Alternatively, Pena will flatten her foe and safe an underhook, allowing the transfer to mount. From that position, Pena’s stability is phenomenal, as she climbs very most sensible previous to dropping arduous elbows and punches. Without reference to her opponent’s makes an try to buck, Pena remains in dominant position and continues to artwork (GIF). As Pena transitions between dominant positions, she is looking for submission possible choices, generally inside the kind of a choke.

It does will have to be mentioned {{that a}} pair of strikers in Valentina Shevchenko and de Randamie did publish the champion. Largely, it is a finish results of Pena’s habit of really forcing the fight and takedowns in particular. Pena is ready to take possibilities and tire herself out in pursuit of a grappling exchange, and because of this, there are options for her opponent.


Pena is a hard scrapper with the scale and mentality to test Nunes to a point. Expectantly, this rematch will finally end up whether or not or now not or now not Nunes simply had an off-night, or if “Venezuelan Vixen” really is an uncongenial have compatibility up for the Brazilian great.

Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, is an authorized fighter who trains at Team of workers Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. At the side of studying alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted warring parties and developed successful strategies for plenty of of the sport’s most elite combatants.

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