Saturday, October 3rd
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana
UFC Fight Island – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Top bantamweights Germaine De Randamie and Julianna Peña meet this weekend knowing an impressive victory could result in the next title shot.
Germaine De Randamie (9-4) is the former UFC featherweight champion and is currently ranked #9 in the Pound for Pound (P4P) rankings. The Dutch fighter is 6-2 in the UFC with her only two losses coming against current bantamweight and featherweight champion, and #1 P4P woman, Amanda Nunes – by TKO late in round three in November 2013, and in De Randamie’s last fight for the bantamweight title at UFC 245 by unanimous decision.
De Randamie made her UFC debut in 2013 and prior to her loss against Nunes last year she had won five consecutive bouts, including winning the inaugural featherweight championship against Holly Holm at UFC 208 by unanimous decision. Although she was stripped of her title for refusing to fight Cris Cyborg, De Randamie continued winning at bantamweight and scored a TKO victory over the previously unbeaten Aspen Ladd in Ladd’s home state of California 16 seconds into their bout in July last year.
De Randamie has never won by submission; her UFC victories have come by way of TKO three times with another three by decision. “The Iron Lady” has a three-inch height advantage over Peña, and with a background in kickboxing and Muay Thai, I expect her to try and keep the fight standing to look for a KO victory.
Julianna Peña (9-3) won The Ultimate Fighter series 18 on her UFC debut in 2013 by beating Jessica Rakoczy by TKO with just one second remaining in the first round. She is now ranked #14 P4P in the UFC and has amassed a 5-1 record in the promotion.
“The Venezuelan Vixen” suffered her only UFC defeat against current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, by submission, in January 2017 and then was inactive for nearly two and a half years during which time she gave birth in 2018. In her last fight, Peña beat former flyweight champion Nicco Montaño by unanimous decision in July last year.
Although three of her five UFC victories have come by unanimous decision, Peña also has three TKO and three submission wins in her professional career, showing that she is very well rounded. The American has a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and kickboxing style, and against a dangerous striker in De Randamie I think Peña might try to take the fight to the ground to utilize her BJJ skills and minimize the advantage her opponent’s height gives her.
A decisive win for either fighter could mean that they are handed the next title shot, with other top contenders Holly Holm and Irene Aldana also squaring off in the main event of the weekend.
Prediction: Peña by decision in a Performance of the Night.
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