It’s time for the main event, with Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko making their case as to who gets to face champ Amanda Nunes next.
On paper, Pena is a TUF winner with a frenetic grappling game that wears opponents down. Shevchenko, meanwhile, is a Muay Thai champ who’s made of iron.
The bout opens with Pena running across the cage and tying her opponent up against the cage. She’s firing off knees and looking for an opening to take Shevchenko down, but Shevchenko flips the script and sweeps her to the canvas. Pena escapes back to her feet, but once she starts throwing those knees again, she gets swept, and she spends the rest of the round on the bottom. Shevchenko feeds her hammerfists, and in the final 18 seconds Pena swings her legs around and latches on with a tight armbar attempt. The horn sounds before the arm is extended.
Pena ties up quickly in the second, but it takes a full three minutes of hard clinch-work for her to get Shevchenko down. And then, the unexpected happens… with Shevchenko swinging her own leg around and snagging the armbar. Pena flips over trying to reduce the pressure on her elbow, but to no avail, and she taps out.
Looks like Shevchenko is getting that rematch with Nunes!
Results: Valentina Shevchenko def. Julianna Pena via Submission (Armbar) at 4:29, R2