An important women's bantamweight contender fight took place on Saturday night at UFC 200 inside the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. While Cat Zingango was looking to rebound after losing to Ronda Rousey, Julianna Pena would be too much for her in the grappling department.
The judges ultimately scored it 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, giving Pena a unanimous decision victory. Pena climbs to 8-2 while Zingano loses two in a row with a record of 9-2.
Zingano would strike first, scoring a body lock takedown into side control, but Pena was undeterred, getting to her base and pressuring Zingano into the fence. This would happen again, although Pena ate a few strikes on the way up. With two minutes expired, Pena scored her own takedown with Zingano working from side control. Pena would sit for a guillotine as Zingano went to her base, but slipped off, allowing "Alpha" to move on top in Pena's half butterfly guard.
The Denver native would push Pena's back and head into the fence, landing respectable ground and pound, even getting to her feet to get full extension on her strikes. Pena would frame for an armbar and miss, eating a monster punch as a result, but would end the round standing on her feet.
The second frame began much as the first round occurred, as Zingano clinched and head tossed Pena to the mat. Zingano would back away, allowing Pena to stand, but would plant her again with a lateral drop. Zingano would roll to her base after a scramble, but not before Pena moved to Zingano's back from turtle. Pena would eventually work her way to Zingano's back and attempt a rear naked choke, but wasn't able to secure it.
Pena began the third round with a clinch to inside trip that planted Zingano on the mat. Zingano would work from half guard and even pass into side control with motion passing. Zingano would eventually get to her base, but not fast enough as Pena would take the back and even lock in a rear naked choke that had Zingano grimacing. "Alpha" would escape, but Pena was all over her, maintaining back control. Zingano would eventually reverse position, but only moments before the final bell.