UFC 200: Julianna Peña grinds out Cat Zingano in grappling heavy fight

Julianna Pena controlled the grappling exchanges in the second and third rounds en route to a grinding decision victory over highly ranked Cat Zingano. 

UFC 200 is being held tonight (July 9, 2016) at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.

The event will be the first that the organization has hosted at T-Mobile Arena, which opened in April 2016. It takes place during the UFC’s annual International Fight Week and marks the second time the UFC has held host three events in consecutive days.

Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Peña took place in the headlining slot on the preliminary card which aired on Fox Sports 1.

It didn’t take long for the ladies to hit the mat after a Zingano double leg.  Zingano held the position for a while, slipping around in the guard and half guard while looking to land some shots.  Pena eventually stood and scored a takedown of her own, but Zingano reversed the position and wound up on top again.  Pena had her head pressed against the fence, but was still trying to set up some submissions.  Zingano defended well and landed some ground and pound.  Pena stood before the end of the round and they two threw some punches before the bell.

Round two started with an instant takedown from Zingano.  Pena worked from the full guard and used butterflies to attempt a sweep or submission.  Zingano decided to stand, but only long enough to land an excellent throw that ended up with her in side control and then half guard.  She then rolled for a crucifix and tried to set up a triangle, but Pena pulled her head out and took side control.  Cat looked for a choke from bottom, but couldn’t pull it off and gave up her back.  Pena acquired a two-on-one, before getting hooks and going for a rear naked choke.  The position remained here for several minutes and the round came to and end with Pena having the clear advantage.

Zingano once again found herself on her back within thirty seconds of the opening of round three.  Pena took half guard and reigned over Zingano with some elbows that were scoring.  There was a slight opportunity for Cat to throw some upkicks, but Pena didn’t allow her to take advantage with the blows and moved back into half guard before taking Zingano’s back again.  She threw in the hooks and went for the choke.  Zingano defended, but couldn’t escape.  Pena began to sit up and land some hard punches just before being reversed.  The horn sounded, however, before Cat do much work.

Juliana Pena would be declared the winner based on her dominance in the grappling department.  All scores read 29-28.

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