Julianna Pena is currently one of the biggest names in the women’s MMA world. She became the first-ever woman to win The Ultimate Fighter and the only fighter to submit Amanda Nunes inside the UFC Octagon. Pena achieved this feat when she submitted Nunes in the second round back at UFC 269 in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.
Pena made her UFC debut against Milana Dudieva at UFC Fight Night 63 which she won via TKO. The fighter also won her first Performance of the Night award bonus for that fight. After that, she went on to win two consecutive fights and then suffered her first UFC loss against Valentina Shevchenko.
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“The Venezuelan Vixen ” has shown her capabilities every time she has set her foot inside the Octagon. While a lot is known about her professional life, not many fans are aware of her personal life. Today let’s take a look at Julianna Pena’s life outside of the UFC.
Julianna Pena reveals what got her into mixed martial arts
Pena was born in the city of Spokane, Washington in 1989 and has Caucasian ethnicity. At age of 18, Pena graduated from Mt. Spokane High School, and then she decided to join the Spokane Community College which is located close to her hometown.
While growing up, Pena was overweight and in order to lose weight, Pena joined kickboxing training. This kickboxing organization helped Julianna increase her cardio levels and become fit. After acquiring some kickboxing skills, she later shifted to MMA.
“I needed to lose weight and I was getting bullied. By bullied I mean, I am the baby of four, and my brothers and sisters, they beat the crap out of me. So I was getting the tail-end of a ton of beating and I was always super-aggressive as a kid and I didn’t know where to channel that.” Pena has said.
“At 19 years old, my sister asked me to join a women’s cardio kickboxing class and I needed to lose some weight, so I joined the class.”
Apart from her fighting career, she has featured in a cameo for an award-winning MMA documentary called Fight Life. This movie was released in 2012 and it also featured other combat sports athletes like Nate Diaz, Miesha Tate, Chuck Liddell, and many others.
Julianna Pena’s family and husband
Pena was born to her parents, Ernie Pena and Pamela Pena. She shared her childhood with four other siblings. Among two brothers and two sisters, she was the youngest of all. Her older sister Grace Pena was a former reporter in KREM 2 and is a day/morning meteorologist.
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Julianna Pena is married to Luis Alejandre, who is also a BJJ practitioner. On Jan 18, 2018, Pena and Luis were blessed with a baby girl, named Isabella. It’s quite rare for Pena to share photos with her husband, however, she never fails to mention her daughter on her social media platform.
Luis Alejandre is the owner of Stronghold Jiu-Jitsu Academy which runs out of Chicago. Pena’s daughter is the inspiration behind her father opening a gym, and Isabella has been learning jiu-jitsu since she was two years old.
Who is Julianna Pena’s husband Luis Alejandre?
There’s no clarity on when Julianna Pena tied the knots with Luis Alejandre. The duo has a daughter together, Isabella Cruz/Alejandre.
Luis Alejandre is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has been training BJJ since he was 19 years old. Luis has taught and trained around the world, even helping the police agencies and the United States Army as a tactics instructor.
However, his absence from Nunes’ corner has raised several eyebrows. Luis Alejandre was not present alongside Julianna Pena after her historic win over Amanda Nunes back at UFC 269, and hasn’t been spotted with her for as long as one can remember.