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Julianna Pena vs Jessica Andrade booked for UFC 171

Julianna Pena has been booked to fight Jessica Andrade at UFC 171
Julianna Pena has been booked to fight Jessica Andrade at UFC 171
Courtesy of Zuffa/Promo photo

According to a Jan. 6 post from MMA Fighting, TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena (5-2) has been booked to fight No. 9-ranked bantamweight star Jessica Andrade (10-3) on March 15 at UFC 171.

Pena, 24, the first ever female "Ultimate Fighter" winner, became a household name last year from her impressive run through TUF 18.

After shocking the WMMA community with a victory over legendary 135-pound veteran Shayna "The Queen of Spades" Baszler, Pena easily ran through the rest of the tournament with decisive wins over Sarah Moras and Jessica Rakoczy.

Andrade, 22, will be Pena's toughest test to date, as she's the first legitimate top 10 contender that the TUF 18 star will have ever gone up against.

Andrade is just 1-1 in her UFC career, but she's coming off an impressive victory over Rosi Sexton at UFC Fight Night 30.

Her only UFC loss was to Liz Carmouche, one of the top bantamweights in the world.

UFC 171, which will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

No word yet if Pena vs Andrade will be on the UFC 171 preliminary card or if it will make the pay-per-view, but one would have to guess it will be featured on the main card.

Whoever wins the fight between Pena and Andrade will likely receive the opportunity to advance to a fight against a top five contender such as Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman, Miesha Tate or Jessica Eye.

And a win over a top five contender would then likely catapult the winner to a UFC title shot.

With that said, Pena and Andrade may be just two wins away from a bantamweight championship fight.