SPOKANE, Wash. -- A local Mixed Martial Arts fighter is gaining notoriety as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18.
Julianna "The Venezuelan Vixen" Pena, of Spokane, is part of the show’s first female cast and was selected as the number one female pick overall.
"I just like the idea of going toe to toe with somebody," said Pena who has trained for nearly six years as a MMA fighter.
She won her first two fights on the TV program, including one against the favored number one pick from the other team.
"The experience on the show was unlike anything I had done before," said Pena.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 airs Wednesday nights on Fox Sports 1. The winner receives a $100,000 contract with the UFC.
The show finished taping during the summer. However, Pena is not slowing down. She trains two times a day at a North Spokane gym.
Her passion for fighting began with a cardio kickboxing class. Yet, she said convincing her family to let her pursue her MMA dream was the hardest part.
"I'm the baby of four and my parents weren’t too enthralled that I was getting into fist fights," Pena added.
Julianna Pena is also the sister of former KREM 2 News morning weather anchor Grace Pena.
The makers of Rhino Rush, an Ephedra Powered energy shot, announced their sponsorship of Pena this week. Follow Julianna "The Venezuelan Vixen" Pena on Facebook here. Follow Julianna "The Venezuelan Vixen" Pena on Facebook here.