Chiesa: Pena injury is tearing our whole team apart


Several days ago "The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 winner Julianna Pena tore her ACL, MCL, LCL, Meniscus and hamstring, suffering what her coach Rick Little said was the most horrific injury he had ever seen. UFC president Dana White spoke with her and reports she will be out for two years.

White was also highly critical words of the gym, Spokane, Washington's Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems under the tutelage of Rick Little. Other fighters from the gym include Michael Chiesa and Sam Sicilia.

"What happened to @VenezuelanVixen at "her gym" is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard," tweeted White. "Ranked #10 out for 2 years. #leavethatgymnow."

There are two conflicting accounts of what happened.

According to one telling, the injury happened during an overly aggressive grappling training session withJosh Gow, a 5' 5" 135 lb pro fighter, done with minimal warm up. Pena's knee locked up on the mat in an exchange and hyper-extended, which caused the knee to buckle underneath her.

However, White offered a starkly different account, as related to him by a tearful Pena.

“That’s so far from the story she told me right after it happened when she was hysterically crying,” said White. “Completely opposite. … Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. You know what I mean?”

“She was training in her gym and one of her training partners, a guy, was saying to her, ‘Oh you’re wearing your Ultimate Fighter shirt, we’re real scared. He was talking smack to her and then basically attacked her.”

White said the male jumped on her back while she was standing and cranked on her neck. The combination of weight and pressure apparently caused her leg to buckle horribly.

“The most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” said White.

“I told her, ‘Leave that disgusting gym and go somewhere else.' New coaches, new training partners. Whatever.”

“It sounds like assault to me. But how do you consider it assault in a gym?"

For his part, Little put the blame squarely on Pena.

"I'll give u a hint," he tweeted. "She's crazy and has long hair."

Sicilia flatly denied that what happened around the injury constituted an assault, and referenced her sex in trying to explain what happened.

"No, she wasn't assaulted," Sicilia told Bleacher Report. "I guess she was at the gym, just lifting, and she went from there to go grapple. I don’t know if she didn’t warm up or what her deal was, but the guy she goes with, he’s one of those little 35 pounders, and I guess they were just training, and he had her up against the cage and then jumped on her back to get his hooks in. I think she went for a switch or something, and it was just bad. He’s a little power pellet, you know? So, he’s a little buff guy. I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard it from everybody—what happened. It definitely wasn’t assault or anything like that."

"I feel like we kind of got a girl thrown in the mix, and it's kind of hard to do the right things with her. With a bunch of guys, you can go as hard as you want. Obviously, you don’t follow up if you clip somebody, but we get after it. That’s why she’s tough, too, though. We’ve just never really dealt with girls at that gym."

"I guess, obviously, we're dealing with a girl at our gym, but sometimes it didn't feel like that. Sometimes, I see her get dolled up, and I think, 'Holy crap! She is a girl.' She comes in, and she gets after it and starts throwing dudes around."

"I went and saw Julie after it happened; I brought a movie and hung out. She’s devastated. It’s just so emotional still. It wasn’t like he grabbed a submission and wouldn’t let go or anything like that. They’re the same size, so him jumping on her back—I don’t get how that happens, but it wasn’t like she just walked in the door and somebody 'cannonballed' on her or something weird...I really feel terrible for her. She was excited for the fight, and she was doing the right things. Even since the show, she had changed things and become a more professional fighter instead of just some girl who likes beating people up."

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Chiesa sent MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani a statement, and like Sicilia said what happened should not be characterized as an assault.

Pena was never "attacked" by some guy. She was training with a 135er that she trains with on a regular basis. He wasn't talking s--- to her for wearing a TUF shirt, and if he was, it was light-hearted gym humor. They were rolling and he went for a move that he's hit on her a thousand times before and it just happened.

Nobody is to blame, it was a training accident. Just like Dominick Cruz. Everyone knows how hard she is to train with cause she's so damn tough. She only has one female partner that can somewhat challenge her. Even on the show, she was training with guys on her team and, correct me if I'm wrong, they made a point to say how tough she is. She's Cyborg-esque, I guess you could say, minus the PEDs.

Were a very close knit team here in Spokane, she was training with someone that she's gone all the way to Canada to corner. She's held this guy's child, they are very close. This guy wasn't some attacker or whatever the hell she said. This whole thing is tearing our team apart.

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tags: UFC   Juliana Pena   Sam Sicilia   Michael Chiesa (detail)  

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Recent Comments »

RearNakedJoke site profile image  

2/1/14 10:33 AM by RearNakedJoke

That's my entire point. She has NEVER said she was attacked. Dana's words. People are giving her heat all over this place for "setting WMMA back 10 years" when she has yet to come out and speak on what happened.

RampageFitsLikeAGlove site profile image  

2/1/14 10:31 AM by RampageFitsLikeAGlove

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, many on here will not believe you because they have been programmed to believe every word Dana says. Despite the fact you were there, multiple teammates and the coach have backed up the training story, it won't matter because Dana flew off the handle and already told these idiots how to feel.Good luck to the Juliana and the team.

RampageFitsLikeAGlove site profile image  

2/1/14 10:28 AM by RampageFitsLikeAGlove

So 4 people who personally know her have come forward and said she wasn't attacked and it was a training accident, including the guy who carried her to the car, and you still believe Dana White over everyone else, huh? And Juliana herself has NEVER said she was attacked. Feel free to read her Twitter or Facebook if you like.What will it take for you guys to think Dana may have got it wrong? Let me guess, you want video evidence and even then, it prob won't be enough?

Ray Cappa site profile image  

2/1/14 9:40 AM by Ray Cappa

Fucking douche. Here's the difference between a real academy and an MMA gym full of meatheads. I hope she does leave that bullshit Mickey Mouse gym.

Motivated Penn site profile image  

2/1/14 9:21 AM by Motivated Penn

Terrible injury, I hope she recovers, but I knew the first story was horse shit.Woman says: I got injured in training by a male fighter.Male audience, white knighting with the force of a thousand suns: HE ATTACKED YOU WITH A MACHETE YOU SAY?!Everybody online: Kill the heretic!!! WE also want that complementary white knight BJ that we expect follow fake outrage!Ant. Molehill. White Knight.

gluttun site profile image  

2/1/14 9:13 AM by gluttun

Is it possible she had a preexisting injury on that knee she didn't notice or ignored? That would make sense in explaining why she couldn't handle the guy jumping on her back this time around.

gluttun site profile image  

2/1/14 9:13 AM by gluttun

Edit - double post

CDarwin site profile image  

2/1/14 5:39 AM by CDarwin

Thanks for the input. Could you please let us in on what happened? Considering Dana's initial statement, it's not really surprising that people discuss the different accounts...

D241 site profile image  

2/1/14 3:20 AM by D241

Baleed Dat!!

SikRick site profile image  

2/1/14 2:47 AM by SikRick

I love the UG, most of you are VERY intelligent and can figure it out.  Im not gonna say much cause gimme a fukking break.  We are dealing with a brutal injury. It put me to tears to carry Julianna to the car. She is the heart and soul of our team and I love the girl very much.  I dont know why everybody gives a fuk about the stupid stuff.  She was TRAINING for Jessica Andrade with her partner that is the same height as Jessica.  Her body and knee has been tore up since TUF and it finally broke.  The girl has fought her ass off 4 fights in a short time and in camp for another one.  Give the girl a break and some support and give the gym a break. We are a small Gym that has busted our ass thru the rigors of TUF to get noticed.  Julianna is our heart and soul and anybody who tried to hurt her would get fucked up.