Julianna Pena suffers ‘horrific’ injury, reportedly out two years

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 winner Julianna Pena tore her ACL, MCL, LCL, Meniscus and hamstring. Pena's coach Rick Little told Ariel Helwani it was the most horrific injury he had ever seen.

UFC president Dana White reports she will be out for two years. White also tweeted critical words for the gym.

“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.”

Canada's Showdown Joe Ferraro reported further details.

“Dana said Julianna Pena was basically bullied at her gym for wearing TUF gear,” tweeted Ferraro. “She was jumped from behind and fell, damaging her knee.”

Pena trains at Spokane, Washington's Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems under the tutelage of Rick Little. Other fighters from the gym include Michael Chiesa and Sam Sicilia.

Both Chiesa and Little responded to White's tweet.

Michael Chiesa @MikeMav22
@danawhite @VenezuelanVixen I hope you don't think I have any fault in this….#notguilty

Rick Little @SIKJITSU
•@danawhite that gym handed u 2 ultimate fighters raised from teenagers created from scratch, there is a reason she destroyed evry1 in UFC
@danawhite she has tore her other knee, broke her arm and her nose, some people only have one gear and break themselves. & she should be #2
•she was crying when she told him and he got soft, he has NO idea what happened
•ultimately yes it my fault. 1day u might have an MMA gym and u can show me how to eliminate injuries, I'm switching to tai chi

•It's funny how Dana and every1 thinks elite girls train with a room of girls, they train with men. & Julianna trains hard, ask anyone on TUF
•her knee dislocated, while she was trying to hit a standing switch and her foot stuck in the mat


Jeff Gordon ‏@jeffcgordon
Rick has stated he's mad at someone for this so I'd have to think it wasnt a freak accident

Rick Little @SIKJITSU
I'll give u a hint, she's crazy and has long hair

Little also responded on The UG.

“Just know this,” posted Little. “Dana talked to Julianna while she was in the hospital 30 min after the accident.  So he got defensive over her but this isn't the first time she has hurt herself.  Dana obviously doesn't realize that Julianna took second in a men's advanced division and she trains with men.  She was hurt rolling with someone she has 100 times.  And she will be back before 2 years.”

There are two conflicting accounts of what happened.

In one narrative, the injury reportedly happened during an over aggressive training session, with minimal warm up. During a grappling session with a training partner, Pena's knee locked up on the mat in an exchange and hyper-extended, which caused the knee to buckle underneath her.

However, at the UFC 169 media day Thursday, UFC president White offered a starkly different account, that was apparently 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,’” said White as transcribed by FOXSports.  “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?”

Pena was supposed to fight Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 on March 15 in Dallas. Her former Ultimate Fighter teammate Raquel Pennington will step in now and face Andrade.

Despite the severity of the injury, Pena has been assured that her knee will return to full strength after surgery and rehabilitation. Surgery has been scheduled for next Thursday in Los Angeles, CA.

The injury happened a couple of days ago, and gave rise to various unfounded rumors.

Pena has obviously pulled out of a planned meeting with Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 on March 15, and will be replaced by Raquel Pennington.