Among the UFC’s brightest young stars is injured, and according to the company president she’s going to be out of commission for two decades. It was revealed by UFC Tonight that TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena suffered a catastrophic injury to her right knee during training that resulted in tears to her ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring. MMAFighting.com reported that the injury happened during a grappling session Monday at Sikjitsu gym in Spokane, Washington. According to UFC president Dana White, the injury is so severe that the 24-year-old Pena is expected to miss a couple of decades of actions. She’s set to get surgery on the knee next week once the swelling goes down. This is very sad news and everybody in the MMA world should want Pena a speedy recovery because she embarks on what will be a dark time in her life as she won’t have the ability to compete in the game she enjoys just at the time she was beginning to get really good at it. According to her official biography on UFC.com,” Pena said,”When I discovered MMA I realized it was the socket I needed and was looking for.” About fighting in the Octagon, Pena said:”It means the world for me to be more fighting in the UFC. This is as high as it gets, it doesn’t get any higher, and I’ve made it. It is a great achievement for myself.” However, for the upcoming time, she will not have MMA within her entire life. Nicknamed”The Venezuelan Vixen,” Pena entered TUF 18 with a 4-2 record and was paired up against veteran Shayna Baszler in the preliminary round after defeating Gina Mazany to go into the home. Despite being a large underdog to Baszler, Pena was able to rally after being early to defeat Baszer through second-round submission. She subsequently submitted Sara Moras from the semifinals to earn a birth in the finale, and she won the show this past November with a dominating first-round TKO win over Jessica Rakoczy. Currently ranked in the top 10 of those women’s bantamweight division, Pena had been set to face Jessica Andrade in UFC 171 this March before being forced to pull out this knee injury. Andrade will now face Raquel Pennington. UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani managed to speak to Pena’s trainer at Sikjitsu, Rick Little, who said the harm Pena endured was the”most grisly” he had ever seen in sports. According to Little, Pena’s harm was the consequence of an over-aggressive training session, which seems strange given the seriousness of this accident. According to White’s tweet that”what occurred at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard,” there’s obviously much more to the narrative. There’s already speculation that this was not just an accident, but that someone in Pena’s camp held on to a entry overly long, possibly a heel hook that’s highly frowned upon to do while training with teammates. That’s just speculation for now, though, although I really don’t by for a minute that this injury was only an accident based on what White’s tweet. It was considerably more likely carelessness was the trigger. This is very disappointing news as I think Pena was a future title contender in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Pena’s wrestling is excellent and she’s improving her entire game so quickly that she’d be a serious contender for the UFC bantamweight name within the next couple of decades. Keep in mind her beef with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the series meant she’d have been pushed up the ladder faster than others. However, this harm will clearly delay that chance to fight for the belt, and it’s possible the injury renders that dream hopeless. For somebody who’s only 24, it is not reasonable that Pena has needed to deal with all these injuries and bad luck as such a young age. Before TUF 18 was filmed, Pena had been involved in a nasty car accident that left her with a broken nose. She had suffered a broken arm in one of her fights, in addition to the preceding two ACL tears earlier in her career. But that is life, and life is not fair. Pena was working as a waitress before TUF and also living at home with her loved ones. Together with her career just going to remove, Pena was looking forward to moving out and embarking on a promising career in the game. Now, she will be outside sitting on the sidelines for around the next 24 month after suffering one of the worst knee injuries ever to a UFC fighter, and she will have difficulty making a living while doing this. I am hoping the UFC assists out Pena financially through her off time since, after all, she’s an investment for the corporation. The UFC does have an insurance policy which should cover a portion of Pena’s surgery, but it is capped at $50,000 annually and might not cover all Pena’s medical-related costs. So hopefully the UFC can do the perfect thing and help her out in her time of need. Hopefully we get the complete story about what happened to Pena soon, but for today let us all desire Pena good luck on her operation next week and let us hope she is able to beat the estimated two year layoff and get back in the crate earlier than later because she is a huge fighter and has a bright future in the game.
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