One of the UFC’s brightest young stars is hurt, and according to the company president she’s likely to be out of commission for two decades. It was revealed by UFC Tonight which TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena suffered a devastating injury to her right knee during training that led to tears to her ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring. reported the injury occurred during a grappling session Monday in Sikjitsu gym in Spokane, Washington. In accordance with UFC president Dana White, the injury is so severe that the 24-year-old Pena is expected to miss a couple of decades of action. She’s set to have surgery on the knee following week when the swelling goes down. This is quite sad news and everyone in the MMA world should want Pena a speedy recovery as she embarks on what is going to be a dark period in her life as she will not have the ability to compete at the game she loves just at the time she was beginning to get really good at it. According to her official biography on, Pena said,”When I found MMA I realized it was the socket I needed and was looking for.” About battling in the Octagon, Pena stated:”It means the world for me to be more fighting in the UFC. This is as large as it’s, it doesn’t get any higher, and I have made it. It’s a great achievement for myself.” But for the next time, she won’t have MMA within her life. Nicknamed”The Venezuelan Vixen,” Pena entered TUF 18 with a 4-2 record and has been paired up against veteran Shayna Baszler in the preliminary round after defeating Gina Mazany to enter the home. Despite being a large underdog to Baszler, Pena was able to rally after being down early to defeat Baszer via second-round entry. She subsequently submitted Sara Moras from the semifinals to earn a birth in the finale, and she won the series 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 at UFC 171 that March prior to being forced to pull out this knee injury. Andrade will face Raquel Pennington. UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani managed to talk to Pena’s trainer at Sikjitsu, Rick Little, who said the harm Pena suffered 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 odd given the severity of this injury. According to White’s tweet that”what happened at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever noticed,” there’s obviously much more to the narrative. There is already speculation that this was not just an crash, but that somebody in Pena’s camp held on to a submission overly long, maybe a heel hook that’s highly frowned upon to perform while training with teammates. That is only speculation for the time being, though, though I don’t by for a moment that this injury was only an accident based on which White’s tweet. It was considerably more likely carelessness was the cause. This is very disappointing news as I believe Pena was a future title contender from the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Pena’s wrestling is exceptional and she is improving her overall game so quickly that she would be a serious contender for the UFC bantamweight title within the next couple of decades. Keep in mind her beef with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the series meant she would have been pushed up the ladder faster than many others. However, this harm will obviously delay that chance to fight for the belt, and it’s possible the injury renders that dream impossible. For someone who is just 24, it’s not reasonable that Pena has needed to deal with so many injuries and bad luck as such a young age. Before TUF 18 was filmed, Pena had been involved in a horrible car accident which left her with a busted nose. She had suffered a broken arm one of her struggles, as well as the previous two ACL tears earlier in her career. But that is life, and life is not fair. Pena was employed as a waitress before TUF and living in the home with her family. With her career just going to remove, Pena had been looking forward to moving out and embarking on a promising career in the sport. Now, she’ll be out sitting on the sidelines for up to 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 so. I am hoping that the UFC helps out Pena financially through her time off since, after all, she’s an investment for the company. The UFC does have an insurance plan which should cover a portion of Pena’s operation, but it’s capped at $50,000 yearly and might not cover most Pena’s medical-related costs. So the UFC can do exactly the perfect thing and help her out in her time of need. We get the full story about what happened to Pena soon, but for today let us all desire Pena great luck on her surgery next week and let’s hope she is able to beat the estimated two year layoff and return into the cage sooner than later because she is a tremendous fighter and has a bright future in the sport.

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