Among the UFC’s brightest young stars is injured, and according to the company president she’s likely to be out of commission for two years. It was revealed by UFC Tonight which TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena endured a catastrophic injury to her right knee during training that resulted in tears to her ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring. reported the injury happened during a grappling session Monday in Sikjitsu fitness center 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 two years of actions. She is set to have surgery on the knee next week once the swelling goes down. This is quite sad news and everybody in the MMA world ought to want Pena a quick recovery because she embarks on what will be a dark period in her life as she will not have the ability to compete at the game she enjoys 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 understood it was the socket I needed and was looking for.“ About battling in the Octagon, Pena said:“It means the world for me to be more fighting in the UFC. This is as large as it gets, it doesn’t get any higher, and I’ve made it. It’s a fantastic achievement for myself.“ But for the next little while, she will not have MMA in her entire life. Nicknamed“The Venezuelan Vixen,“ Pena entered TUF 18 with a 4-2 record and was matched up against veteran Shayna Baszler from the preliminary round after beating Gina Mazany to enter the house. Despite being a massive underdog into Baszler, Pena was able to rally after being early to defeat Baszer through second-round entry. She subsequently submitted Sara Moras from the semifinals to earn a birth in the finale, and she won the show last November with a dominating first-round TKO win over Jessica Rakoczy. Currently ranked in the top 10 of the women’s bantamweight division, Pena had been set to confront Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 this March before being forced to pull out this knee injury. Andrade will face Raquel Pennington. UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani was able to talk to Pena’s trainer at Sikjitsu, Rick Little, who said the injury Pena suffered was the“most gruesome“ he had ever seen in sports. According to Little, Pena’s injury was the consequence of an over-aggressive training session, which seems strange given the seriousness of this accident. Based on White’s tweet which“what occurred at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard,“ there is obviously much more to the narrative. There’s already speculation that this wasn’t just an crash, but that someone at Pena’s camp held to a submission overly long, maybe a heel hook that’s highly frowned upon to do while training with teammates. That’s just speculation for now, though, although I don’t by for a minute that this injury was just an accident based on what White’s tweet. It was much more inclined carelessness was the trigger. This is very disappointing news as I think Pena was a upcoming title contender in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Pena’s wrestling is exceptional and she is improving her entire game so rapidly that she would be a serious competitor for the UFC bantamweight title within the next two years. Remember her beef with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey from the show meant she would have been pushed up the ladder faster than many others. But this harm will clearly delay that chance to fight for the belt, and it’s possible that the injury renders that dream impossible. For somebody who’s just 24, it is really not fair that Pena has had to deal with so many injuries and bad luck as such a young age. Before TUF 18 was first filmed, Pena was involved in a nasty car accident that left her with a busted nose. She had also suffered a broken arm in one of her struggles, as well as the preceding two ACL tears earlier in her career. But that’s life, and life isn’t fair. Pena was employed as a waitress before TUF and living in the home with her loved ones. Together with her career just about to take off, Pena was anticipating moving out and embarking on a promising career in the game. Now, she’ll be outside sitting on the sidelines for around the next 24 month after enduring one of the worst knee injuries ever to a UFC fighter, and she will have trouble making a living while doing this. I am hoping that the UFC assists out Pena financially during her off time since, after all, she is an investment for the company. The UFC does have an insurance policy that should pay a portion of Pena’s surgery, but it is capped at $50,000 annually and may not cover all Pena’s medical-related costs. So hopefully the UFC can do the right thing and help her out in her time of need. We get the full story about what happened to Pena shortly, but for now let’s all wish Pena great luck on her surgery next week and let’s hope she is able to conquer the projected two year layoff and return into the cage earlier than later because she is a tremendous fighter and has a bright future in the sport.

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