-: Oct 18, 2019 / Ustshahli Ustshahli

MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR THURSDAY: JULIANNA PENA OUT FOR TWO YEARS FOLLOWING CATASTROPHIC KNEE INJURY

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Among the UFC’s brightest young stars is injured, and as stated by the company president she’s likely to be out of commission for two decades. It was yesterday 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. MMAFighting.com reported the injury occurred during a grappling session on Monday at Sikjitsu fitness center in Spokane, Washington. According to UFC president Dana White, the injury is so severe that the 24-year-old Pena is expected to miss two decades of actions. She is set to get surgery on the knee next week when the swelling goes down. This is very sad news and everybody in the MMA world ought to want Pena a quick recovery because she embarks on what is going to be a dark period in her life as she will not be able to compete at the sport 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 searching for.” About fighting in the Octagon, Pena said:”This means the world to me to be more fighting in the UFC. This is as high as it’s, it will not get any higher, and I have made it. It is a fantastic accomplishment for myself.” But for the next time, she will not have MMA in 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 beating Gina Mazany to go into the house. Despite being a large underdog into Baszler, Pena was able to rally after being early to conquer Baszer via second-round entry. She then submitted Sara Moras in 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 those women’s bantamweight division, Pena had been set to face Jessica Andrade in UFC 171 that March prior to being forced to pull out with this knee injury. Andrade will now face Raquel Pennington. UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani managed to speak to Pena’s coach at Sikjitsu, Rick Little, who said the injury Pena endured was the”most grisly” he’d ever seen in sports. According to Little, Pena’s injury was the result of an over-aggressive training session, which seems strange given the severity of the accident. According to White’s tweet which”what happened at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard,” there is obviously more to the narrative. There is already speculation that this was not just an crash, but that someone at Pena’s camp held on to some submission overly long, maybe a heel hook that’s highly frowned upon to do while training with teammates. That is only speculation for now, though, though I really don’t by for a moment that this injury was only an accident based on which White’s tweet. It was much more likely carelessness was the cause. This is extremely disappointing news as I believe Pena was a future title contender from the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Pena’s wrestling is excellent and she is improving her entire game so rapidly that she would be a serious contender for the UFC bantamweight title within the next two years. Remember 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 injury will clearly delay that opportunity to fight for the belt, and it is possible the injury renders that dream hopeless. For someone who is just 24, it’s not fair that Pena has had to cope 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 which left her with a broken nose. She had suffered a broken arm one of her struggles, as well as the preceding two ACL tears before in her career. But that’s life, and life is not fair. Pena was working as a waitress before TUF and also living in the home with her family. With her career just going to remove, Pena had been anticipating 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 among the worst knee injuries ever into a UFC fighter, and she’ll have difficulty making a living while doing so. I am hoping the UFC helps out Pena financially through her time off because, after all, she is an investment to the company. The UFC does have an insurance policy that should cover part of Pena’s surgery, but it is capped at $50,000 yearly and may not cover most Pena’s medical-related costs. So the UFC can do exactly the right thing and help her out in her time of need. Hopefully we get the full story about what happened to Pena soon, but for now let’s all wish Pena good luck on her surgery next week and let’s hope she is able to beat the estimated two year layoff and return in the crate sooner than later because she’s a tremendous fighter and has a bright future in the sport.

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