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

Among the UFC’s brightest young stars is injured, and as stated by the company president she is likely to be out of commission for a couple of decades. 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 for her ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring. MMAFighting.com reported the injury occurred during a grappling session on 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 action. She’s set to get surgery on the knee next week when the swelling goes down. This is very sad news and everyone in the MMA world ought to want Pena a speedy recovery because she embarks on what is going to be a dark time in her life as she won’t have the ability to compete at the game she loves just at the time she was starting 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 stated:”It means the world to me to be more fighting in the UFC. This is as high as it gets, it will not get any higher, and I have made it. It is a fantastic achievement for myself.” But for the upcoming little while, she won’t have MMA in her life. Nicknamed”The Venezuelan Vixen,” Pena entered TUF 18 with a 4-2 record and was paired up against veteran Shayna Baszler from the preliminary round after beating Gina Mazany to go into the home. Despite being a massive underdog to Baszler, Pena was able to rally after being down early to defeat Baszer via second-round entry. She then submitted Sara Moras in 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 confront Jessica Andrade at UFC 171 that March before being forced to pull out with this knee injury. Andrade will now face Raquel Pennington. UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani was able to talk to Pena’s trainer at Sikjitsu, Rick Little, who said the harm Pena suffered 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 odd given the seriousness of this injury. According to White’s tweet which”what occurred at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard,” there’s obviously more to the story. There is already speculation that this was not only an accident, but that somebody at 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 is only speculation for now, however, although I don’t by for a moment that this harm was just an accident based on which White’s tweet. It was considerably more likely carelessness was the trigger. This is extremely 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 is improving her entire game so quickly that she would be a serious contender for the UFC bantamweight name within the next two years. Keep in mind her beef with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the show supposed she would have been pushed up the ladder quicker than others. However, this harm will obviously delay that chance to struggle for the belt, and it is possible the injury renders that fantasy hopeless. For someone who is only 24, it’s really not reasonable that Pena has needed to deal with so many injuries and bad fortune as such a young age. Before TUF 18 was first filmed, Pena was involved in a horrible car accident that left her with a broken nose. She had suffered a broken arm in one of her fights, as well as the preceding two ACL tears earlier in her career. But that’s life, and life isn’t fair. Pena was working as a waitress before TUF and living at home with her family. Together with her career just going to remove, Pena was looking forward to moving out and embarking on a promising career in the sport. Now, she will be out sitting on the sidelines for up to the next 24 month after enduring 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 during her time off since, after all, she’s an investment for the company. The UFC does have an insurance plan which should cover part of Pena’s operation, but it’s capped at $50,000 yearly and might not cover most Pena’s medical-related costs. So hopefully the UFC can do the perfect thing and help her out in her time of need. We get the complete story about what happened to Pena soon, but for now let’s all desire Pena good luck on her surgery next week and let’s hope she is able to beat the projected two year layoff and get back in the crate sooner than later because she’s a tremendous fighter and has a bright future in the game.

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