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

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One of the UFC’s brightest young stars is hurt, and according to the company president she is going to be out of commission for a couple of 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. MMAFighting.com reported that the injury occurred during a grappling session Monday in 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 years of actions. She is set to get surgery on the knee following week when the swelling goes down. This is quite sad news and everybody in the MMA world should wish Pena a quick recovery because she embarks on what will be a dark time in her life as she will not have the ability to compete at the sport she loves 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 found MMA I understood it was the socket I needed and was searching for.” About fighting in the Octagon, Pena said:”This means the world for me to be fighting in the UFC. This is as high as it’s, it will not get any higher, and I have made it. It’s a fantastic achievement for myself.” However, for the upcoming time, she will not have MMA within her 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 defeating Gina Mazany to go into the home. Despite being a massive underdog to Baszler, Pena managed to rally after being down early to conquer Baszer through second-round entry. She subsequently submitted Sara Moras in the semifinals to earn a birth in the finale, and she won the series 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 before being forced to pull out with this knee injury. Andrade will 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 gruesome” he’d 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 injury. Based on White’s tweet that”what occurred at her gym is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard,” there’s obviously more to the narrative. There’s already speculation that this was not just an crash, but that someone at Pena’s camp held to some submission overly long, possibly a heel hook which is highly frowned upon to do while training with teammates. That is only speculation for now, though, though I don’t by for a minute that this injury was just an accident based on what White’s tweet. It was considerably more inclined carelessness was the cause. This is extremely disappointing news as I think Pena was a upcoming 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 years. Remember her beef with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey in the series meant she’d have been pushed up the ladder quicker than many others. But this harm will clearly delay that opportunity to fight for the belt, and it is possible the injury renders that dream hopeless. For somebody who’s only 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 was involved in a nasty car accident which left her with a busted nose. She had also suffered a broken arm in one of her fights, in addition to the previous two ACL tears before in her career. But that is life, and life is not fair. Pena was employed as a waitress before TUF and also living in the home with her loved ones. With her career just going to remove, Pena was anticipating moving out and embarking on a promising career in the sport. Now, she’ll be outside sitting on the sidelines for around another 24 month after suffering among the worst knee injuries ever to a UFC fighter, and she will have difficulty making a living while doing this. I hope the UFC assists out Pena financially during her off time because, after all, she is an investment to the corporation. The UFC does have an insurance plan which should pay a portion of Pena’s operation, 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. We get the complete story about what happened to Pena shortly, but for today let’s all wish Pena great luck on her surgery next week and let’s hope she can conquer 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 sport.

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I am a 24-year-old fresh graduate who loves connecting with people, hearing their opinions and bouncing ideas off one another. I enjoy having conversations with people from all walks of life. I can be reached at kexin.tan@outlook.com.

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