UFC women’s bantamweight and The Ultimate Fighter season 18 winner Julianna Pena suffered a gruesome knee injury this week that forced her to withdraw from a scheduled match up at UFC 171 against Jessica Andrade.
UFC president Dana White has said that Pena was “basically attacked” in her gym — Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems in Spokane, Washington — but one of her training partners, Sam Sicilia, had a different story.
“No, she wasn’t assaulted,” Sicilia told Bleacher Report. “I guess she was at the gym, just lifting, and she went from there to go grapple. I don’t know if she didn’t warm up or what her deal was, but the guy she goes with, he’s one of those little 35 pounders, and I guess they were just training, and he had her up against the cage and then jumped on her back to get his hooks in. I think she went for a switch or something, and it was just bad. He’s a little power pellet, you know? So, he’s a little buff guy. I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard it from everybody—what happened. It definitely wasn’t assault or anything like that.”
“I feel like we kind of got a girl thrown in the mix, and it’s kind of hard to do the right things with her. With a bunch of guys, you can go as hard as you want. Obviously, you don’t follow up if you clip somebody, but we get after it. That’s why she’s tough, too, though. We’ve just never really dealt with girls at that gym.”
If true, which let’s hope it was just an accident and not a fighter attempting to harm another during training, Pena’s injury is one of the most horrifying accidental injuries to ever occur. Pena suffered a torn ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus and hamstring.
White has said that she should be sidelined up to two years.