Back in 2014, Julianna Pena suffered a traumatic knee injury in a very unorthodox fashion. The current UFC women’s bantamweight champion was getting ready to train at her gym but was jumped on and neck-cranked by a male who was training at the facility, according to Dana White.
The ‘attack’ caused Pena to fall awkwardly, injuring her knee in the process. The UFC president was furious when he heard about what happened and spoke openly to MMA Fighting at the time:
The injury was so bad that Julianna Pena had to undergo surgery in Los Angeles. Dana White was unsure if the incident would be deemed an assault, but the UFC president certainly felt like it should have been:
The story allegedly had two differing opinions, with the gym’s coach, Rick Little, blaming Pena’s overeagerness and lack of warm-up for the injury. Dana White seemingly didn’t believe Little’s version of events:
Thankfully, whatever happened in the gym didn’t end Pena’s career or cause any long-term damage, with ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ going on to lift the UFC bantamweight belt after beating Amanda Nunes at UFC 269: Oliveira vs. Poirier.
As mentioned, Julianna Pena previously beat Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to lift the UFC women’s bantamweight belt for the first time in her career. If ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ wants to remain on the throne, she’ll have to repeat the upset once again.
Pena is set to face Nunes for a second time at UFC 277 this weekend. The pair will feature in the headline bout, with Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France taking the co-main event spot.
Pena has only lost twice in the UFC, having been defeated by Germaine de Randamie and Valentina Shevchenko. Nunes, meanwhile, has only lost to one opponent other than Pena, with Cat Zingano getting the better of the Brazilian back in 2014.
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