TUF 18 winner Julianna Pena breaks silence, explains her controversial knee injury

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

After suffering a horrific injury after her winning effort on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18, Julianna Pena was injured in her gym grappling with another teammate. There were conflicting stories between UFC President Dana White and members of her fight camp; therefore, Pena decided to finally clear the air on the matter. Check it out below.

Julianna Pena did, indeed, accurately explain the knee injury she suffered a few months back to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, who passionately claimed that "Venezuelan Vixen" was "attacked" in her gym by a male fighter, leading to "worst injury ever."

In fact, White declared that the incident was so reprehensible that Pena should consider leaving her gym, Team "Sikjitsu" in Spokane, Wash., "immediately."

Pena was a recent guest on The Jason Ellis Show, breaking her silence and sharing her side of the unfortunate mixed martial arts (MMA) story.

Was she targeted like White suggested? Pena explains:

"I don't think I accidentally explained it incorrectly to [Dana White] -- I think I explained it 110 percent exactly how the story went.... What happened was, I wasn't even wearing an Ultimate Fighter shirt ... because the kid told me he thought it was an Ultimate Fighter rash guard. But, here's the thing, it's a gray rash guard, okay? It had a little UFC emblem on it. I was wearing that, I was late. So, when I got there, he was like ‘hurry up, let's go.' So, I get on the mat, I hit the clock, and he says, ‘Oh, you're wearing your Ultimate Fighter rash guard. I was like, what's that supposed to mean? ‘That you're really tough, I'm really scared.' I'm like, whatever, and we slapped hands, and a minute later, my knee was tore out."

Hmmm ...

As a result of the injury, Pena tore her ACL, MLC and LCL after the training session gone wrong, forcing her out of a match against Jessica Andrade at UFC 172.

While her teammate and fellow UFC combatant, Sam Sicilia, claimed she was not attacked and others jumped to immediate conclusions as to what might have went down, Pena never explained exactly how she got so hurt.

Until now:

"Normally, in the gym, when there's tons of people we start on our knees, you know there's not enough room. But, in this instance, it was just me and him on the mat. No one was there, and we slapped hands, and we started going, but right when we started going, it was like ‘Urghh!' fighting for your life, just cock strong, you know, both of us, and I was like, ‘you're not taking me down, bro.' And he wasn't, so, he was trying to take me down as much as he could. So, I had my shoulder blades up against the back wall, and he's trying to rear-naked choke me from the side of my body. It's not even close, and it pissed me off, and I'm like, be technical. Don't try to cock strong, you know? I was turning into him, and he was trying to drag me to the ground and rear-naked choke me at the same time, just trying to use all of his weight to try to drop me to the ground. So, when I turned into it, it was just the amount of force -- it just blew."

Pena's story should be viewed as the precise one, yet there were other reports -- specifically one made by her training partner, Josh Gow -- that refuted any claims of horse play and said the media blew it out of proportion.

Still, it seems like the Spokane fighter does feel somewhat victimized, placing the blame on her training partner. But, as of now, we haven't heard if Pena is planning on ditching her team because of the issue.

One thing's for sure: She's out of action for a while ... regardless of who says what.

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