UFC president Dana White was livid with what happened to “The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner Julianna Pena (pictured) this week while training with her Sik-Jitsu teammates, but the Spokane, Washington squad’s coach Rick Little claims injuries are a part of the sport and his gym is doing more good than bad overall.
White blasted the facility after learning Pena would be sidelined for two years after tearing her knee and hamstring during a reported “over-aggressive training session.”
“What happened to @VenezuelanVixen at “her gym” is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard. Ranked #10 out for 2 years. #leavethatgymnow,” White tweeted Wednesday after news broke of Pena’s devastating injury.
Little was quick to return fire, highlighting that Sik-Jitsu has helped Michael Chiesa and Pena secure their MMA futures with two six-figure UFC contracts by winning their respective TUF tourneys.
“That gym handed u 2 ultimate fighters raised from teenagers created from scratch, there is a reason she destroyed evry1 in UFC,” Little posted in response to White’s criticism. “It’s funny how Dana and every1 thinks elite girls train with a room of girls, they train with men. & Julianna trains hard, ask anyone on TUF.”
Little also pointed out that this isn’t the first time Pena has been hurt in practice. She has a reputation for training hard, and sometimes injuries are an unfortunate byproduct of that intensity.
“She has tore her other knee, broke her arm and her nose, some people only have one gear and break themselves. & she should be #2 [ranked bantamweight],” Little added before taking some responsibility for Pena’s injury. “Ultimately yes it my fault. 1day u might have an MMA gym and u can show me how to eliminate injuries, I’m switching to tai chi.”
“The Venezuelan Vixen” was slated to meet Jessica Andrade at UFC 172 prior to blowing out her knee.
Pena will reportedly wait for the swelling in her knee to subside before undergoing surgery next week.