Dana White Doesn’t Blame Julianna Pena’s Coach For Different Version Of Story

Dana White Doesn’t Blame Julianna Pena’s Coach For Different Version Of Story


At last night’s UFC 169 post-fight media scrum in Chicago, Illinois, the question of Julianna Pena and her recently sustained knee injuries was raised as a subject.

For the most part, UFC President Dana White didn’t have much to add regarding the women’s “Ultimate Fighter” season 18 bantamweight tournament winner, however, he did stick to his original version of the story, as told to him by Pena. As such, White still believes that what happened to Pena was an assault.

As White stated in comment:

“The worst knee injury I’ve ever heard of ever in the sport. And you hear about those types of knee injuries in football.

Apparently, when she came into the gym and again, she was hysterical when I talked to her; crying. She just won “The Ultimate Fighter”, she’s ranked number ten in the world and she was training in her gym, and one of her training partners, a guy, was saying to her ‘oh, you’re wearing you’re Ultimate Fighter shirt, we’re real scared; like basically talking smack to her and then attacked her; jumped on her back, started cranking her neck and the way that she fell, her knee blew out.

The most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in my life. A hear-and-a-half to two years she’ll be out. I told her, leave that disgusting gym and go somewhere else, with new coaches, training partners, whatever. That’s all I know.”

Again, in reiterating the events and as told to him by Pena, White’s story is consistent with his first telling of it. And again, the facts that can be established so far are as follows:

That Pena was wearing her ‘TUF’ t-shirt, that something was said about it to her, and that a fighter was “talking smack” to Pena (Mr. X) and that fighter (Mr. X) appears to be the teammate that caused Pena’s injuries. Further, the injury was sustained while grappling and from a standing position, with Mr. X taking Pena’s back and subsequent to that, her knee blew out.

Beyond that, it has yet to be established whether or not it was in a grappling match or spar, whether or not Pena knew that her back was about to be taken (as in knew she was in a spar), or whether or not Pena was actively trying to defend a grapple, with an executed move that went badly; actively involved.

Speculatively, and from what fans understand of the incident, it’s beginning to appear as if Pena’s knee gave out prior to her hitting the mat. If so, it rules out the possibility of Mr. X having taken Pena to the ground and damaging her leg there, and as a result of an overzealous application of a leg lock or other move.      

As to who Mr. X is, White said he’s unaware of the fighter’s identity;  “I don’t know who it was.”

When MMA reporter Ariel Helwani told White that “Sik-Jitsu’s” coach had given him a different version of what had happened to Pena at the gym, White remarked, “I bet he does. I don’t blame him.”

However, White stuck to his guns and reinforced his stance, “It sounds like assault to me, but how do you consider it assault in a gym?”

In terms of Sik-Jitsu’s coach and what he had to say regarding the incident, he told Helwani the following and quoting Helwani:

“He was coming to the gym, she’s a very aggressive type of trainer, she trains three times a day and she didn’t warm up. She was training with these guys, these couple guys, didn’t do the proper warm-ups, he wasn’t there to oversee it and then she severely injured herself.

For the record, he wasn’t blaming her. He was saying that those guys should have known better, because she’s such a eager beaver that they should have waited for him to be there to make sure she was ready to start training. That’s what he (the coach) told me.”

To that, White commented, “completely different story then what she told me; somewhere in the middle lies the truth, you know what I mean.”   

In terms of what Helwani is telling us that Sik-Jitsu’s coach said, it’s not helpful and perhaps even problematic.

First, the coach wasn’t there. That’s obvious. As such, this is another unsubstantiated statement from the club and just more hearsay; as is the same with White’s statement.

Beyond that, the coach’s statement raises some flags.

The coach raised the issue of Pena’s warming up, however, Pena is not some newbie to training and not only knows that she has to warm-up prior to training, but more importantly, probably knows how to do it and without the need of her coach overseeing it. To raise that as a point (of defense) seems like a reach.

Referring to Pena as an “aggressive type of trainer” might be taken by some as a specious attempt by the club to lay the blame for this squarely and solely at Pena’s own feet, and not as a result of Mr. X’s actions.  

Further, the coach has now introduced a third person into the scenario, as he referred to “these couple guys.” If that’s the case, then the incident involves Pena, Mr. X and now a ‘Mr. Y’, with Mr. Y being a (possible) witness to what really transpired. Yet, Mr. Y has yet to speak. It begs the question why?

Further still, when it’s stated that “those guys should have known better”, the question becomes what exactly should they have known better? That it’s unwise for a strong male power pellet to jump the back of a female fighter and crank her neck back, particularly if she’s doesn’t know that it’s about to happen? Agreed, that would be reasonable that they should have known not to do it. As such, and if it’s reasonable that Mr. X should have “known better” then where does that leave the fighter in terms of his responsibility for what happened to Pena? It also flies in the face of the coach’s contention that Pena injured herself. For how could she have done so (be responsible) if it was Mr. X who should have known better? 

Sadly, fans have been reading about this for nearly a week and still, no one from Sik-Jitsu that actually saw the incident unfold and can state exactly what lead up to it, and how it occurred, has come forward and made their account known.

As there must have been someone other than Mr. X there when Pena was injured (Mr. Y for one), it strikes as odd that they wouldn’t speak up. That is, if indeed, their account is similar to that of the club’s, which is that it was an accident, and dissimilar to that of Pena’s, which is to say that she was attacked. 

Follow LowkickMMA.com on
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. Whether or not you think you can or you can't, you are right. Fast / Good / Cheap...pick 2. Better an honest word to the ear, than a stiff punch to the jaw; ego kills. A hall passed through with the doors open, is a...?
  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

    The guy who took her back is a 135lb'er. It's not like a fcuking HW jumped on her. It sounds like an accident and Dana is all pizzy because his new woman's cash cow got tipped. STFU Dana you moron.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/51JD51 51JD51

      Or maybe he's "all pizzy" as you so elegantly put it because he's pissed off because a talented young woman may have gotten abused. Dana might be a greedy capitalist pig (jury's still out on that one in my mind) but he's not a sociopath.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

        Jurys out on that too.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/odesahitman odesahitman


      Dana was in the fight business before the UFC, he's trained and fought as a boxer, himself and partners put their money where their mouth was to create this sport…

      Any fighters you know and like were unheard of before they were promoted as the next big thing – and this costs a lot of money.

      There are other promotions that you can follow… so just comment on them, (I think you make some really good comments sometimes), however, this rant smacks of unbridled jealousy.

      Or lets put it another way, why should Dana be jealous of you, and why should you have his job and be better than him??

      Fair question right??

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Entity Entity

        No idea if youll see this again, but Im not in the slightest lealous lol. I make pretty good money yet thats not what makes my life important or give me great pleasure. I dont like they way Dana treats people or many of his actions. I think most everyone knows Dana was about broke at the beginning and if not for his cash cows (Fertittas) his childhood friends, he'd be fukced. The whole thing could have collapsed as easily as it made it. There are probably plenty of people who could have made it at that time if they had 40 million or more to throw at it. They happened to be the first to dive in neck deep. Cheers Odesa, all good. Had to check some spelling at least, just got off a 12 hr shift at the fluid seperator station where I'm head operator. I help supply 125 million MCF of natural gas a day to keep people warm in the winter working in the freezing cold. I personally think my job benefits humanity more than Dana ever has.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Def_tac Def_tac

    Dana is mad because he is now losing money in the ultimate fighter Pena was in. I guess he could have his heart in the right place who knows. I want to say 80% money and 20% Pena and that is being nice.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/falcon4917 falcon4917

    Seems like if the truth is in the middle then my prediction is getting closer to being right. Guy calls out Pena for fun and they get into it, he takes her back, she falls off balance and their combined weight is on the knee bending sideways or something and it tears everything apart. Then after everyone wants to protect the gym for the foolish situation and Pena wants to blame everyone but herself just like on TUF.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/watermelonfresh watermelon fresh

    Tired of Dana White and his big mouth that's never accurate. So he started a huge rumor then says truth is in the middle!!!??? Also, I have lost a ton of respect for Pena not clearing this up or confirming.